Cicadas Set to Emerge in Parts of Md., Va., W.Va. - NBC4 Washington
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Cicadas Set to Emerge in Parts of Md., Va., W.Va.

The insects live above ground for about a month when the ground temperature reaches at least 64 degrees

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cicadas Set to Emerge in Parts of Md., Va., W.Va.
    Getty Images
    WILLOW SPRINGS, IL - JUNE 11: A cicada sits on a leaf at a forest preserve June 11, 2007 in Willow Springs, Illinois.

    What to Know

    • Far western Maryland, northwest Virginia and the northern two-thirds of West Virginia will see Brood V emerge.

    • The last time the Metro area was saturated with the insects was in 2013 with Brood II, which is not expected to emerge again until 2030.

    • Brood X, which is scheduled to emerge in 2021, is the next big cycle for the area.

    The air in parts of Maryland, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia is about to get very noisy this spring as a 17-year cycle comes to a close for cicadas.

    Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge from the ground as part of Brood V, seeking a mate before they die. The current cycle began in 1999 as those bugs burrowed into the ground, according to Cicada Mania.

    Cicadas aren’t like locusts. They can’t chew so they don’t destroy plants or trees. However, the males do sing – constantly – in an effort to find a mate.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the insects live above ground for about a month when the ground temperature reaches at least 64 degrees and are only interested in one thing – sex. It is the only time they can mate and lay eggs.

    Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

    The eggs will hatch in about six weeks and the nymphs will burrow into the ground, feeding on plant roots for another 17 years. At that time, they emerge to start the cycle all over again.

    Data on Cicada Mania’s page shows the area where the cicadas will emerge is very limited and patchy. Far western Maryland, northwest Virginia and the northern two-thirds of West Virginia will see Brood V emerge. The eastern half of Ohio and a very specific area of New York are also included.

    Brood V is not expected to emerge in Washington. The last time the Metro area was saturated with the noisy insects was in 2013 with Brood II, which is not expected to emerge again until 2030.

    Brood X, which is scheduled to emerge in 2021, is the next big cycle for the area.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture said there are 15 different brood cycles, which work on 13 or 17 year cycles. Scientists have wondered why these cycles exist but have no real answers.