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Debunking Myths: Understanding Cicada Behavior and Impact

Every 200 years, something extraordinary happens in Maryland and across parts of Eastern America—cicadas from both 13-year and 17-year cycles emerge at the same time. This event, known as the Cicada Super Bloom 2024, brings millions of these buzzing creatures to surface, creating a natural spectacle that’s both fascinating and, to be honest, a bit loud and messy.

Here at On The Green, Maryland’s lawn care and pest experts, we understand the curiosity and concern that comes with such a unique event. While cicadas are known for their unmistakable sound and the way they swarm en masse, they’re often misunderstood.

These insects are not harmful; they don’t bite, sting, or carry diseases. Instead, they play a crucial role in the ecological cycle, providing benefits that many might not be aware of. That’s why we’re here to clear up some common misconceptions about these critters, explain their minor impact on trees and plants, and provide straightforward advice on how you can prepare for their arrival.

From understanding their lifecycle to simple protective measures for your young trees, we’re here to help ensure that the Cicada Super Bloom is an event you can appreciate—and manage—with ease. Whether you’re a long-time resident or new to the area, we’ve got the insights and tips you need to navigate this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

Understanding the Cicada Super Bloom 2024

The Cicada Super Bloom 2024 is an incredible event where two different groups of cicadas, one from a 13-year cycle and another from a 17-year cycle, emerge at the same time. This occurrence is very rare, happening only about once every 200 years. So, what does this mean for us? It means that for a few weeks during the spring or early summer of 2024, parts of Eastern America, including our own backyards in Maryland, will witness a huge number of cicadas emerging from the ground.

These cicadas have spent nearly two decades underground as nymphs, sucking on plant roots and growing until they are ready to surface, shed their skins, and become adults. The simultaneous emergence of these massive groups of cicadas is not only a fascinating display of nature’s timing but also an opportunity to observe a natural phenomenon that few generations get to see.

Cicada Myths vs. Facts

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about cicadas that can cause unnecessary worry. Let’s set the record straight:

  1. Myth: Cicadas are dangerous.

Fact: Cicadas do not bite or sting. They are not harmful to humans at all. Their main goal during their brief adult life is to mate, not to bother humans.

 

  1. What Cicadas Actually Do:

During their emergence, cicadas are mainly involved in the mating process. The loud noise we hear is the males singing to attract females.

Understanding these facts helps us appreciate cicadas more and worry less about their brief visit every few decades. They are a crucial part of our local ecosystem, and their emergence provides essential benefits, such as aerating the soil and offering a food source for numerous predators.

How Cicadas Affect Trees and Plants

While cicadas are known for their overwhelming presence and loud calls, their impact on trees and plants is generally minimal and not a cause for major concern. When female cicadas emerge, they lay their eggs by making tiny cuts in the branches of trees. This might sound harmful, but it usually does not cause any long-term damage to the health of trees. Most mature trees can easily withstand this part of the cicada’s lifecycle. However, for younger trees, the story might be a bit different.

To protect the younger or more vulnerable trees, we recommend wrapping the trunks with a protective material. This simple step can discourage cicadas from climbing up and laying eggs in these younger plants.While we can’t stop the cicadas from coming, we can help you ensure that your trees and shrubs are as prepared as possible to deal with any stress these insects might cause. Maintaining tree health is crucial, and regular care can make them more resilient to any potential impacts from cicada activities.

Preparing for the Cicada Arrival in Maryland

As we anticipate the Cicada Super Bloom 2024, there are practical steps that every homeowner can take to minimize disruption and protect their green spaces. Here are some straightforward actions you can consider:

  1. Educate Yourself and Your Family: Understanding what to expect can significantly reduce any inconvenience. Explain to children what these insects are and that they are harmless.
  2. Protect Young Trees: As mentioned, wrapping the trunks of younger trees can prevent cicadas from using them for egg-laying, which can be especially helpful for new plantings.
  3. Consult With Professionals: For more tailored advice, don’t hesitate to call us. We can offer more specific guidance based on the type of plants you have and your overall landscape design.

Being prepared will help you not only manage the presence of cicadas more effectively but also appreciate the natural wonder of this rare event.

Enjoying the Natural Spectacle Responsibly

As we get ready to experience the Cicada Super Bloom, let’s remember to appreciate and respect this incredible natural event. It’s a unique opportunity to witness a rare biological phenomenon right in our backyards, and with a little preparation, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Keep in mind that these creatures, noisy as they are, play a vital part in our ecological system. They help aerate the soil and provide food for wildlife, contributing to the biodiversity that keeps our environment healthy and robust.

We’re here to help serve you through this period with expert tree and shrub care advice and services in Maryland, making sure that both you and your garden can enjoy this natural event with confidence.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 13th, 2024 at 11:37 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.