Cicadas are here

A Cicada, also called the "17-Year Locust" (Image submitted by ABC11 viewer)

May 10, 2011 2:27:40 PM PDT
The small insect, known as a cicada, is making a lot of noise.

"The periodic cicadas that we have here can reach sound levels equivalent to a good electric guitar," North Carolina State University Entomology Professor Clyde Sorenson said.

It's a mating call 13 years in the making.

"It's very annoying," Apex resident Lisa Decker said.

Decker began hearing the insects last week, but now that she knows it's natural, she doesn't feel quite as bad.

Professor Sorenson, an expert on cicadas, says it's special and you won't be able to witness it again for over a decade.

"It's really kind of a special show, and you won't get to the chance to see this special show again for 13 years," Sorenson said. "They emerge by the thousands and even the millions," Sorenson said. "To mate, to sing, to mate, to lay eggs."

Sorenson says the cicadas spend 13 years in the ground before emerging to find a mate, and once they do, they die and the process starts over.

"They'll probably be hearing them for the next couple weeks and then it will start fading off," he added.

For people like Sorenson, the process is fascinating but for homeowners, like Decker, she's looking forward to some peace and quiet in a few weeks.

"It will be nice when they finally do die down because it won't be too enjoyable to sit in the pool with that noise going on," Decker said.

Sorenson says cicadas are typically found in dense forests that have been untouched for many years.

The variety of cicada found in North Carolina is called a periodical cicada and those on the 13-year cycle are prdominantly found in the South. However, different species of the insect are found around the world.

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