They're back. Gear up, everybody!
Like a fairy tale curse, cicadas return every 13 or 17 years, emerging from the earth. While other broods began appearing in other states last year; in 2021, it's Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia's turn. According to Only In Your State, "Brood X, also known as The Great Eastern Brood, has the greatest range and concentration of any of the 17-year cicadas."
While people generally aren't thrilled about the Cicada takeover, National Geographic gives us some historical perspective:
"The cicadas’ amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth due to their unusual life cycles. In early Chinese folklore, cicadas were also considered high-status creatures that rulers should seek to emulate in their purity, and cicada motifs even became incorporated into imperial court wardrobes in the seventh century."
So if the thought of "as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre" stresses you out, remember—at least they're ancient-style icons! And try to bear in mind that when the bug-eyed, um, bugs are singing their song, it's just a bunch of fellas trying to find their girls. According to Prevention, "Cicada songs can reach 90 decibels, which is as loud as a lawnmower." Think of it like One Direction singing "That's What Makes You Beautiful" ... if One Direction had billions of members and they all sang outside your house!
Cicadas only live for about four to six weeks after their City of Ember re-enactment, so we'll get through this. Still, as a new transplant to the area, I'm lamenting my bad timing! Were you around in 2004 for the last romp of Brood X? Let us know in the comments.