3209415 - red eyed seventeen year cicada

17- Year Cicadas are Coming to the DC Area Soon!

In the spring of 2004 and before that in 1987, there were cicadas everywhere.  These periodical cicadas, who are part of a group known as Brood X, only come out once every 17 years. You might have guessed it… they’re due for a visit this year.

What Are Brood X Cicadas?

Brood X cicadas have a 17-year life cycle and spend most of it living as nymphs underground. Experts believe that they’ve evolved to emerge all at once because their presence as a large group prevents them from being eaten by predators. They would be considered easy targets otherwise due to their loud noises and larger size. Here are some more interesting facts about Brood X Cicadas:

  • We’re not the only area getting a visit: These cicadas are known to live in 15 states in the Eastern US spanning from Georgia to Michigan and out West a little to Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
  • They need a certain temperature to thrive: We can expect these cicadas to emerge in mid-May and stick around until the end of June. The reason for this is that they tend to come out once the ground warms up to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the air is around 80 degrees.
  • These aren’t the only Cicadas in town: The DC area also has cicadas that come around annually, often called “dog day cicadas.” These annual cicadas look very different from the 17-year cicadas that we’re expecting this year. The 17-year cicadas are orange and black, whereas the annual cicadas are dark green.
  • Cicadas are not poisonous to humans: Cicadas are actually edible and are considered a good source of protein by some, if you don’t mind consuming an ugly insect. Experts say that they are not poisonous to dogs either, although eating too many of them might upset their stomach.
  • Cicadas are loud: Cicadas can produce sounds at 100 decibels or more at a distance of one inch.

 Will Cicadas Damage My Plants?

For the most part, cicadas do not cause much damage to plants. They do not eat leaves– instead they drink sap from branches and roots, which does not harm most plants.  If you wish to protect your younger trees and plants, it is recommended that you put foil around the trunk of the tree (to keep them from crawling up), using insect barrier tape, or using insect barrier netting over your tree.

 Cicadas Attract Rodents and Other Pests

The arrival of Cicadas also means a feast for wildlife like fish, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, racoons, foxes and more which feed on the cicadas. If you have a pest problem in your home or want to take proactive action, we can help! At Alexandria Pest Services, our trained professionals will analyze your pest control needs and come up with a personalized plan for your household. Our team of expert technicians will provide a free inspection and work to create a plan to eliminate your pests. At Alexandria Pest Services, we help homeowners just like you get rid of pests in their homes all year round. If you find that you are having a problem with insects or pests, and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office!

We hope you and your loved ones stay well and healthy during this time. We are open and following all CDC regulations. Please call us today for all of your pest control needs!