The Cicadas Are Coming. Here's What You Should Know
"They're not going to bite. They're not going to sting. They're not going to carry away small children and dogs like the flying monkeys in 'The Wizard of Oz.' That's not going to happen!"
Billions of winged insects that have been burrowed for 17 years are expected to emerge across the U.S. as we transition into the summer season. Cicadas spend most of their lives underground feeding on tree roots, and later tunnel their ways to the surface to mate.
"We are going to have the collision of something like maybe four billion, maybe 10 billion, maybe a trillion tiny insects with 30 million human beings," Mike Raupp, an entomologist at University of Maryland told CBS News.
Cicada sightings have already begun in states including Virginia, Maryland and Georgia but more areas in the East Coast are expected to be swarmed with the winged insects over the next several days, NBC News reported.
There are six known species of cicadas that live across the eastern United States.
Scientists are eager to document the cicada's behavioral changes and their range of exploration. They say that this year there will be three species of insects that live on 17-year cycles. They will surface once soil temperatures reach 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cicadas are racing to lay their eggs before they die. They sing a noisy, high-pitched mating song that can reach the sound equivalent of a motorcycle or a jackhammer, entomologist John Cooley told NBC.
Mike Raupp urges for people to not be afraid. Despite their red-colored eyes and daunting appearance, cicadas are not harmful to humans or pets.
"They're not going to bite. They're not going to sting. They're not going to carry away small children and dogs like th eflying monkeys in 'The Wizard of Oz.' That's not going to happen!"
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