Some 17 years after making their last appearance, a vast army of cicadas is set to emerge from underground in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
The cicadas are from what is known as brood IX.
“The scale of these emergence events is astounding, with as many as 1.5 million cicadas emerging per acre,” explained Virginia Tech in a statement. “Each periodical cicada brood covers a specific geographical region, with some areas overlapping.”
The natural phenomenon will span southwest Virginia, parts of North Carolina, and West Virginia, according to the university. Experts warn that the cicadas’ egg-laying habits can pose a risk to orchards, vineyards and ornamental trees.
“Cicadas can occur in overwhelming numbers and growers in predicted areas of activity should be watchful,” said Virginia Tech Professor Doug Pfeiffer in the statement.
Fox 5 D.C. reports that the cicadas in Virginia and West Virginia will emerge later this month.
“Brood IX is interesting to researchers because it’s located very close to 5 other broods,” explains the Cicada Mania website.
Part of the region covered by brood IX, for example, overlaps with brood II, which emerged in 2013, according to Virginia Tech.
Other broods are also attracting interest. The Magic Cicada website reports that the 13-year-periodical cicada brood XIX, also known as the Great Southern Brood, is expected to emerge in 2024, but “significant numbers” appear to be emerging four years early.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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