And now for a report on the bugs
May 7, 2011
It is official: we are being overrun by cicadas here in Louisburg. It all began about a week ago. I stepped outside around 10:00 at night. In the stillness of the night I heard a distinct noise, the sound of something slithering in the leaves. I looked down and, sure enough, I could see the leaves near my feet rustling and moving. Expecting to see a snake, I crouched down, but was surprised to see BUGS! These bugs were crawling out from under the leaves, as if in slow motion. As I watched and listened, I realized this was happening all over our yard. “What is this?” I thought to myself. “In the three and a half years that we’ve lived here this has never happened.”
The next day I found hundreds of little holes throughout the yard, apparently where the bugs had been hidden in the ground. This process has continued during the week. There are now thousands of bug-shells laying in the yard. I did a little research and discovered that these are called the “13 year cicadas” — they are a unique variety that only comes out once every thirteen years. When it is their year, they come out with a vengeance! If you google these critters, you’ll discover that there are also “17 year cicadas”, which are found in the northern states. The 13 year variety emerges on a spring night, generally in early May when the soil temperature reaches 63 degrees. Now here is the crazy part: according to Wikepedia, when this happens as many as 1.5 million might emerge PER SQUARE ACRE!
When these millions of cicadas emerge, what happens? They are present from May to July for one purpose: mating. And they are known for their mating “songs.” And I do not even want to imagine what the hum of millions of these bugs sounds like every 13 years. This is much different from the yearly cicadas, this is a mass appearance of cicadas that will be very loud! And animals are known to thrive the year of the cicada appearance; for example, Turkeys and moles are known to become fatter from gorging themselves on the insects.
With all that in mind, I got home from work tonight to see the swarms around the house getting bigger. I ran inside, grabbed the camera, and got a video. I was in my sandals, thinking that these bugs were slow-moving. I was wrong! I must tell you, as I filmed these bugs, I felt a little like the crocodile hunter, or like Bear Grylls. Enjoy!