Have you heard? It’s the year of the cicada. This has a lot of people around Middle Tennessee worried about what the cicadas are going to mean for them, their home, summer activities, lawn, landscaping, etc… so let’s talk about the cicadas!

Middle Tennessee isn’t the only area affected by the cicadas, most of the Eastern U.S. will get to experience the mass emergence of these interesting insects this spring. Cicadas are hard to miss not only because of their size and the large population, but also the signature serenading from the adult males that you can’t ignore.

So what are these incredible creatures that emerge every 13 – 17 years? Cicadas are a plant-feeding insect and are most closely related to aphids. Incredibly enough, there are several types of cicadas. There are annual cicadas that develop in one year and periodical cicadas that take years to complete their life cycles. There are 3 species of periodical cicadas that will emerge this year, or Brood X as they’re calling it:

  • Magicicada Septendecim
  • Cassini
  • Septendecula

So what’s the fuss about Brood X in 2021? We’ve all had a traumatic and dramatic last 18 months so hearing something as menacing as millions of giant, loud insects invading your lawns and summer plans sounds bad, but we’re here to tell you that everything is going to be okay. You can expect to see thousands of these cicadas per acre, but it’s important to know that cicadas do not harm people.  We also consider their damage to plants to be minimal, however; you may wish to protect small trees, and other landscaping with netting. Netting your more delicate plants can help preserve them during cicada season this year. Pesticides are mostly not advised because they are relatively ineffective in controlling cicadas.

Though Brood X sounds scary, rest assured this every 17-year event, though scientifically exciting, shouldn’t cause you too much inconvenience as a homeowner.