Swarm of large, noisy cicadas about to emerge across Ohio

Published 1:36 am Monday, April 19, 2021

REYNOLDSBURG — Get ready! We’re about to be bombarded by a swarm of very noisy, very large bugs. A type of cicada that only comes out every 17 years is about to emerge.

The Brood X Cicadas (periodical cicadas) have burrowed underground for almost two decades and will make their way to the surface late April into early May. They won’t cause any damage to your home, gardens, crops or animals. They also won’t harm mature trees, but you should consider protecting newly planted trees by wrapping them with a mesh net.

The noise Brood X cicadas make is loud and distinct. In large groups, the sound can reach as high as 100 decibels, which is equivalent to a motorcycle, low-flying plane or lawn mower starting. The sound of a group of cicadas is often compared to the sound of electricity.

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We expect to see the largest concentrations of these cicadas in the following counties: Defiance, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Logan and Montgomery. Brood X is one of the largest and most broadly distributed groups of periodical cicadas, stretching from Georgia to New York and reaching as far west as the Mississippi River.

Periodical cicadas typically have black bodies, orange wing veins, red eyes and six legs. They have an antenna and are typically one to two inches in length, with a three-inch wingspan. These cicadas will begin to emerge when the soil temperatures approach 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Cicadas come to the surface to molt and mate, before dying off. They will not sting or bite and are not poisonous to animals.

For more information about Brood X, please visit https://bygl.osu.edu/node/1759.