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Silence of the Cicadas

PHOTO: A Virginia Tech entomologist says the cicada invasion likely won't be as forceful as expected this year. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech
PHOTO: A Virginia Tech entomologist says the cicada invasion likely won't be as forceful as expected this year. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech
June 4, 2013

BLACKSBURG, Va. - If you haven't seen or heard them, you probably won't. While neighborhoods from the Piedmont to Manassas are getting their fill of the "Brood II 17-year Cicadas," the swarms of big bugs that many Virginians were anticipating are turning out to be spottier than expected, according to Virginia Tech entomologist Eric Day. He blamed cooler, wetter-than-usual weather in the state.

"If you have cicadas, you know it. You'll see them. You'll hear them. Even though they're kind of slowed down by the cold weather," he said. "If you haven't seen them by now, you're not going to have them."

Day said cicadas are generally harmless, but some people in Virginia are probably relieved they have not turned out in full force there this year.

"For fruit growers and tree nurseries that have small trees, it is probably a good thing to have reduced activities from cicadas, because they can damage small fruit trees and small seedling trees. "

The next big brood of cicadas is expected to hit Northern Virginia . . . But Day said that won't happen for eight more years.

More information about Brood II Cicadas is at virginiafruit.ento.vt.edu.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - VA