by the Center for Biological Diversity
Between 30 billion and 1 trillion cicadas — well rested after a 17-year stint of underground sap-sucking — are poised to burrow to the surface and take over the East Coast this summer. They’ll be hungry, hormonal and looking for love, singing at earsplitting decibel levels to bring down a date.
According to conservative estimates, they’ll also outnumber the regional human population (50 million from North Carolina to Connecticut) by about 600 to 1. There are several “broods” of North American cicadas, but the current wave — “Brood II” — is a very, very big one. “There will be some places where it’s wall-to-wall cicadas,” said one entomologist — meaning a bugfest of Biblical proportions.
Track the emergence of Brood II with WNYC’s cicada tracker. Then visit our webpage where you can watch a BBC video on cicadas’ odd lifecycles and learn about recipes for these winged “shrimp of the land” from the University of Maryland’s cicadamaniacs.