While there are cicadas every year this is the year that we will see the most. It happens every 17 years with this brood. These insects look very menacing, but that’s where the terror ends. In fact they don’t bite or sting. Once the soil temperatures reach 65 degrees they will begin to emerge and begin their mating rituals which creates a lot of noise. There have been recorded decibels of over 110 which equals a lawn mower!
Cicadas are food for animals and fish. Dogs even like to eat them. While it is safe for them to be eaten they can be a choking hazard if they eat too many of them. As far as damage to your landscape goes the main thing to protect will be small or young trees. The females will deposit their eggs under the bark on the smaller branches causing damage to the branch which can die or be weakened enough to break off after the eggs hatch and fall to the ground. Young trees can be wrapped in a fine mesh and tied off at the trunk to keep the cicadas from getting to any of the branches. Dogwoods are probably the most susceptible. Spraying really has no effect as their numbers are so large and they can travel very easily.
The timeframe for the hatch is usually May and lasts for about 6 weeks, so by the end of June the numbers start to wind down and by July they are gone. There may be other broods of dog day cicadas that come every year but are not usually in great numbers so they are insignificant compared to the 17 year cicadas.
If you have young ornamental trees you are concerned about please let us know and we can wrap them for you! Give us a call if you have any questions. 703-544-0028