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What Are Cicadas?

cicada
Photo: istockphoto

We’ve all been hearing it lately…. “The cicadas are coming, the cicadas are coming!”

What are they? Aliens? Some weird fashion trend? No, they are actually insects related to spittlebugs and leaf hoppers. There are many different species, known foe their large wings and the obnoxious noise they make. They can live in temperate to tropical climates and although they do not bite or sting humans, they may latch on however and mistake a human for a plant limb.

Cicadas are sometimes referred to as locusts even though they are not related. These insects are known to destroy plant life such as crops and trees. Females tend to dig into tree branches to lay eggs.

Most of a cicadas life is spent underground as a nymph feeding on root juices anywhere from about a foot or two under the ground. They have strong legs for digging and approximately every seventeen years, emerge from the ground to shed their skin to mate.

Earlier this month the cicadas have been emerging in select parts of Staten Island. Watch out- the CICADAS ARE COMING!!! Tanya and I are ready to duck and cover- are you?!

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