After 17 years underground, one of the largest groups of cicadas will be making it's way to the surface right here in Michigan.

Scrolling through Tiktok I came across this video warning people of the upcoming "Brood X":

This, of course, sent me down a rabbit hole where I learned that there are two different types of cicadas: Annual and periodical. As their names imply, one type of species emerges every year while the periodical cicadas emerge only every 13-17 years. And 2021 happens to be that 17th year.

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What is a cicada brood?

According to an article from USA Today, the term 'brood' is specifically applied to periodical cicadas due to the massive number that emerge at the same time. The names of the broods, like Brood X, are used to differentiate broods that are tracked by scientists.

Unfortunately for us, Brood X happens to be,

one of the largest and most broadly distributed groups of periodical cicadas.

They'll be found in 15 states, including Michigan. It's also speculated that approximately 1.5 million cicadas could be emerging per acre. Per. Acre. I'm not good at math but 1.5 million cicadas per acre of land over 15 states....that's an overwhelming number of insects. They're expected to come crawling out of the ground in late May or early June.

What to expect.

While these cicadas will be annoying, they're not dangerous to humans or pets. They tend to feed on trees and other plants and only live for about 2-4 weeks. The most obnoxious part of that 2-4 week period will, most likely, be the noise. If you've gone your entire life without experiencing the call of the cicada allow me to give you a little sample:

The thought of trillions of of these loud, red eyed and winged creatures emerging from the earth like zombies popping out of the ground feels more fitting to 2020...but here we are.

Brace yourselves, Michiganders! The cicadas are coming.

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