NASHVILLE, Tenn. – They're back. Expected to emerge sometime this month, the 13-year periodical cicada has been spotted in parts of in Maury County, in areas of Columbia, and in Murfreesboro, Rutherford County.
The cicada is known as Brood XIX and last emerged from the ground in May of 1998.
In an interview earlier this year, Dr. Frank Hale, entomologist at the University of Tennessee Extension, told Nashville's News 2 he expected the cicadas to come “come out by the millions” come May.
“Brood XIX is the biggest brood that we have in Middle Tennessee,” he said. “It is encompassing most of Middle Tennessee, even some counties in east Tennessee and probably a few west of here.”
Various cicada populations are called broods and scientists use Roman numerals to designate which brood they are referring to.
Brood XIX is expected to live for about five to six weeks.
Cicadas are completely harmless but they are very loud and the noise could affect outdoor events in May like picnics or weddings.
The female cicadas can also cause damage to young trees when laying eggs.
Experts say females prefer branches about the size of a pencil, and cut into the underside of the branch to lay their eggs.
Dr. Hale recommends covering young fruit and ornamental trees with a thin cloth to keep the cicadas away from the branches.
- March 15, 2011: 13-year cicada will soon invade Middle Tenn.