Billions of cicadas are expected to swarm the East Coast from New England to North Carolina this spring after remaining underground since the 1990s.
The Brood II , the17-year cicadas are expected to appear in large concentrations along the East Coast between mid-April and late May, a ritual nearly two decades in the making.
‘Brood II is a periodic cicada that hatches out every 17 years,’ Craig Gibbs, an entomologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo, told CBS News.
The cicadas go through five stages underground feeding on tree bark and roots before they reappear above the surface.
‘What will happen is the nymphs will come up and they will shed their nymphal skin and they'll crawl up into the trees and they'll take about five days to harden and then they'll start for next four to six weeks calling and looking for mates,’ said Gibbs.
The bugs will begin to arrive throughout several states to breed as the ground warms to 64 degrees and hotter.
‘I’m expecting a significant emergence in New Jersey north of the Raritan River, in Staten Island, and in counties along the Hudson River,’ Dan Mozgai, a New Jersey resident who started www.cicadamania.com told the Journal News in Upstate New York.
The insects are harmless to humans and trees, according to entomologists.
But the millions of cicadas that are expected per square mile will create a buzzing racket that has been compared to the sound of a New York City subway train.
‘It'll be noisy. There's no getting around the noise,’ Gibbs told CBS. ‘And again that's just the males looking for females. What's noisy to a human is the sound of love to another cicada.’
After about a month of breeding the cicadas will disappear again until 2030.
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