Abuzz With Cicadas


POSTED: Monday, May 7, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 7, 2012 - 4:20pm

A 17-year invasion of cicadas has returned to Virginia's Bedford and Franklin Counties.

Residents there are seeing thousands of cicadas, and hearing the noise from males trying to attact females.

"They're gross. It's kind of like a shrieking way up in trees," says Dianne Erb, who lives in Bedford County. Her garage, lawn and trees are covered in the bugs and their skin.

"Right now, what's most annoying is them flipping around in the grass, and crawling. They get on your pant leg, and attached to your neck while they're flying around," described Erb.

"Don't be scared of them. They won't bite you, they won't hurt you," says Garry Howard, the owner of H&R Pest Control. "It's just an annoyance that we have to put up with them somewhere in Virginia every year."

Howard says there are two types of Cicadas. They come out every 13 years or 17 years.

"It's just our turn. It's just our turn," Howard noted.

The Bedford County bug boom is from the 17-year Cicada.

"They start hatching out the first part of May, and they're usually gone by July," says Howard.

Once they come out of the ground, they stick around for two-to-four weeks.

One female can lay up to 400 eggs.

Howard says there isn't really much you can do to get rid of the bugs.

You can scrape them off, or use a presser washer.

As for insecticide, it comes at a cost.

"When you apply the insecticide, it also kills the other insects that are pollinating all the plants," noted Howard.

So people like Erb just have to deal with the bug until it goes away.

Howard says there is a plus side.

Birds like to eat the bugs, so bird watchers can see different types coming to eat the cicadas.

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