Perhaps you've heard about the thousands of cicadas that are preparing to take over the East Coast with a "frenzy of sex and death." Perhaps you're not really sure how intense the Insect Spring will become. We're here to help. The extremely noisy bugs are coming for what some have called the Super Bowl of cicada mating season, and they are due to arrive, up and out of your trees and with the sexual sounds of a power saw, sometime very soon. It's not clear exactly when or exactly where they will hit, but for the first time in 17 years, billions of this particular brood will descend upon the mid-Atlantic region for the sole purpose of making cicada babies—and then dying. It's either a gross or fascinating phenomenon, depending on your bug persuasion. In any case, it's an event millions of people need to prepare for—at least for the purposes of cocktail party conversation. Here's an illustrated entomological guide.
It seems like the cicada hype is bigger than usual. How are this year's cicadas different from all other cicadas?
While other broods come up more often, this type, called Periodical Cicadas, only come up once every 17 years. These guys are worse than 2004's so-called Brood X, and they haven't seen the light of day around the populated U.S. since 1996 and we won't see them again for another 17 years after that. So: Billions of bugs that have been feeding off of tree roots underground will suddenly appear. This will be an event.