I was driving back to Montreal from Corpus Christi 17 years ago… the sound driving through the Virginias at night was unbelievable! – cPaul
The bug-eyed Insects are emerging from the earth in Southwest Virginia this year, bringing a cacophony of white noise and molted brown husks.
James Mason | Virginia Tech Daily
As many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre will emerge from the ground this spring. Photo for Virginia Tech by Doug Pfeiffer.
With warm daytime weather and mild nights upon us, you may find yourself opening a window to enjoy the cool spring air. But accompanying this breeze will be a cacophonous whining like a field of out-of-tune car radios.
That can only mean one thing: the cicadas are back.
This year, that alien-like wail of the insect world will be even more pronounced, as millions of cicadas from brood IX emerge after 17 years underground.
“Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue,” predicts Eric Day, Virginia Cooperative Extension entomologist in Virginia Tech’s Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent — and amazing — this event is.”
The scale of these emergence events is astounding, with as many as 1.5 million cicadas emerging per acre. Each periodical cicada brood covers a specific geographical region, with some areas overlapping. This year brood IX spans Southwest Virginia, parts of North Carolina, and West Virginia. People who live in these regions will experience a unique natural phenomenon that has not occurred in most of the area since 2003-04 (some of the region overlaps with Brood II, which emerged in 2013).
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