They're creepy and they're crawly. Mysterious and buggy. They're altogether ugly... no I'm not talking about the Adams Family, but it could have been one of their pets. Get ready for a truly incredible creepy-crawly emergence in our neck of the woods. We're talking about 17-year cicadas and a once-in-a-generation event that could cover the Tri-States in... BUG PEE!

Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering Yes, that is a high speed jet of bug pee.
Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering YouTube Channel
Yes, that is a high-speed jet of bug pee.

Now, if you're not quite sure what all the "buzz" is about (pun intended), let me break it down for you. These cicadas aren't your run-of-the-mill insects that show up every summer. Nope, they're the kind that only graces us with their presence once every 17 years. Talk about arriving late to the party, am I right?

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So, what's the deal with these cicadas, you ask? Well, they belong to what's known as Brood VIII, a group of periodical cicadas that have been biding their time underground for nearly two decades. And let me tell you, they've been busy down there.

Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering YouTube Channel
Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering YouTube Channel

When these cicadas finally emerge, usually when the soil hits right around 64 degrees, it's like a scene cut from a sci-fi movie. Picture millions, even billions, of these buzzing critters, making their grand debut, filling the air with their unmistakable mating calls.

Cicada molting exuvia emerging shell
Credit: TacioPhilip
I'll be honest, the whole shedding the exoskeleton thing is pretty cool and slightly unnerving.

Now, you might be wondering, will they be swarming everywhere? Not exactly. While some spots, like Lake Geneva, might experience a cicada takeover, not every corner of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa will be inundated. But if you find yourself in one of these hotspots, get ready for a sight (and sound) to remember!

Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering YouTube Channel
Credit: Georgia Tech College of Engineering YouTube Channel

Speaking of sound, let's talk about the soundtrack of summer. Cicadas aren't exactly known for their indoor voices. Their mating calls can reach up to 100 decibels, rivaling the noise of a motorcycle. So, if you plan on catching some shut-eye during cicada season, you might want to invest in earplugs!

Fear not, these cicadas might be loud, but they're absolutely harmless. They don't bite or sting, and they're just here to do their thing: mate, lay eggs, and continue their odd little circle of life. But, here's where things get interesting. This year, we're in for a double dose of cicada magic. That's right, not one, but two different broods are set to emerge simultaneously, a rare occurrence that hasn't happened since 1803. Cicada Brood VIII will be joined in emergence by Brood XIX.  By the way, a double brood release only happens once every 221 years! Talk about a history-making moment!

And let's not forget about their quirky habits, like their penchant for high-speed urine "jetting." Yep, you heard that right. These cicadas have some impressive plumbing skills, but hey, who are we to judge?

So, whether you're a seasoned cicada enthusiast or just curious to see all the buzz, be sure to keep your eyes and ears peeled for the arrival of these fascinating insects. After all, it's not every day that nature puts on a show like this. Just try not to get hit with those pee-jets.

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