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The life cycle of a cicada is pretty weird. Some of these bad boys aren't seen for 13-17 years in public, as they spend most of their lives under ground. But late in their life, they emerge from under the dirt to spend a few glorious weeks in the real world.

Some years have low-level cicada populations that appear in states all over the US. The cicadas that emerge from underground can show up anywhere from upstate New York, to Nebraska, and from South Carolina to Texas. Including in Louisiana.

But the Brood X cicada is different. Unlike all of the years where low numbers of cicadas emerge to finish their life cycles above ground, the Brood X shows up in massive numbers. They don't just emerge, they invade, they swarm. The Brood X generation of cicadas that show up every 17 years are noteworthy for a lot of reasons.

As CBS News describes it, people will be able to hear when Brood X emerges, because they are going to be:

"filling the air with a deafening mating hum that can reach up to 100 decibels"

It's not just the sound that people will notice about Brood X cicadas. The shedding of their exoskeleton will leave crunchy bug debris everywhere. Also, when Brood X emerges, its likely they will end up landing on some people. Which is why you should know that cicadas bite.

Yes, cicadas do bite. Though its highly unlikely that a cicada will bite a human, it has happened. According to Orkin, this happens when someone leaves a cicada on them long enough for the insect to mistake the person for a plant.

So do we need to be concerned about Brood X in Louisiana? The answer is no.

According to the United States Forest Service, cicadas do call Louisiana home, we deal with three different kinds of cicadas in the state. Including in the Northwest Louisiana area around Caddo and Bossier Parishes. The cicadas we see in Northwest Louisiana are Brood XIX, which we will see emerge in 2024.

USDA Forest Service
USDA Forest Service

The state of Louisiana also deals with Brood XXII and Brood XXIII, which will show back up in 2027 for Brood XXII and 2028 for Brood XXIII.

So the massive swarms of Brood X won't be something we have to compete with in Louisiana this year. When we do get our next cicada emergence in Louisiana, in 2024, it will be brood XIX, which will be much easier to deal with.


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