Apr 30, 2024 - News

Northwest Arkansas will be on the edge of "cicadapocalypse"

Data: USDA and University of Connecticut; Graphic: Jared Whalen, Will Chase and Kavya Beheraj/Axios

In 2024, a double brood of periodical cicadas will appear across the U.S. Some have called the emergence a "cicadapocalypse" — but is it really?

Why it matters: Axios Visuals fact-checked the insect hype and found that no matter how one crunches the numbers, this year will likely offer just a taste of the cicada spectacles to come.

What's happening: There are 15 surviving periodical cicada broods, each identified by Roman numerals.

  • This year, around late April or early May, is the first time in 221 years that Brood XIX (on a 13-year cycle) and Brood XIII (on a 17-year cycle) will emerge together.

Zoom in: Though some of Brood XIX will emerge in NWA, they'll be thickest north and east of here.

Reality check: A co-emergence of 13-year and 17-year broods is fairly common, occurring every 5–6 years.

  • Adjacent co-emergences, where the two broods overlap geographically, are less common, happening every 25 years on average.
  • Don't confuse cicadas with locusts. Although both species come in great numbers, cicadas do not swarm, are not a plague and should not be killed.

Go deeper: Check out the full project from Axios Visuals

Data: USDA and University of Connecticut; Map: Will Chase/Axios
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