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  • Writer's pictureJohn Chapin

Never Fear; No Cicadas Here!

Concern, even minor panic for many gardeners, is heating up about the impressive, but potentially devastating damage, caused by the exceedingly rare, dual emergence of two different cicada broods in late April. Literally billions of the winged insects from Brood XIII, which has a 13-year cycle, and Brood XIX with a 17-year cycle, will emerge from the ground at the same time. The last time the two emergents synced, Thomas Jefferson was president. And it won’t happen again for 221 years, so it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime event!

Although there are other broods across eastern United States that periodically have synced emergences, these two cicada populations happen to make their homes adjacent to each other, with a very small overlap in east-central Illinois. Looking at the map (by Cicada Safari) that shows where the two broods have emerged in the past, one can see that this fascinating event is definitely not going to have any impact at all in Indiana. So, rest assured that fears of cicada damage to gardens and landscapes are misplaced, at least for Hoosiers.

For insect enthusiasts who would like to learn more about this buggy event, Gene Kritsky, a professional entomologist, is the author of “A Tale of Two Broods”, published earlier this year.

Happy gardening!

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