What are cicadas?
Cicadas are insects that send off a buzzing sound often heard on summer nights. Most cicadas appear from late June through end of August. There are others that emerge in “Broods” every few years or so. Here are a few fun facts:
- Cicadas do not bite and do not have stingers.
- Cicadas ‘songs’ can be heard up to 1 mile away, according to National Geographic.
- Each type of cicada makes their own music!
Music to your ears?
The evening and night sounds can be beautiful. Crickets, frogs, and cicadas. The sounds they make are a mating call. Male cicadas vibrate a drum-like membrane on their abdomens called a tymbal and the group sound filling the night is called a chorus. The sounds call both males and females together; the males join the singing and the females mate with their musical counterparts.
Are Cicadas the same as locusts?
Technically the answer is no. People refer to periodic cicada broods as locusts. Locusts are damaging to crops and landscaping. NOTE: we refer to 17 & 13-year periodical Magicicada cicadas as broods.
To learn more about periodical cicadas, read https://www.cicadamania.com/where.html. The site provides charts and information about these broods across the U.S.
Are cicadas harmful to trees and landscaping?
According to gardeningknowhow.com, Cicadas can damage trees:
Cicadas can damage trees, but not in the ways you might think. The adults might feed on leaves, but not enough to cause any serious or lasting damage. The larvae drop to the ground and dig down to the roots where they feed until it’s time to pupate. While root feeding robs the tree of nutrients that would otherwise help it grow, arborists have never documented any damage to the tree from this type of feeding.
Tree damage from cicada insects occurs during the egg laying process. The female lays her eggs under the bark of a twig or branch. The twig splits and dies, and the leaves on the twig turn brown. This condition is called “flagging.” You can spot flagging twigs and branches at a glance because of the contrast of brown leaves against the healthy green leaves on other branches. Female cicadas are particular about the size of the branch or twig where they lay their eggs, preferring those that are about the diameter of a pencil. This means that older trees won’t sustain serious damage because their primary branches are much larger. Young trees, on the other hand, may be so severely damaged that they die from their injuries.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Cicada Bugs In Trees: Preventing Cicada Damage To Trees https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/insects/cicada-damage-to-trees.htm
How do I get rid of cicadas?
Cicadas are not aggressive but can be very intimidating due to their size. Most are between 1-2 inches long with wing spans over 5 inches. Cicadas are common in our area, especially around water and harbor areas where they burrow and tunnel.
If you are unsure if you have cicadas or damage from cicadas, just give us a call at 518-374-0357. We will come out and inspect your home or business and discuss treatment options with you.
Summer is surely here. If you are planning a special outdoor event ask us about Special Event Treatments. We travel to the Adirondacks, The Great Sacandaga and all over the Capital District. Don’t let flying and biting insects ruin your party!