Cicadas And The Pending Doom – What You Need To Know

If you pay attention to the local media, we are about to witness an insect invasion of biblical proportions. It may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is going to be something to witness.

Ever year, Cicadas emerge from the ground, hatch, reproduce, and die. Once the young Cicada hatches, it will feed on tree fluids until it reaches a certain maturity it will fall to the ground Cicadaand dig in until it finds roots to feed on. It will stay in the ground for 2-17 years, depending on which specie it is. The specie emerging this year is called Brood IX and it has been underground for 17 years. It is a large brood and there will be a lot of Cicadas.

The Cicadas will begin to emerge in mid-April, give or take a week depending on soil temperatures. While they are above the soil, the will be loud, jet engine loud. They will be gone by late June.

Cicada Damage To Plants

Cicadas do cause damage to plants, mostly young trees. The damage is a groove the female makes with her ovipositer. She then deposits her eggs in the groove, which provides shelter and a source of tree fluids to the young hatchlings. The groove can kill small branches. The branch will turn brown. When this happens, the damage is called flagging. Although Cicadas do cause some damage, in the grander scheme of things, it really isn’t that much. Small trees that are already stressed could die, but overall, most plants will survive and grow back out over time. Cicadas do not eat the leaves of plants.

Protecting Plants From Cicadas

It is almost impossible to protect every tree on a property by covering them in netting. It is just not realistic.  However, given that there may be some damage to shrubs, it may be worth draping netting over these if you are really concerned. Netting is available at most garden centers and hardware stores.


Dogs And Cicadas

Your dog is probably going to enjoy the Cicada buffet, for a little while. Eating Cicadas poses no threat to your dog if it eats them. In fact, Cicadas are a god source of protein. It will not take long though for your dog to tire of them and will probably stop eating them altogether.

Can Humans Eat Cicadas?

Yes! I can personally attest that they are not half bad having sampled a few in 2003, the last time this brood appeared (hint: do not eat the wings, they can get stuck in your throat). For  those that would rather cook their Cicadas rather than eating them raw, here is a link to Cicada Recipes. Enjoy!


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At Allentuck Landscaping Company, our mission is to create beautiful environments for people to enjoy. We see landscaping as a way to improve people’s lives.

The Allentuck Landscaping Company team has been a leading landscape company in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 234 years with our turnkey approach to landscape design, installation, construction and maintenance. Most companies try to serve many types of customers at the same time; homeowners, shopping centers, office buildings and the list goes on. At Allentuck Landscaping Co., we focus on one customer, you, the homeowner. We have a singular focus on bringing you the best landscape practices, the best customer service, and the best value for your home.

Services Provide – Master Landscape Plans, Complete Maintenance Programs, Plantings, Patios, Walkways, Retaining Walls, Water Features, Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens, Trellises & Pergolas, Irrigation Systems, Drainage Solutions, Grading & Sodding. Fire Pits & Fire Places, Spring Clean Ups, Decks, Fences, Mosquito & Tick Control, Deer Control.

Areas Served – Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, North Potomac, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Boyds, Clarksburg, Ijamsville, Urbana, Frederick in Maryland and Washington DC.

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