10 Fascinating Facts About the Return of Cicadas in 2024

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After a 17-year hiatus, cicadas are back in full force in 2024. These remarkable insects, recognized for their distinctive buzzing sounds and seasonal appearance, are capturing the attention of green thumbs and scientists alike. Here are ten trivia about cicadas that will help explain why they are an important part of nature despite seeming like a nuisance.

Brood XIX


This year, the spotlight is on Brood XIX, one of the largest and most widespread broods of cicadas. Spanning across several states, including Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, these red-eyed flies are making themselves known with their deafening choruses.

Prime Time for Dating

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Cicadas only show themselves to the surface when they are ready to mate and procreate. The males serenade potential partners with loud calls, while the females respond with softer wing-flicking sounds. This symphony of nature is both mesmerizing and essential for the continuation of their kind.

Short-lived Adult Stage


Once cicadas emerge from the ground, they have a limited window to fulfill their life’s mission. Adult cicadas typically live for about four to six weeks, during which they mate, lay eggs, and then perish. It’s a fleeting but crucial period in their life cycle.

Underground for Years


For most of their lives, cicadas reside underground and feed as nymphs on tree roots. Their long developmental period allows them to synchronize their arrival, ensuring a massive and coordinated mating event when they finally come out in droves.

Symbiotic Relationships


Cicadas have developed delightful symbiotic relationships with various organisms throughout their life. One notable example is their interaction with certain types of fungi that form a curious friendship with cicada nymphs underground. These fungi attach themselves to their bodies, providing nutrients in exchange for access to the cicada’s nutrient-rich xylem fluids.

Environmental Impact


While cicadas may seem inconvenient to some, they play a vital role in their ecosystems. As nymphs, they aerate the soil and contribute nourishment through their feeding style. Additionally, their presence provides a feast for predators, including birds, mammals, and even some adventurous humans.

Not Harmful to People


Despite their intimidating looks and sounds, cicadas pose no threat to us. They do not sting or bite and are harmless to crops or structures. In fact, their emergence is a natural spectacle that many find awe-inspiring and beautiful.

Uniquely Diverse


Numerous species of cicadas exist, each with unique traits and habits. The fascinating diversity of these insects, which ranges from the annual cicadas seen in warmer areas to the periodic cicadas like Brood XIX, continues to captivate entomologists worldwide.

Cultural Significance


Cicadas have historically held symbolic status in different cultures, inspiring art, literature, and even culinary creations. In ancient China, they were associated with rebirth and immortality. Meanwhile, they symbolize summer and perseverance in Japa

Conservation Efforts

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As urbanization and habitat destruction threaten cicada populations, conservation projects become increasingly important. By preserving their natural habitats and raising awareness about their ecological importance, we can ensure that our future children can still witness these impressive bugs in all their glory.


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