Cicada pest protection for your trees, shrubs, and vines - click here to shop pest control categoryCicada pest protection for your trees, shrubs, and vines - click here to shop pest control category

Are You Ready for Cicadas This Spring?

Prepare yourself for an incredible sight, as more than a trillion noisy cicadas are expected to emerge from underground this spring of 2024. These inch-long creatures will be embarking on the final leg of their lifetimes, in what will be a massive co-emergence not seen in over 200 years.

What makes this event even more extraordinary is that both a 13-year and a 17-year brood of cicadas will be emerging at the same time. The last time this happened was back in 1803, during Thomas Jefferson's presidency. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon!

These cicadas will be visible in several states across the eastern and midwestern U.S. including Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, Tennessee, and others. The two broods, Brood XIII in the north and Brood XIX in the south, will emerge in different regions starting around late April. They typically surface in the spring when the soil temperature nears 64°F. 

This is an incredible and rare natural event to witness. While cicadas are harmless and don't pose a great risk to garden plants, they can cause some damage to young trees and fragile plants. We have some helpful tips and products to protect your plants from damage.

Cicada Pest Protection for Your Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

Cicada Damage: Here's What You Need to Know!

Adults do not cause significant feeding damage. They only feed on plant fluid in young twigs. Damage is caused mainly from the egg laying habits, when the female uses their ovipositor to gouge lengthwise slits in twigs to deposit eggs. This causes flagging and most trees will replace branches. In extremely heavy generations root damage can occur from the nymphs feeding, but this is very rare. Netting is the best option for protection. Focus protective efforts on vulnerable young trees and grapevines.

front view image of cicada on wood postfront view image of cicada on wood post

Fast Fun Facts on Brood XIX and XIII Cicadas

  • It will be the first time in 221 years that two types of cicadas — brood XIX and XIII — have risen from the ground at the same time, back when Thomas Jefferson was president, and it is not expected to happen again until 2244.
  • The two broods together span parts of 17 states.
  • The 1-2" long bugs have sturdy bodies, bulging compounded red eyes, and membranous wings with a 3" wingspan.
  • They are a valuable food source for birds and mammals.
  • Cicadas can aerate lawns and improve water filtration into the ground while they add nutrients to the soil as they decompose.
  • Female cicadas make slits in small tree branches and usually lay 20 to 30 eggs in each slit.
  • A female can lay 400 to 600 eggs in a lifetime.
  • The eggs hatch from late July to early August.
  • Then the cicadas fall to the ground and immediately burrow underground.
  • According to the EPA, cicadas can be dangerous to young trees as they lay their eggs in small tree branches, which can harm the tree.
  • The agency advises covering maturing saplings in mesh or netting to keep the insects out. 
Image of one live cicada and one cicada shell hanging on side of treeImage of one live cicada and one cicada shell hanging on side of tree

Published April 2024