For the first time in 17 years, millions of cicadas (also know as locusts) are about to emerge from their underground burrows in the United States and transform into flying noisemakers. Scientists expect we could see more than 1.5 million locusts per acre, according to the Animal Rescue Site.
The invasion that’s about to happen is from a specific group known as Brood IX and is one of the 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States. The last time they emerged was in 2003 and scientists expect them to emerge in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia in the spring of 2020.
CicadiaMania states that, “Typically beginning in mid-May and ending in late June. These cicadas will begin to emerge approximately when the soil 8″ beneath the ground reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. A nice, warm rain will often trigger an emergence.”
For the most part of a locust’s 13 to 17-year lifespan, they live underground and go through four stages of growth phases before emerging from the earth. The fourth and final phase is their adult form, and that lasts about four to six weeks and then they die.
As soon as they spread their wings, the males are off to attract a female by making noise with tymbals inside their bodies that is amplified by their hollow abdomens. It’s reported that a group of “singing” locusts can sound as loud as a rock concert.
“Some species can register sounds louder than 100 decibels when calling for a potential mate,” Sandesh Kadur, a Wildlife filmmaker said on National Geographic.