Cicadas ready to emerge for first time in new millennium

Cicadas ready to emerge for first time in new millennium

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Get ready to hear a once in nearly 20-year symphony of cicadas.

The noisy bugs are the Rip Van Winkle of the insect world. They sleep and feed underground before they emerge to the delight or fright of many.

"They are not known to transmit diseases," Mark Warman of the Cleveland Metro Parks explained. "They don't sting. They don't bite. Their natural defense is safety in numbers...Their goal is to satisfy all the predators around."

That's right -- they provide an all you eat dining feast for birds and other animals. There are so many they literally can't all be eaten. In fact, there can be as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre. That's of biblical proportion.

You can look for the Cicadas to begin to emerge once the nighttime soil reaches 64 degrees, about 8 inches deep for four consecutive nights.

"They've been waiting patiently for 17 years underground, storing up energy, sucking on plant roots mostly and grass roots too," Warman said.

We're going to have Brood Five in Ohio. They should wake up here in mid-May. Get ready for an eerie sounding outdoors for 5-6 weeks. When they sound off, you can barely hear yourself think.

They produce about 100 decibels, like being in a noisy cafeteria and standing next to a running lawnmower.

Cleveland 19 is getting answers. Yes, you can eat them.

"My sources tell me you want to get them just as they emerge," Warman said. "The soft tender adults can be compared maybe to shrimp, saute them in a little bit of butter, get rid of the wings. But once they have fully harden, their exoskeletons, that crunch, I've heard is not so appetizing."

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