Cicadas 2013: 17 Years Of Peace Comes to Abrupt End For East Coast


Do you remember what you were doing in 1996 say around May or June? Well, I do. You were traversing billions of cicada shells. How they crunched underneath your feet, do you not recall the terrible sound they made? I hope you enjoyed your 17-year respite because the nightmare is about to begin all again.

Beginning very soon, a 900-mile stretch from Georgia to upstate New York will be covered in them. John Cooley for the University of Connecticut told NBC News, "It's fair to say it's starting, but it's still in the very early stages. It certainly isn't going all crazy ... When it really happens, it's not going to be like this. It's going to be shovel loads of cicadas." 

Well, that will be a great way to kick-off the summer. “Hey darling, can you pour me some more of that delicious, refreshing, lemonade?” Of course it won’t be lemonade at all, it will just be a pitcher full of cicadas. It'll be like a Stephen King novel that nobody dies in.

So which kind of cicada can residents of the East Coast expect? The Brood II cicada is the species that will be emerging this year. It spends 17 years feeding underground (something cicadas and I apparently have in common). The juveniles emerge from the ground to shed their outer skins and then climb up trees, buildings or whatever else is available to climb on. This is also when they perform their infamous mating call or what I have dubbed the smooth sounds of summer.

After mating, the females lay their eggs and then all the adults promplty die. The entire thing is over in about four-to-six weeks. So, when exactly will this happen? Cooley says it could be as soon as next week or whenever the ground temperature hits 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to watch the impending invasion from the comfort of your home you can using a couple of sources:

Radiolab's Cicada Tracker:

If you find yourself with shovel loads of cicadas and no where to put them, consider some of these fine, fine recipes:

Soft-Shelled Cicada 

Cicada Pie

Cicada Chip

Cicada Stir-Fry 

For that perfect summer treat, cicada ice cream

Finally, if you are looking for the perfect summer hair adornment, look no further: