Virginia Foresters: Cicada Outbreak Damaging Trees

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013  |  Updated 5:47 PM EDT
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Cicada Mating Call Can Be Louder Than Beltway Traffic

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Cicada Mating Call Can Be Louder Than Beltway Traffic

A News4 crew in Manassas Thursday stopped to capture the sound of those brood two cicadas that have emerged to lay their eggs after 17 years.
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Virginia forestry officials report widespread damage to oaks and other trees from this year's arrival of cicadas.

The damage is the result of cicada females laying eggs in the thin-barked outer branches of trees and shrubs, the Virginia Department of Forestry said. The females slice into the branch, then deposit up to 80 eggs.
 
A single female can create about 30 nests, laying as many as 600 eggs, forest health specialist Chris Asaro said.

The egg-laying can cause structural damage known as “flagging.” It is visible across much of the state's Piedmont and coastal plain.

Forestry officials said most medium-to-large trees will not suffer any serious long-term damage.

The department said the good news is an outbreak of this brood of cicada won't occur for 17 years.

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