Buckle up, Tennessee. The cicadas are coming. A 17-year swarm and a 13-year swarm are on their way, according to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The experts at Fox 17 Nashville report that “after shedding their skins, the males noisily climb to the treetops, hoping to attract females, who lay their eggs there. Those eggs fall to the ground.”
Adults, who will live for four to five weeks after surfacing, were last seen in 2004 and 1987, so all new Tennessee residents need to know what’s coming. News4 Nashville reports adults usually emerge in early May when the soil reaches 67-degrees at four inches deep. Four to five days after that, the males will start singing, and there will be no way to ignore it. Females will then start laying eggs, and it’s on from there.
Bob Greene of the Chicago Tribune wrote about the cicadas in 1998:
“It’s not dangerous; it’s not painful. It’s just as obnoxious a turn of nature as you can possibly envision-and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it,” Greene wrote so eloquently.
“They are everywhere-swarming, flying, crawling, dive-bombing. There are millions upon millions of them-you can’t avoid them. They make the phrase “quality of life” a joke.
“And it’s all about having sex.
“The bugs, that is. The cicada invasion is based on one thing-the bugs having non-stop sex.”
Misconceptions, according to UT’s Institute of Agriculture:
• Cicadas aren’t locusts, which are a certain species of grasshoppers.
• Cicadas won’t kill crops. Adults feed on twig sap and females “make injurious slits in twigs and limbs of trees as they deposit eggs.”
• Cicadas can’t sting, which means they cannot poison fruit.