Trillions of Cicadas Are About to Wreak Havoc in the U.S.

Mass numbers of cicadas will start emerging in 15 U.S. states after living underground for 17 years.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Freelance Writer
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Scientists said that trillions of cicadas will emerge within the U.S. in a couple of weeks at most and come out from their underground shelters after 17 years, according to the AP.

The cicadas of Brood X will emerge at a larger and noticeable scale across 15 states including New York, Indiana and Georgia, according to scientists. The insects are currently surfacing in Tennessee and North Carolina. Entomologists at the University of Maryland also found a yard in Maryland that contains around 1.5 million cicadas.

Broods of cicadas typically emerge every 13 to 17 years in the Midwest and on the East Coast, according to National Geographic. The U.S. is the only country in the world that has periodic cicadas that stay underground for this long, entomologist John Cooley at the University of Connecticut told AP.

Noise levels from the cicada’s emergence are expected to reach 105 decibels, scientists told the news wire. Cooley described the noise as “a singles bar gone horribly, horribly wrong.” 

Regardless of the inconvenient noise, scientists said that it is a good sign that Brood X is surfacing from the underground in the midst of pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss because its emergence signals a positive sign for nature

Other scientists say that people shouldn’t fear the mass surfacing of cicadas, citing more dangerous insects.

The mosquito kills more people than any other animals because of malaria and other diseases. Yet some people really dread the cicada emergence,” May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, told the AP. 

Fear of insects stems from the lack of education, Elizabeth Barnes, an entomological educator at Purdue University, told National Geographic.

“They don’t sting, they don’t bite, they’re not going to try to come after you,” she said of the cicadas. 

Cicadas are usually a source of food for predators, but they also help move nutrients around and freshen up the soil. They have been around for about five million years, according to National Geographic, and usually come out to breed and lay eggs in trees.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Discover the franchise that’s right for you by answering some quick questions about
  • Which industry you’re interested in
  • Why you want to buy a franchise
  • What your financial needs are
  • Where you’re located
  • And more
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur