Within the next few weeks, hordes of insects will awaken from a 17-year slumber, crawl out of the earth, shed their skins, and set the entire East Coast abuzz in a plague-like event enthusiasts have dubbed the “Cicadapocalypse” after the bugs' name, cicadas.
Known as the East Coast II brood, these cicadas will emerge between April and June, across North Carolina and several other states up through Connecticut. When the ground temperature hits 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the bugs will come out, spend roughly one week on the ground molting, and then hit the skies. The result? A 7 kHz buzz will fill the region as the cicadas try to attract mates.
Male cicadas woo their female counterparts with courtship "songs" created by rubbing together a pair of rigid membranes on their bodies, according to magicicada.org. High up on sunny tree branches, only the males can produce sound, which they do, raising near-deafening choruses to attract the silent female cicadas to mate.
If they behave typically, the cicadas will be around for four to six weeks after first appearing. According to a Southampton (N.Y.) Patch blogger, the bugs will bring big appetites too, so locals should take steps to protect their ornamental plants and trees before they become lunch for the hungry cicadas. Click here for tips from our blogger. He also said that this unique brood will have beady, orange eyes, and not black ones.
WNYC created an interactive map that keeps track of ground temperatures across the East Coast. They've also shared instructions for a do-it-yourself cicada detector, which will allow you to monitor the ground temperature in your backyard.
We'll keep a lookout for when the bugs emerge, but in the meantime, let us know how you are preparing. Any shutterbugs out there hoping to catch a few photos of these weird-looking bugs?