Same goes for you, cicada BBQ-ers! Don't eat us, and you'll have a solid grill sesh yourselves, little guys. Entomologists have said that, in general, the horny bugs have only one mission on this here above-ground earth, and it's not to bite or sting people. (Even though they can mistake an arm for tree and attempt to suck sap out.) But maybe after reading some Internet articles about how good humans might taste, the noisy masses will get some ideas. Please don't. You're supposed to survive on the fat stored in trees while you're up here, according to our cicada summer buddies over at CicadaMania. And you can have the trees, little guys. Eat all the grilled trees you want.
Cicada BBQ Tip No. 2: Party Together!
Some humans have already decided to make a sport out of viral bug-stomping. Not only is this a fruitless endeavor — there are millions per square mile — but it's not a very fun way to spend the holiday. Fear not, BBQ-ers! There are bug and human friendly activities! Here are two party games everyone can enjoy:
Coke and Pepsi What better way to get over awkward encounters than this fun bar mitzvah favorite. For those unfamiliar, here's a pretty good explanation:
This is a popular game because everyone old and young can play. Two lines across the dance floor, 1 Coke and 1 Pepsi. When one name is called that side runs to the other side and sits on the knee of their partner. Last ones there are out. You can mix this game up by using other names and other things to do, i.e. call out Seven-Up and Both Lines run to the middle and high 5 their partner, say Star Trek and everyone raises their right hand up and yells "BEAM ME UP SCOTTY", or you can call out the name of the guest of honor and everyone points at them and yells out "YOU ARE THE GREATEST!"
Dance Party! While humans put on one of the albums of the summer, cicadas can do what they do best and make their own love songs. "We've had some good, rip-roaring choruses," one cicada-expert professor reported to NBC News from Virginia. Each of your respective dance parties should, however, be respectful of volume. If human music drowns out the cicada mating sounds (as in, you're playing your iPod dock louder than a buzz saw), then the bugs might not find their lovers, which would be a romantic tragedy. If cicadas can't keep it below their usual 120-decibel volume, consider buying earplugs when you pick up those little corn holders.
Cicada BBQ Tip No. 3: Respect Each Others' BBQ Space!
Cicada BBQ parties aren't for everyone. Understandably, some people might find bugs gross, in which case they can watch the phenomenon from afar via this entrancing Cicada Cam, via the Science Channel — or by searching for them on any social media platform. And some cicadas might have no interest in mingling with the creatures from above, in which case they can stay up in their trees and just do what they do best. Feel free to get ideas.
Photos: Insect illustration by Amanda Tromley/Shutterstock; hot dog illustration by Miguel Angel Salinas Salinas/Shutterstock; inset photos via Instagram.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.