Brood X cicadas are expected to emerge after 17 years in 15 states, including Western North Carolina.
These cicadas are expected to start popping up from the soil late April to early May as the temperature starts to stay consistently warm.
“There are two types of Cicadas, annual and periodical,” explained Sam Marshall, a horticulture agent with the N.C. Extension Service. “Annual cicadas come above ground every 13 years, whereas periodical cicadas come above ground every 17 years.”
This year’s batch of cicadas is called Brood X, denoting it is the 10th brood of cicadas in the area where the colony is located. This is why there will be an emergence of cicadas in some parts of Buncombe County and Cherokee.
The emergence of cicada colonies depends on what stage the cicadas are in in their development. If a cicada is not fully developed yet, then even though other colonies are emerging at a certain time they will not and instead will emerge later when they are fully developed.
Luckily for gardeners and farmers, cicadas are not a harm to plants — or to humans.
“The most harm a cicada can bring is damage to your fruit trees — possibly,” Marshall said.
After mating female cicadas look for trees to nest their babies. Newer trees or younger trees are more likely to be chosen than older trees that are already established as it is easier to chew through/burrow into a younger tree which can cause harm to the tree.
Those who have young trees or are planning to plant new trees are advised to wrap the tree in landscape fabric and tie it off as this will aid in warding off female cicadas in their quest to find a nesting tree.
Cicadas are not harmful to plants and it is advised not to kill them as they provide nutrients and bird food for certain migrating birds.
Also as they are not harmful to garden plants, so spraying them with a pesticide will not only harm the environment but would be completely unnecessary, Marshall advised.