The rare, dual emergence of cicadas is slated to take place this spring. It is the first time since 1803 this “double-brood” event will take place.
Come spring two cicada broods will emerge simultaneously from underground. One brood exists on a 13-year mating cycle and the other on a 17-year cycle. Billions of cicadas will take over parts of America as they tunnel through the ground for their mating cycles.
2024’s cicada groups, known as Brood XIII and Brood XIX, haven’t emerged simultaneously since 1803, aka when Thomas Jefferson was president.
So, it’s been a minute.
And this double-brood event won’t occur again for another 221 years. There are over 3,000 species of cicadas but Brood XIII and Brood XIX are the most commonly known due to their emergence in swaths! Certain cicada species emerge on the regular and in unnoticeable quantities, but these two broods essentially take over the land they were once inhabiting underground.
They live on tree roots underground as nymphs until they are ready to emerge to find a mate. When seeking their mate, cicadas emit a 100-decibel high-pitched buzz known as the “cicada song.” With billions of them, it sounds like a pack of motorcyclists on full speed.
Some people, including researchers and scientists are drawn to the interesting life cycle of cicadas. This double-brood event is especially fascinating as it only occurs every 221 years. Cicada safaris are being organized for the upcoming phenomenon. Gene Kritsky, an entomologist, published his book “A Tale of Two Broods” earlier this year.
Others are not fond of the feeling of billions of flying bugs swarming the air during the peak of spring heat. And after the mating ends, many of the cicada carcasses coat the ground.
So, this begs the question, will Massachusetts be impacted by the cicadas in 2024? The answer should be no, as historical records show these cicadas primarily reside in the Midwest and Southeast United States. But being that the cicadas emerge from late April and persist through June, it’s important to note where they are in the case of travel.
Illinois will be most impacted by cicadas this year, with both broods occupying the state. Other states affected include Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Michigan, and Virginia.