After 17 years, these cicadas are set for noisy return in Georgia

Caption
What to know about 17-year cicadas.As their name implies, these periodical cicadas emerge every 17-years.In the years before their emergence, they survive on tree sap under the soil.Active periodical cicada broods aren't widespread in Georgia. They only emerge in the northern counties.Cicadas are known for their loud buzzing calls

It’s been nearly two decades but at long last, one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas are set to reemerge in several states — and Georgia is among them.

Brood X cicadas have been underground for 17 years and the Detroit Free Press reported that the brood, also known as the Great Eastern Brood, will rise above ground in 2021, bringing their trademark overpowering loudness with them.

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Billions are set to appear in states including Delaware, Illinois, Maryland North Carolina, New York, Ohio, West Virginia along with Washington, D.C. this spring, but their emergence won’t be widespread in Georgia. In fact, the big, flying insects will be concentrated in a few counties in North Georgia — so Atlanta will be spared.

Before that time, Brood X will wrap up their underground stint that has been ongoing since 2004. According to Newsweek, the cicadas have been consuming tree root sap to survive while living under the soil.

The Associated Press reported a warm rain triggers cicadas to emerge, according to experts, and in the following days, they’ll slowly begin to take over the area. Before dying off in six weeks, the cicadas mate and lay eggs. Then, hatched nymphs will fall off the trees and burrow under the soil, where they’ll spend the next 17 years surviving off of tree sap. After that, the cycle continues.

It’s expected Brood X will arrive in mid-May and will remain through June.

As for where cicadas are prevalent throughout the state, Georgia is home to a single brood of 13-year cicadas, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division.

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“However, three broods of 17-year cicadas have been identified in the Peach State,” the state DNR said. “They will make their appearance in 2017, 2021 and 2028, respectively.”

You could look out for them if you’re near where they’ll emerge, but you’ll likely hear them once you step outside your door. Still, Michael J. Raupp, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, deems it a positive thing.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for millions of people to witness and enjoy a remarkable biological phenomenon in their own backyard that happens nowhere else on the planet, truly a teachable moment,” Raupp, who is also a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, told Newsweek.