Cicadas are coming, but will they affect the East?

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The cicadas are coming, the cicadas are coming!

This year’s batch of insects only comes out once every 17 years and is already causing a stir along the East Coast. They emerge in droves from the ground like skeletons in a cemetery in a bad horror movie.

“They usually have black bodies and wings with orange veins and brilliant red eyes so they’re really kind of striking animals,” said Clyde Sorenson, a professor of entomology at NC State. “Males will typically fly up into a tree somewhere where they’ve got good broadcasting ability I guess you could say, and they’ll start calling.”

With as many as 1.5 million per acre, the noise they make can be almost deafening. However, they won’t be affecting everyone. This year’s group will stay north and west in West Virginia and parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

While this year’s batch of 17-year cicadas may not be swarming here in eastern North Carolina, that doesn’t mean residents won’t see any of those cicadas around here in the coming months.

The dog day cicadas emerge every year in July and August in the East.

This variety doesn’t come out in numbers though, so the noise is a little easier to take. Cicadas do not bite or sting. They are no real threat to humans, but young fruit trees and bushes can be damaged by the insect.

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