Cicadas in Tennessee: What’s Happening Now?

Georgi Baird/

Written by Rebecca Bales

Updated: October 15, 2023

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There seems to be no state in the eastern region of the country that hasn’t reported at least a few sightings of the Brood X cicadas. In fact, they are even popping up in the southern states like Tennessee. While there’s no reason to worry about these red-eyed insects, learning a little more about why this phenomenon is going on could bring a little more comfort to the most squeamish individuals.

Cicadas can cause a lot of noise, with one male’s mating call being up to 120 decibels. As cicadas emerge from underground before their 17-year life cycle ends, they break out of their husks to reproduce and then die. In the meantime, they eat tree sap and cut slits in tree branches to lay their eggs in.

FOX 17 News Announces the Emergence Onset

Fox Nashville is already shedding light on Brood X, a collection of cicadas that have been residing in their nests for 17 years, but the loud noise that they emit is a clear sign that they are here. Harriet Wallace, a reporter with FOX 17 News and a native to Nashville, conveyed the broad and overwhelming onset of the swarm, calling it a “total invasion.”

Cicadas appear in 14 different states, in fact, billions of Cicadas from Brood X are set to burst from the soil of the eastern U.S. after 17 years of being basically M.I.A. However, the loudest part of the life cycle would begin with the adult Cicadas leaving their eggs on tree branches.

Wallace added, “If you’re not from here, you won’t believe it until you see it.”

The Tennesseean Shares Tips on Salvaging Outdoor Events

With a few sightings already reported in Tennessee, event planners know that the trillions of cicadas that will soon emerge will impact some of the outdoor activities planned. Whether there is a wedding, a birthday party, or even a barbecue around the corner, the Tennessean recently posted about the ways that consumers can keep their event relaxing and enjoyable. Despite the loud noise that the cicadas make, outdoor events won’t completely be canceled.

News Channel 5 Explains How Development Can Interfere

News Channel 5 reports that there are some areas of Tennessee that might not be hit by the sudden influx of the Brood X cicadas. David Cook, a UT Extension Agent, stated, “The cicadas that were in far East Tennessee, they migrated a little bit further west and then, Wilson County is kind of where they stopped.” He added, “Get into Crossville, Putnam County, Cookeville, there you’re going to see probably quite an abundance of cicadas.”

Cook believes that these areas will “miss the party,” noting that the rural areas will likely have the greatest showing of the cicadas. Even if they pop up in the bigger cities as well, he encourages locals not to worry at all. He even suggests that the development could prevent the cicadas from emerging in such great numbers. While they might miss out on a good amount of the 17-year Brood X cicadas, the 13-year emergence is just around the corner in 2024.

Are Cicadas Edible?

In a unique way to solve the issues with the many cicadas in the region that make it through, the eclectic dining scene in Tennessee seems to be using them as an opportunity. UT Knoxville, for example, recently posted a video on the best ways to eat cicadas, noting their source of nutrients. While they jest that their video is “not saying you SHOULD eat cicadas,” they offer many tips to make the insects more palatable for an adventurous palate.

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.

Will We Have Cicadas in 2024?

Two cicada broods will emerge together in 2024, for the first time in 221 years.

It is said that 2024 will be a magical year for cicada fans because periodical cicadas will have their next major emergence in 2024, in late April and early May. There are two different broods, the 17-year, and the 13-year cicadas, that are expected to emerge at the same time. Brood XII is a 17-year brood comprised of three species and will emerge in northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and a narrow strip of Indiana bordering Lake Michigan and Michigan. Brood XIX, also known as the Great Southern Brood, is a 13-year brood comprised of four species and will emerge in the Southeastern United States as well as certain areas of the Midwest.

There are 15 different periodical cicada groups that emerge in 17 and 13-year cycles. What makes 2024 so special is the co-emergence of Brood XII and Brood XIX, an event that hasn’t happened since 1803, 221 years ago, and is said to be an even rarer occurrence than Halley’s comet.

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About the Author

Rebecca is an experienced Professional Freelancer with nearly a decade of expertise in writing SEO Content, Digital Illustrations, and Graphic Design. When not engrossed in her creative endeavors, Rebecca dedicates her time to cycling and filming her nature adventures. When not focused on her passion for creating and crafting optimized materials, she harbors a deep fascination and love for cats, jumping spiders, and pet rats.

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