Mar 15, 2024 - News

Here they come ...

A cicada with green wings

Photo: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

North Carolina can expect a lot of insect company at picnics and playgrounds in the coming months, Axios' Katie Peralta Soloff writes.

Why it matters: The U.S. will experience a rare phenomenon this spring: Two broods of cicadas are expected to emerge from the ground simultaneously. Our state will likely see one of these broods starting in April or May.

Zoom out: Cicadas are harmless and beneficial to local environments, so they're not considered pests. But they sure are noisy.

  • That high-pitched buzz that's a classic summer sound? That's the male cicada's mating call.

What they're saying: "There've been estimates that where they do emerge, there can be up to a million per acre," Eric Benson, an entomologist at Clemson University, tells Axios. "It's going to be a lot of cicadas."

Yes, but: The Carolinas won't see and hear all of the trillions of cicadas expected to emerge around the U.S. in this year's double brood.

  • Brood XIX will emerge across several counties in North Carolina and across several other states, per the Wilmington Star News. They'll appear in Charlotte, plus western North Carolina and parts of the Triangle, too.
  • Brood XIII is expected in states across the Midwest at the same time.

Fun fact: Broods XIX and XIII haven't specifically co-emerged since 1803, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

Keep reading: A few things to know about this year's big cicada event

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