Cicadas are coming as the summer grows nearer in 2013, as the insects come out to mate in parts of the East Coast, from the Carolinas to New York City in early June.
When the soil temperature reaches about 64 degrees at a depth of at least 8 inches, the Cicadas will rise from the ground.
“Thermal soil temperature is one of the things that trigger their emergence, along with a gentle to moderate rainfall,” Greg Hoover, Senior Extension Associate Ornamental Entomologist at The Pennsylvania State University, said.
The bugs coming in 2013 are not a threat to humans, but can be damaging to trees.
Placing garden netting over small trees will prevent the cicadas from laying eggs in branches. Foil wrapped around tree trunks can also keep the cicadas from climbing up the tree.
“Once the cicadas emerge, they only have a lifespan of two to three weeks,” Mozgai said. Lives of cicadas can be shortened by the effects of wind and rain on their bodies. Those whose bodies are deformed by the weather won’t live as long as the ones who develop normally, he said.
These periodical cicadas have an extremely long life cycle of 13 to 17 years and emerge in large numbers.
Cicadas do not bite or sting humans in a true sense, but may mistake a person’s arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed. The insects have a long proboscis, under their head, which they insert into plant stems in order to feed on sap. It can be painful if they attempt to pierce a person’s skin with it, but it is unlikely to cause other harm.
Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches.