Cicadas Return

Tiny chimneys a sign that cicadas are on their way

Entomologists say the first physical signs of the arrival of the cicadas after 17 years underground have been spotted east of Indianapolis. Officials say about 30 chimneys have popped up all over the Cope Environmental Center's trails about 60 miles east of Indianapolis this week. Purdue entomologist Tom Turpin says most of the insects are now in a burrow a foot or so beneath the soil surface. The chimneys are their attempts to neaten up the burrow. Cicadas aren't due to arrive here until mid- to late-May when soil temperatures have warmed to 64 degrees. Turpin says chimneys might be going up sooner than expected because heavy rains softened the soil. It made it easier for the cicadas to work, The grasshopper-like insects are best known for the scratching, screeching "singing" of the males.