Cicada Brood Returns to Mid-West

Millions of people in the Mid-West are waking up to the sound of the cicada. There are all kinds of cicadas - the ones emerging this year are the Midwestern cicadas though, that only comes out once every 17 years.

Primarily the cicadas are impacting states to the north of the Commonwealth, but you may see a few scattered across the region.

In the suburbs of Chicago, armies of bizarre, red-eyed bugs are emerging from nearly two decades of life underground.

Famous for their mating call, 17-year cicadas are rearing their ugly heads in five Midwestern states. This swarm, known as brood 13, is expected to be billions strong. Within an acre of ground, you can have a million and a half emerging. The insects attach themselves to just about anything vertical, mate for 30 days and die. An individual cicada’s ear-splitting plea for love can sound as loud as a lawnmower. So when you multiply that by the vast numbers that are gonna be here, that‘s a lot of noise.

The reason these cicadas show up every 17 years is a mystery - even to scientists, but the noisy and frighteningly unattractive bugs are otherwise harmless.

For cookbook author Marilyn Pocius, these rare creepy crawlers are reason to throw an exotic dinner party.

“They’re good! Not scary at all. I really thought they were going to be much scarier than they really are on the menu: cicadas tempura, cicada sushi, a few cicadas on the barbie ...” Pocius explained, and for cocktail hour - cicada-tinis. “I found them woodsy and nutty at first - kind of crunchy.”

Nine periodical cicada broods are known to inhabit Kentucky. Some are found only in one county, while two are almost statewide.


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