Billions of Cicadas Are About to Invade the Northeast

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Cicada
Coming soon.Photo: BORIS HORVAT/2013 AFP

Northeast residents may feel like they’ve been waiting forever for temperatures to rise enough so they can finally put away their winter coats. But that’s nothing compared to the billions of Brood V cicadas that have been waiting since 1999 for the spring of 2016 to arrive, so they can finally emerge from the ground and start making some noise. Expect the ruckus to begin next month and last several weeks.

The brood in question (which is made up of three difference species) pops up every 17 years, so these cicadas began their lives back in 1999 and have been underground ever since. (Other cicada species follow a 13-year cycle, and still others an annual one.)

And so when the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees, they’ll come out of the ground at locations in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The males will call for the females, a whole bunch of mating will happen, eggs will be laid, and the nymphs that hatch from those eggs will burrow underground and enter a suspended state, just like their parents did — except this group will not be dying to hear how Y2K turned out.