In recent news you may have seen stories about the “Brood X Cicada” and how this is the year in which they are set to come out. This begs the questions: what are cicadas? Does Florida have brood X cicadas?
The cicada is a tree bug genetically related to the grasshopper. It’s the bug you hear which makes that constant noise you hear all day in the late summer. They typically feed off the sap in the trees and lay their eggs within the bark. You can pretty much hear or see these bugs every year. And other than them be a source for annoying noise, they are no real threat to humans.
There are two main reproductive categories of cicada. There is the “periodic cicada” and the “annual cicada”.
The “periodic cicada” is found in North America and emerges every 13-17 years like clockwork. This type of cicada is found through most of the southeastern United States all the way over to Illinois but is not common in Florida. Florida has many annual species of cicada which you can also hear in the trees every year. Here is a list below:
The brood X cicadas which have been making the news cycle emerge from the ground where the eggs were laid 13-17 years ago. They pop out of the ground, shed their exoskeleton and head for the trees. For this reason some people refer to them as “land shrimp” and are even said to taste like shrimp when eaten.
The sounds they make emanate from a drum like flexible cuticle on each side of the body called a “timbal”. A combination of the insect breathing and a rod like structure on the body of the insect play these timbals like tiny drums and at a rapid pace. This action is done by the male cicada and is mainly thought to be a mating call.
There is no real pest control tactic against these creates. They usually stay in the trees and try to avoid contact with humans. We hope this article has shed some light on the loud tree-dwelling insect known as the cicada.
Brood X Cicada Map – click to enlarge