Cicadas in Pennsylvania: What’s Happening Now?

Beautiful cicada - Carineta diardi in forest, climbing a plant.
© Marcos Cesar Campis/

Written by Lex Basu

Updated: October 3, 2022

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The loud song of nature is not a lawnmower or even a swarm of locusts, but it is the announcement of something else – Brood X cicadas. These cicadas only rise from their home every 17 years, and they are expected to part of the trillions that will rise up — including in Pennsylvania. Even though this sight can be overwhelming, there is no need to panic.

After living their whole lives underground and eating the sap from tree roots for 17 years, the bugs come out to molt, breed and die. They shed their husks and eat tree sap from branches while males make mating calls up to 120 decibels. Then, the females cut slits in branches to lay eggs in.

Radio Station 651 Says What to Expect

Locals in Pennsylvania may have already seen a few of the cicadas in their homes and gardens, but Radio Station 651 says that the biggest change will happen in the coming weekend of May 22nd, 2021. With a few sightings already posted online, this year will be incredibly noisy and will be here in abundance.

Pennsylvania is one of the many eastern states expected to see a major influx, but why are they showing up so early? After all, much of Brood X isn’t even expected until the end of the month and early June. According to Upper Moreland Patch, the increase in cicadas in the area has a lot to do with the rising temperatures.

The soil needs to reach 64 degrees before the cicadas even emerge, and temperatures in Pennsylvania have been climbing lately. This temperature increase has not been seen in years, and the cicadas are using it to their advantage. In Pittsburgh, the cicadas are already arriving more than two weeks sooner than they did in 1970, though the state as a whole is seeing them 22 days sooner.

The Patriot with Everything You Need to Know About Cicadas

The Patriot, a local news publication, is working to keep Pennsylvania citizens informed about the latest changes, though much of the public may not have even seen one of the cicadas from Brood X yet. The publication recently posted a highly informative article that brings quite a bit of solace to locals. Even though the cicadas will easily reach into the billions, they won’t last long. Still, the problem won’t go away overnight. Brood X seems to be emerging in waves, starting with the earliest group that is filled with males. The later groups will include females instead.

While cicadas are not expected to cause any harm to seasoned or mature crops, there are some people who have an allergy to this insect. They are closely related to shellfish, which means that there’s a chance of having an allergic reaction to the swarms. Anyone with a shellfish allergy should meet with their doctor to see what they can do to keep themselves safe.

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!

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About the Author

Lex is a green-living, tree-hugging, animal-lover, who at one time was the mother to twenty one felines and one doggo. Now she helps pet owners around the globe be the best caretakers for their most trusting companions by sharing her experience and spreading love.

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