Cicadas Waking Up In Tennessee - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Cicadas Waking Up In Tennessee


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The cicadas are coming. In fact, people have already spotted them in several East Tennessee counties.

Now it's just a waiting game in Middle Tennessee for the bug that doesn't come around too often.

The 17-year-old year cicada is making the rounds.  But, if they show up in any Midstate backyard still remains to be seen.

"If they're going to come out, we ought to see them this weekend," said Dr. Frank Hale, an entomologist and a professor for the University of Tennessee Extension.

The insects might make an appearance in Middle Tennessee.

"Let's look over here at this tree. It looks like it's been here 17 years," Hale said.

That's how long they've been hanging out underground and now they're ready to emerge.

"They just know," Hale said, adding their biological counts seems to count off the years before they periodically emerge in huge numbers.

A decade is the last time Middle Tennessee saw a big invasion of cicadas. At the UT Extension center, there are preserved cicadas in a specimen repository. 

 "That's the thing about them. They can be in one part of the county and not in another," Hale said.

So wherever you are, keep an eye out.

"You'll see holes in the ground, a whole series of holes from the cicada nymphs," Hale said. "You'll see nymphs attaching to the trees. You'll see them on the grass, just anything. They can grab hold of."

They will be out until June and then, "you won't hear them anymore. It'll be quiet," Hale said.

Until the next time the cicadas make an appearance.

There is a variety of cicadas that do show up out in Middle Tennessee called "dog day cicadas'" because they emerge during late summer. They are different from the 13-year and 17-year cicadas. 

Experts used to recommend spraying insecticide to kill cicadas, but they don't do that anymore because it really didn't work.

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