Tuesday, May 25, 2021

a plague on all our houses

Guys. Ohhh my goodness. They are HERE. Ahem, and over there. Frankly, just plain everywhere now. And it's only just begun omg.

 
Obviously, I'm talking about the Brood X cicadas -- the generation of creepy crawly little pesties that emerges every 17 years. 

 
It's seriously like.... one day they're just everywhere. Every surface you look at -- every fence and tree and shrub -- is covered in their crunchy little discarded exoskeletons. 

 
And the very ground beneath your feet proves to have been absolutely FILLED with the suckers for all these years, without you ever guessing. 

 
Suddenly the roads and sidewalks are covered with little smooshed bodies too -- as each individual cicada only has the briefest of windows above ground to get its groove on, lol.

 
And meanwhile all the birds and bees (literally) and all other manner of tiny predators go absolutely WILD with this newfound abundance of protein haha. 

 
It's like all the trees get ten decibels louder -- between the incessant cicada screams AND all the chirping and buzzing from cicada-fattened birds haha.

 
Really, it's a wild sight to behold. 

 
And, uh, by all reports it's only just the beginning haha. 

 
I remember once as a kid we found one still in its beetle stage after drilling up to the surface, and quickly dropped it into a terrarium for observation. 

 
We spent like the entire night watching that thing slowwwwly break free from its shell to metamorphose into the giant thumb-sized red eyed missile we've all come to know and love. Honestly was a pretty cool memory! 

 
The last time Brood X hit Maryland was not long after I graduated high school (woof, how's that for aging yourself??) and I remember driving around with my best friends, blasting 50 Cent and what have you, with the windows rolled down..... 

And then suddenly being pelted directly in the face while going 50mph when one of the suckers flew right in through my open window lol.... Ah memories!

 
So yea. This year I'm definitely keeping all windows firmly closed LOL, but am otherwise creepin and crawling all over the place spying on these weird little bugs haha. 

Anybody else seeing the cicada resurgence in your neighborhood?? Do you love them too, or are you creeped out by them?! Curious minds want to know!!




21 comments:

  1. Ours hatched in 2016. We had a feast one evening and ate them wrapped in bacon, candied, dipped in chocolate, cicadas and grits (as opposed to shrimp and grits), and just simply sautéed them. Only eat the abdomen of the females right after they've emerged from the ground and are still soft. Males abdomens are hollow (to create that raucous noise) so we didn't eat them. They taste like sunflower seeds!

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    1. Lol while academically I know they’re good sources of protein and really not all that meaningfully different from shrimp etc….. yea lol I don’t think I’ll personally be eating them any time soon omg. Still sounds like a fun little feast tho!!

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  2. We definitely had some around here last year. I'm guessing maybe the 3-year kind, but I really have no clue, lol. I just remember the racket they made and coming face to face with one in our wood shed.

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    1. The screaming trees omg haha. We get them here every year actually, but typically in much MUCH smaller numbers. I guess for whatever reason this particular brood is just absolutely prolific lol

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  3. Hahaha love that story about the one going right through your window lol! I think it's a bit too hot here for them (or I just haven't been around when they've been here) but the fly population has absolutely boomed in just the past few days. Ick. Not looking forward to the 100+ days that will be coming soon!

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    1. i don't think cicadas are common that far west, actually, there's a neat map here tho:
      https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22362042/cicada-brood-x-map-2021

      and yea, ugh, i'm with ya on not being thrilled about the reemergence of all the other nasty bitey summer bugs!!

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  4. Its weird - they are all over my friend's place a few miles away from me, but I haven't seen/heard a single one. I am desperately hoping it stays that way!!!

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    1. as best i can tell, it varies basically block by block, yard by yard, around here. i think it all depends on how much the soil has been disrupted over the last ~17 years. as in, has there been any heavy landscaping, construction, or other type of development? that would probably have killed all the little buggers down in the soil. likewise, houses and yards around my neighborhood that seem to use a lot of landscaping and pesticides / herbicides / grass treatments etc also appear to have fewer cicadas. whereas grassy shrubby areas that have been more or less undisturbed for the last couple decades are chock-full of 'em.

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  5. Blehhh I fucking hate these things, they creep me out so much!!!!!

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    1. lolz!! i sorta not-so-secretly love them haha. i mean, hey at least they don't bite or sting or do anything other than kamikaze the sh*t out of you when you least expect it, right??

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  6. I'll just say I'm glad we don't have them around here!

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  7. I don't think I have ever seen a cicada, it is an interesting life cycle but stepping on exoskeletons all over would definitely gross me out so I am glad they don't live around here

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    1. dude for real, it's actually even worse than that -- the little exoskeletons usually stay clinging to whatever tree or fence they stuck to. it's actually the big fat dead bugs themselves that you end up squishing under foot... ick lol

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  8. Yet another reason that I'm happy to live where the air hurts my face for half the year.

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    1. Ha omg I’m not sure that’s a trade off I’d make tbh

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  9. Ugh creeped out! lol I know bugs are important for ecosystem, etc. etc. but I don't like thinking of them up close and personal! We have cicadas here - I like the noise they make in the trees, but not sure if we have the plague of them like you do...? Not going to google it either! LOL

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    1. LOL yea i'm kinda similar in having a deep appreciation for nature... when it stays *out in nature, thx* hahaha....

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  10. They are all over at our house in NJ too. I love the noise they make in the trees. I remember having to use the windshield wipers to clear them off the car in 2004. The weird thing is I remember the cicadas swarming at Old Dominion in VA in 2016. They were everywhere and they had the telltale red eyes. I guess that was a different brood though...? So weird.

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    1. so apparently i just learned that different regions have different big '17 year' broods; and actually some regions have '13 year' booms too?? this article and map were pretty enlightening on the subject:
      https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22362042/cicada-brood-x-map-2021

      anyway -- yea absolutely i kinda love the screaming trees too <3 <3

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  11. When do they leave? We're supposed to go to PA in August and I think they are just too gross for words lol

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