They're Back! Periodical Cicadas Expected to Reemerge This Spring

Mid-Atlantic Region braces for swarms of Brood II cicadas

FAIRFAX, Va. (April 8, 2013) – A swarm of pests known for their loud buzzing noise is expected to reappear in the Mid-Atlantic region this spring after spending 17-years underground. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), periodical cicadas — large insects that are often confused with locusts — will soon resurface en masse and remain above ground for about a month to reproduce. Their offspring will not be seen above ground again until 2030.

Periodical cicadas emerge from underground in 13- or 17-year cycles when the temperature eight inches below the surface reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This year’s group, known as the Brood II cicadas, last emerged in 1996 and is expected to cause a ruckus from the Carolinas to Connecticut once the weather warms.

"Although cicadas may be intimidating with their large size and striking red eyes, the good news is they do not pose any health threats to humans," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “The bad news is these pests can appear in the hundreds of thousands per acre and quickly become a nuisance.”

Each female cicada can lay between 400 and 600 eggs, meaning populations can be enormous. Areas heavily dense with mature trees should expect to see the most cicadas.

“Cicadas are most active during the day when the temperature is at its warmest, so the best advice for avoiding them is to stay indoors during peak hours,” added Henriksen.

Another brood of 17-year cicadas, Brood III, is expected to emerge in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri in 2014.

For more information on periodical cicadas, visit

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.