Cicadas Leave a Calling Card

And you thought we didn't have to worry about cicadas for another 17 years. But they've left us a calling card, and this season you may begin to notice it around your yard.

It was a dreadful scene in the tri-state last spring, like something out of a scary movie. In mid May, more than 5 billion cicadas emerged. They didn't do damage then, just annoyed and within 6 weeks they were gone. But now they're back, in the way of tree damage.

They dug into tree branches and laid their eggs. So instead of beginning to see blooms and growth, residents are now finding broken branches and twigs.

Andy Spitler, with Delhi Flower and Garden says, "It's a condition we call flagging. That tip of the branch will die and fall to the ground. The homeowners need to go out and start pruning to clean up their trees."

Other damage you'll see on your trees may include stunted growth and scarring on the branches. Trees can actually become scarred from those cicadas and disease could flourish. But if it's identified, it can also be treated.

"Research has shown that trees go through a slower growth period because of cicada damage and the energy of the tree going into a healing process for the tree itself. But it doesn't do any long term damage to the trees at all, they've been here a long time, they'll be here next year," says Spitler.

He says you should start pruning soon. Spring is the time to nip this problem in the bud. If you do, your trees should be back in action.