The first sightings of the cicadas — those noisy mating bugs making their way into the backyards of the Acela corridor — have now been reported in droves, and the Insect Spring is officially upon us. The time to prepare for four to six weeks of the little six-legged sexual power saws is over, people; the invasion is here. Radiolab has asked its listeners to build trackers and report sightings, or hearings, or general gross-outs. And according to this handy map, people have seen the bugs all across the mid-Atlantic region:
This particular cicada brood will haunt the region from North Carolina to Connecticut as soon as the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees, as we explained in this handy cicada explainer. So far, though, it looks like the critters have only come above ground in the more northern states. But they're sure to arrive elsewhere soon: The Washington Post's Kevin Ambrose said he saw the signature tunnels in his backyard last weekend. It's only a matter of a couple of weeks until cicadas are blanketing the entire coast.
Once they emerge from beneath the soil, the cicadas are expected to spend the month to month-and-a-half perched on trees making their very loud mating calls to find lovers, and then make babies, and then die — only to leave their empty shells all over our innocent American lawns. It will be loud. It will be gross. It will be pretty annoying. But ultimately the cicada invasion will not be too threatening, since cicadas don't bite or ruin plants — they just buzz around at a peak of 110 decibals and in huge masses. If that sort of thing bothers you, consider migrating elsewhere for the next few weeks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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