Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Facts and Myths about Cicadas

Here in the eastern United States, we are awaiting the arrival of periodic cicadas - Brood 2, to be specific.  This particular population comes up out of the ground every 17 years to breed.

These cicadas look like the one in the picture. I don't find them the most attractive insect but I can't say that I like the appearance of most insects.

The cicadas are set to arrive in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia this year.

Here are some facts and myths about cicadas:

1. 17-year cicadas have red eyes.  Most of them do but they can have white, brown, gray, blue or yellow eyes!

2. Animals will eat the cicadas.  This is true! I recommend you watch your dogs if you let them out. Dogs can choke on them because of their rigid bodies so it's best not to let Fido nibble on them!

3. Only male cicadas make the distinctive sound associated with these insects.  This is true! You can see and hear one making the sound here.  It can get really loud when there are lots of them making this sound!!

4. Cicadas drink the sap from trees and can do great harm to them! Well, sort of...  Most trees will be perfectly alright but I suppose a weak branch could be damaged by heavy cicadas landing on them and drinking the sap so I'd recommend you pick them off your young or small trees.

5. Be careful if a cicada lands on you as they could administer a nasty bite!  This is completely false.  Cicadas won't harm you.  I don't like when they fly into me because they are large insects but they won't do a person any harm.

Image found here

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