Preparing For the Cicada Invasion

Mid-May marks the first time in 13 years that Brood XIX, also known as the Great Southern Brood, will be sweeping through the Southern states. The Oklahoma State University Extension Office has said that the brood is known to show up in eastern Oklahoma. 

In the eastern US, there are two types of cicadas commonly found: annual and periodical. Annual cicadas are as they sound, once a year. The US Environmental Protection Agency says that periodical cicadas only come every 13 or 17 years. Of the broods, brood IV is the most common periodical cicada in Oklahoma. It is a 17-year brood, though occasionally there are smaller emergences of broods II and VI. They are known to have a longer life cycle of any known insect. This is due to the amount of years they spend underground. 

Once the time comes, they will come out at night. This is when they shed their skins and take about a month to eat, mate, and lay eggs before dying. When the eggs hatch, they start their life cycle as nymphs and burrow deep under the soil once they fall to the ground. They feed on the tree sap from underground roots. After another 13 or 17 years, the cycle begins again. 

The good news is that cicadas are not harmful to humans, pets, gardens, or crops. In fact, the EPA says that they can actually provide some environmental benefits. They are a valuable food source for animals such as birds, helps aerate lawns to get more air in the soil, and improve water filtration and nutrients to the soil. 

There is a large number of them, though, and can get overwhelming if on your lawn as predicted. Luckily, ABBS Pest Control is offering a service to remove them. Call 405-582-2114 for more information and get ready for the mid-May Cicada sweep!