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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone being deluged with Cicadas in your part of the country? They've emerged here in Kentucky and are still around. For those unfamilar with them, I'll post a picture. They emerge every 17 years and live for a bit before vanishing again for another 17 years.
And while they're darn ugly, they don't sting or bite.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For the uninitiated, here's what they look like.
:eek:
 

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They're kind of weird bugs, Shawn. When you get thousands upon thousands of them in the woods together, they make kind of an eerie screeching noise that drives me nuts. :x
 

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Well then I guess I don't have them. I have neighbors to drive me nuts.
 

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Taurus, if you think they are bad in Louisville, imagine how loud they are in the country! They really will get on your nerves. My wife and I were sitting on the porch last night and you couldn't hear yourself think.
 

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Tim, you oughta be able to thin them out radically with your AR!!!
 

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Johngoboom said:
We get them here, but there not up yet...

I like the sound of them, they sound like summer. :D Those and the tree frogs.
I'm with you John. It's part of summer. If they only come around every 17 years, why do I hear them every summer?
 

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Because some hatch every year...But the life cycle is 17 years. So the ones that come out and mate this year and lay eggs in the ground won't emerge for 17 years. But there will be more next year to do the same. They just don't all come out at once. :)
 

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and they make pretty good fish bait.
 

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HEY, when they first crawl up on weeds & sticks & shed their outer shell, They make fantastic Bass bait !!! However, after they harden & darken in color & are able to fly, they don't seem to hit them as often any more !
 

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Down here, we call them locusts...are they as voracious as grasshoppers?
 

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cicadas
17-year cicadas sounding off in Kentucky
Cicadas making noisy appearance in region
By Larry Muhammad • [email protected] • May 31, 2008



Those loud, annoying cicadas that descended on the region in 1991 and 2004 in concentrated swarms of tens of thousands per acre may be returning to a neighborhood near you -- perhaps even your own perfectly manicured lawn.

"The 17-year cicada seems to be popping up all over Central and Eastern Kentucky," said University of Kentucky entomologist, Ric Bessin, noting that it's different from the 13-year cicada that made an appearance in 2004, although both strike in May and June.

Jefferson County horticulture agent Donna Michael said the irritation has only just begun.

"We've started getting phone calls from people looking in their yard and being freaked out because they've got hundreds of unusual-looking bugs," she said. But, "What you're basically seeing right now is the maturation period. Next week, we'll be getting calls about the sounds."

That would be the shrill, buzzing sounds of love, a distinctive mating call males emit from vibrating membranes in their bellies -- which a Cornell University study once compared to the noise of subway trains, jet flyovers and lawn mowers.

"At night time, you'll know when they start coming out, you won't be able to talk to the person next to you, they're so loud," said Pete Hammer, owner of St. Matthews Hardware, where callers have requested netting to protect young trees and shrubs.

Experts say the only marginal harm cicadas bring comes when females cut tiny slits in tender branches to lay their eggs. Although often mistaken for locusts, which are swarms of migrating grasshoppers, cicadas don't eat crops or severely damage plants or gardens, entomologists say.

The generation of periodical cicadas now emerging in forested areas of 13 states, including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee -- called Brood XIV -- are controlled by synchronized molecular clocks. They have hibernated 17 years underground and surface now to develop into winged adults that mate, have offspring and die, all in a period of a few weeks.

The cycle repeats when the eggs that the females lay in tree branches hatch, fall to the ground and burrow in for another 17-year cycle of feeding on roots. The adults eventually get eaten -- by birds, rodents, cats, dogs, and have occasionally been used as fishing bait.

"Across the state, they'll be in swarms, in pockets, because they like grouping together, so in some areas there will be large numbers and others there will be none at all," Bessin said.

"There is one species in Kentucky called the 'dog-day cicada,' and a few of them come out every summer in late July and August. But the 17-year cicadas look different from the ones that come in late summer."

With black-brown 1½ inch-long bodies, orange-colored legs and wing veins and bulging red eyes, they looking menacing, but are harmless.

Cicadas don't bite or sting. Birds that eat them are said to produce more offspring. (Humans have been known to eat cicadas, too: low fat, high protein).

The holes they make in the dirt while emerging from their subterranean homes benefit trees by aerating soil around the roots. Studies have found that decaying cicada bodies fertilize and enrich the ground.

And not to worry: Damage is so minor to saplings when females deposit their eggs that pesticides are discouraged.

"Cicadas love any wood stalk that's less than half an inch in diameter," Michael said, "Crabapple, cherry, dogwood, Japanese maples, magnolias, and they like trees in a large open section. But these guys are harmless, so we don't recommend insecticides.

"We do recommend netting, if you've just planted those trees and they're young. But a 40-year-old maple or oak, that tree is so large you can't net it and the amount of limbs that might be damaged by cicadas isn't going to hurt."

Angie Shelton, an Indiana University-Bloomington researcher who studied the impact of the 2004 cicada outbreak on the forest ecosystem, said, "There didn't appear to be any long-term impact. It was like pruning trees -- except you don't have to toil over which branches get pruned. We still don't know whether larvae feeding roots have any impact on the trees, but we don't have any evidence that they do."

Shelton did warn dog owners to limit their pet's consumption of the insects.

"My dog will eat them like crazy," she said. "We had to keep her in the backyard, because if you take her on a walk she'd eat so many on the street, she'd get sick.

"I, personally, have not eaten one," Shelton added. "I hear they taste like shrimp, kind of nutty, and when they first come out of the ground, they're white and have a really soft shell, like soft-shelled crab.

But, "Before you recommend that readers go out and eat them, there is a risk of allergic reaction, especially if you're allergic to shellfish. Not to mention the grossness factor."

Reporter Larry Muhammad can be reached at (502) 582-7091.
 

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Except when they'll hit Texas...haven't heard any lately, but we're suffering an infestation of the white-eyed boombox driver in our neighborhood.....that's noise enough.....
 

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Blasting rap? They can be 3 cars over and still make my car vibrate. THAT DOES ANNOY ME.
 
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