After 17 years, Cicadas emerge from the underworld in Sumner County to sing a song

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — In 1998, the Cicadas emerged from the underworld to have itself a party in Sumner County.

Seventeen years later the Cicadas have returned.

Cicadas are everywhere!

Cicadas are everywhere!

If you have opened the backdoor of your house this past week you know what we are talking about. The racket can be deafening.

“I was at this lady’s house the other day and there must have been hundreds upon hundreds in the bushes,” said Randy Heim, Sumner County Extension Agent.

Cicadas, known in the entomology world as 17-year periodical cicadas, emerge from the soil with black body, blood-red beady eyes and orange-veined clear/transparent wings.

The loud noise is made by males to attract females (where have we heard that before). The males contract ridged membranes on their abdomens to make the sound, which is amplified by their almost hollow abdomens.

Cicadas are not locusts.

The insects won’t be around for long. They will mate and die in about three weeks. But before doing so the females inject their eggs into tree branches. When they hatch, the insects find their way to the tree roots, where the feed, molt (shed old shell) and complete their development.

Cicadas are harmless, except for their ugliness and ability to fill your backyard with crunch critter piles. Young, small trees can be damaged when females deposit their eggs beside branches.

Cicadas in backyard

Enjoy the show, because the next batch won’t be around until another 17 years which makes that being 2032.

Why do the Cicadas emerge from the underworld every 17 years?

“Nobody knows,” associate professor Jason Griffin of Kansas State University told ABC News. “Cicadas are one of the most fascinating creatures from a scientific standpoint. But so little is known about them.”

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