Brood X cicadas emerging in Kentucky later this spring

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Everything is starting to bloom as we head into spring. Flowers, trees and another tradition 17 years in the making. It’s cicadas that are about to infiltrate portions of Kentucky.

“They will make like a chorus where they’re all singing together, and that’s been recorded over 100 decibels,” said Jonathan Larson, extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky.

That’s close to the sound of a car revving its engine. And it will go on for months this summer.

“Periodical cicadas are smaller, they come out earlier in the season. Their bodies are black, they have bright red eyes, orange wings, they look very different than the traditional cicadas we are used to,” Larson said.

When the cicadas come up from underground, they look for trees that are younger and also shorter in height. That makes it easier for them to climb up and create new homes for breeding grounds.

“But they don’t infest homes, they go by little stain. They don’t really bother agricultural crops. They can harm some fruit tree production and if you’re a nursery grower or if you’re tree grower you can be worried about them, but yeah they’re not gonna get in your home, take over your body,” Larson said.

The cicadas are harmless to humans, but for other predators it’s a tasty snack. We could see an increase in wildlife around this summer too.

“So they are a really favorite food source for turkeys, squirrels, cats, foxes, and dogs, even snakes,” Larson said.

The best way to prevent cicadas from attacking your outdoor plants and trees is wrap them in the netting with about one inch size holes. That’s small enough for the bugs to not be able to get inside and will keep your plants nice and safe.

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