Rare cicada swarm to overrun New York City

The Brood II Cicada only comes to New York City every 17 years.
The Brood II Cicada only comes to New York City every 17 years. Credit: Dan Mogazi

The next time you wake up to your neighbor’s lawnmower, think twice. It might be cicadas.

The anticipated eruption of ear-shattering insects has put New York in a frenzy. Everyone from couples planning outdoor weddings to cicada food enthusiasts are monitoring the birth of the bugs, since this strain, Brood II, emerges just once every 17 years to mate and lay eggs.

“They don’t do anything to people. They don’t sting. They don’t carry any diseases,” said Craig Gibbs, an entomologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society at Queens Zoo. “Four weeks is a good estimate of how long it will go from ‘they’re so noisy’ to ‘they’re gone.’”

The noise comes from the mating calls of male cicadas and can reach up to 90 decibels, as loud as a lawnmower.

The cicadas emerge when underground temperatures stay above 64 degrees, usually between the end of April and May, Gibbs said. Nymphs crawl out from half-inch holes around tree bases, shed their larval exoskeleton and develop into adults within five days. After mating, females lay eggs in tree branches. The cicada larvae then disappear underground for another 17 years.

Gibbs recommends not mowing lawns when the cicadas are out. “It’s a disgusting mess because cicadas will be everywhere.”

NY_Cicadatracker2

For the more adventurous, Dr. Jenna Jadin and the University of Maryland Cicadamaniacs have published a cicada recipe book, citing the insect’s rich protein content.

But most may not relish raw cicada at a wedding banquet.

“[Cicadas] were crawling around in the grass, crawling up legs,” Dan Mozgai said of his friends’ New Jersey wedding in 1996, the last time Brood II cicadas emerged. “They were falling into food. They were pretty much everywhere.“

His website “Cicada Mania” advises couples to avoid trees, use tents, and hire bagpipes to drown out the cicadas.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…