Cicadas are here!

Thu May 2, 2024

Cicada Facts

How long will the cidadas last?
About 4 weeks starting in mid-May once the soil surrounding them underground reaches about 64 degrees Fehrenheit. Northern Illinois will welcome only the 17-year periodical cicadas of Brood XIII in 2024.

Are cicadas harmful?
Cicadas are harmless to people, pets, plants and healthy mature trees. However, smaller, young trees with twig-sized branches may experience damage due to female cidadas making small slits in the branches to lay their eggs. Younger trees can be protected by wrapping their branches in fine mesh netting.

What do adult periodical cicadas look like?
Adult periodical cicadas are black with dark orange to red wings and bulging red eyes. They are about 1.5 inches long.

How will the Park District manage the cicadas?
The Park District will leave the cicadas alone, as this is a natural phenomenon that cannot be prevented. Dead cicadas and the nymph exoskeletons will be removed from hard surfaces (sidewalks and parking lots) using blowers, broom and shovels as needed and will be composted if collected in large quantities. Cicada remains in grassy or wooded areas will be left to decompose naturally. The Park District will protect newly planted, young trees with netting.

What are the benefits of cicadas?
While cicadas may seem like a nuisance, they do provide some benefits! Cicadas are a valuable food source for birds, fish, raccoons and other predators. They are also great for the soil as they decompose and add nutrients that are beneficial for plant growth.

Why do cicadas make all that noise?
Male cicadas “sing” as a mating call to attract females. The males make a loud, high-pitched sound using drumlike structures called tymbals on each side of their abdomen. Female cicadas lack these structures.

Why do cicadas molt?
Cicadas must molt to grow. They have hard outer coverings called exoskeletons that can’t stretch as the insects become larger. As a result, they molt or shed their outer skin, giving them more roomto lengthen and widen.

What is the life cycle of a cicada?
Check out this great video created by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to learn more about the life cycle of a cicada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KENGikSYX2k

Additional Resources

 


 

Cicada Celebration! 

 The year of the cicada is upon us! This once in a generation event is only possible because the 17-year and 13-year cycles of cicada emergence perfectly align in 2024. Join us for a fun-filled celebration of the loudest insect on Earth where we’ll share plenty of fun facts, make a fun musical craft, and even try some tasty cicada inspired snacks! 

Ages: 2 and up
Fee: $12
Location: Lyman Woods
Date: Sunday, June 2
Time: 10:00-11:00 AM

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