Billions Of Cicadas Are About To Rise From The Earth, Have Sex And Die

Here's what all the buzz is about.

Hope you like the sound of humming.

That is, if you live in the Northeastern United States, anyway. Billions of cicadas are slated to rise up from the ground in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio to mate next month, The Washington Post reports.

They have been lying in wait since they began life in 1999. This summer, at age 17, they’ll finally be crawling above ground to make the lives of human beings a living hell, just like any good teens.

Then, the winged insects will mate and die off in around a month.

These “17-year-cicadas” include three different species, according to Discovery News. Other types are on a one-year or 13-year schedule.

This year’s cicada crop will emerge as nymphs once nighttime soil temperatures eight-inches below the surface hit 64 degrees for four days in a row, according to The Plain Dealer. The nymphs climb into trees, then shed their exoskeletons to emerge as red-eyed adults, ready to breed.

Cicadas eat tree sap and typically don’t damage plants significantly. They also don’t bite or sting. But what some folks dread is the incessant noise.

Sure, that doesn’t sound so bad, but when hordes of the insects are all buzzing at once, it’s a little weird. “It feels like an alien spaceship coming in,” Gene Miller, a resident of Arlington, Virginia, told The Washington Post in 2004.

Bring ’em on.

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