Cicadas in New York: What’s Happening Now?

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: July 23, 2021
Image Credit Marcos Cesar Campis/
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New York is a place that boldly embraces the changes of the seasons, but the incoming Brood X cicadas may leave the public with a little less acceptance. These insects have bold red eyes and look fairly similar to locusts but fear not! They are simply emerging from a lengthy slumber, even if they are coming in mass swarms.

Spectrum News 1 Buffalo took a moment to explain to locals exactly why they see so many cicadas at once. It isn’t a plague or a premonition – it is simply the awakening of Brood X after 17 years of dormancy. Before now, the cicadas were living underground, and it is only the warmth of springtime that allows them to be released into the air around. While they are expected in many southeastern states, the news station doesn’t expect them to be seen around Buffalo.

The New Yorker has already taken note of quite a few of these sightings as well, even though the public has seen them before. They don’t come out every spring, but Brood X specifically hasn’t been around since 2004. To date, experts believe that their release into the region is going to be the largest hatching since the last time these cicadas came around. To help residents get a better understanding of the comings and goings of the cicadas, an image from one of their recent tweets shows an illustration by Peter Kuper that depicts how many people may feel about their arrival.

Understandably, every person that knows of their impending swarms wants to know what they can do to keep themselves safe. The cicadas aren’t harmful to the public at all, though they can pose a risk to young trees and plants that cannot handle the weight of their eggs. The New York Post recommends preparing these plants with a netting mesh that will protect them from birds and insects alike.

For anyone concerned about the safety of their home, there is a chance that window screens and even patio furniture could be appealing to the cicadas. For individuals that don’t want to risk the possible damage, the Post recommends setting up the same mesh protection in doorways and windows. If the cicadas manage to put any holes in the screens, the publication even includes an inexpensive tape that can repair almost any window screen without replacing it entirely.

For the people who don’t mind a little change in their diet, the New York Daily News has another recommendation – using the cicadas as a delicacy! Cicadas can be a delectable snack, and they are completely healthy to enjoy. Anyone willing to catch a few can be prepared with a few ways to prepare them, including recommendations for stir fry recipes, baked goods, and smothering them in chocolate.

Cicada Brood X News & Information

Brood X is currently (spring 2021) emerging on the east coast of the United States. More information and coverage can be found here!

Learn more about cicadas, including why they only come out every 17 years, the difference between cicadas and locustswhether cicadas eat tomato plants and more. Click in the search box and type in “cicada.

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