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Cicadas are Bugging out Parts of the Country, Forcing Some Business Owners to Close Shop

Trillions of cicadas are emerging in the U.S. after a 17 year hiatus.

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In Washington D.C., Michelin-star restaurant Little Pearl in Capitol Hill says it’s temporarily closing because of cicadas, according to the Washington Post. Rose’s Restaurant Group owner and chef Aaron Silverman says around 80% of the restaurant's seating is outdoors in a "heavily vegetative area." 

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"We have decided to pause service at Little Pearl for 4 weeks starting May 10th in preparation for cicada season … As we tried to get as creative as possible to combat them this year, we know in good faith that a single 100 decibel cicada will ruin anyone’s dinner experience, a ‘tsunami’ of them will be impossible to control.”

The restaurant is offering customers refunds on bookings and options to reschedule or transfer reservations to sister restaurant Rose's Luxury.  

Meanwhile, other businesses are embracing the cicadas (known as Brood X) by selling coffee mugs and "Choco-cadas.”  Taking the “if you can’t beat ‘em, then eat ‘em” approach, Chef Joseph Yoon is sharing recipes through his Instagram account Brooklyn Bugs with tasty dishes like Cicada Nymph Spring Salad and Cicada Nymph Chile Guacamole. YUM.

The cicada masses are expected across 15 states from Indiana to Kentucky to New York as ground temperatures reach 64 degrees. The bugs spend about 4 to 6 weeks above ground which means they won’t be around too long.  Cicadas don’t bite and aren’t harmful to people --- but they can get noisy and be a buzzkill for outdoor diners.

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