In the Spring the media played up the coming swarm of cicadas(17 year
locusts), particularly in the Ohio River basin of the USA. Has the
hatch been as bad as predicted? Have they caused any damage to your
gardens or to any pets from eating them? Or was the media hype a
They've not hit New Mexico, yet, but they will, and they'll drive our
two MinPins bananas. Wife got one in her hair years ago, damn did she
do a wonderful shreaking dance<no sense of humor>! 8*)
Bob S. wrote:
They most definately do thrive in NM, regardless of what the maps show.
They LOVE our Cottonwood trees and often haunt our parks and along
the Rio Grande as both have loads of Cottonwoods. Those maps are
probably derived from some idiot who thinks NM is a foreign country!
There are several different groups of cicadas in the country. Every
year, there is a cicada hatch somewhere. I don't know why this
particular hatch is hitting the news, when other hatches are only known
locally. Go figure...
"Grandpa" <jsdebooATcomcast.net> wrote in message
OK, there's the problem right there. We were talking about 17 year
cicadas. The maps show the ranges of the 17 year cicadas and the 13
year cicadas. What you have in NM is one (or more than one, perhaps)
of the other species of cicada. I have read that there are about
150 species of cicada in this country.
There are 6 or 7 species (out of the 150) that are periodic (AKA
periodical) cicadas. These are the 17 and 13 year cicadas. Now, if
you tell me that you do, in fact, have one of the periodic cicadas
in NM, well, I guess I'll believe you since you live there and I don't.
The cicadas won't bother your garden. the suck on the sap of tree roots
when they are growing. This batch has been doing it for 17 years with
no harm done.
They will fascinate some people, and annoy others. Birds and other bug
eaters will love it. Your garden won't care one way or the other.
I suppose it depends on what you grow. It looks like we won't get any
chestnuts this year. The end of virtually every branch on our trees
have been killed. Other trees don't seem to be as sensitive as the
chestnuts. Larger trees hardly notice the loss of the leaves at the end
of each branch but smaller trees are hurt a bit. With trees (like
chestnuts) that bloom at the end of the branches, if you lose all the
flowers, you lose all the fruit.
My brother and I decided to taste them. They don't have much flavor at
all. He ate one raw and spat out the shell. I roasted mine and had it
with a marshmallow. It added a bit of a crunch but that's about all.
Media hype is a fact of life. They have had stories about the 17
year cicadas on the local new and we don't even have them this far
They have been in the news more, this year, because this the year
when the biggest brood, brood X (ten) hatches out. For those not
familiar with the broods, I just searched for and found maps:
Scroll down to brood X and you will see they occur over a bigger
area than the other year classes. If you are not in that range, you
will not see any 17 year cicadas this year.
Bob S. wrote:
I live in central New Jersey and they are here. I don't think there
is any damage or danger to worry about.
One thing I notice is their populations are very localized. I live
in a wooded area, and there are enough around me to give the woods a
strange, eerie sci-fi sort of feeling because of the sound they
make. But it's not at all what I expected from the media hype.
Then I was out bicycling on Saturday, and in a big 50 mile loop, I
heard the bugs here and there, but I only found one area where the
cicadas where really out in force. But wow was it impressive! At
the edges where the woods met farm fields, you could see thousands
of them flying around. And the sound was really amazing - very
loud, very strange, and almost constant for a 4 to 5 mile stretch of
road I was on. The individual bugs can sound like a small gas
engine (that has something wrong with it). The chorus of thousands
of them together is really hard to describe, but it would be a good
soundtrack to a horror movie. ;-)
Here's a photo and a recording of the sound:
I'm in southern Indiana, which seems to be the epicenter (or at least one
epicenter). We have tons. They love our dogwood tree. Basically, the only
damage they are doing, nowt hat they are laying eggs, is to small tree
branches. Some small trees will have problems, since the cuts they make
cam interrupt the flow of sap in the branches, so people with small new
trees have them covered with netting, but older trees are just losing a
few branches. They will bounce back just fine (a good pruning won't hurt
them that much).
It is fun to watch people freak out when they fly up or land on them.
Cicadas won't hurt people - they dont bite or sting - but they freak out
just because they have beady red eyes.
As for the hype, I think things are about what was predicted here. some
parts of town hardly have any (where there is new construction, where
there has been lots of grading, where large trees didn't exist 17 years
ago), and others, like our neighborhood, are covered. It is saving money
on birdfood, since the birds, chipmunks and squirrels are all eating the
I've heard of them being used for bait to catch Bass but have not tried
it myself. I know for a fact my wife went skitzo when one landed in her
hair and started buzzing its wings etc. They drive my MinPins nuts too,
especially the female.
Meagan M Eller wrote:
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