Cicadas make an early appearance this spring

Expect to hear the cicada choir singing these next few months.

Cicada on a honeysuckle leaf.

The red-eyed bugs are expected to be spotted across the Southeast this spring + summer.

Photo by Martin LaBar

As the sun goes down, listen closely and you may hear the high-pitched buzzing of cicadas. The winged creatures aren’t due to emerge until 2024 — but it seems that some just can’t wait to arrive in Asheville.

Cicadas appear in our area in 13 and 17-year cycles. They surface in groups called broods that contain multiple species, cropping up at the same time. Although we’re seeing small numbers of cicadas popping up early this year, next spring will mark a historic emergence, due to both broods arriving simultaneously for the first time since 1803. “Predators should consider these early cicadas to be hors d’oeuvres compared to the massive emergence expected in 2024,” said Dr. Kritsky, dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University.

Interested in the early arrival of cicadas in our area? Help scientists track cicada movement with the Cicada Safari app. Upload photos of cicadas you find to be placed on a live map.

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