They're back! Cicadas make an early appearance

Published: Apr. 25, 2017 at 4:03 PM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2017 at 5:30 PM EDT
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Courtesy of Gene Kritsky, Mount St. Joseph University
Courtesy of Gene Kritsky, Mount St. Joseph University

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The 17-year cicada invasion of 2021 is generating some early buzz.

We're four years away from the scheduled appearance, but the bugs have already emerged around the Tri-State.

Don't expect a full-blown outbreak like the last invasion of 2004, cautions Dr. Gene Kritsky, an Entomologist at Mount Saint Joseph University. But the noisy bugs won't go unnoticed in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana areas. They'll stick around for about six weeks.

"This is going to be a much smaller cicada emergence than what we're expecting in 2021," he said. "I'd expect at most 5, maybe 10 percent of the cicadas we normally see in a big emergence year.

"So this is not going to be the cicada apocalypse that we'll see in 2021. But consider this sort of like a little precursor of what we can expect, so you can start planning your cicada parties."

Viewers have reported cicada sightings in Avondale, Carthage, Anderson, Delhi, Edgewood and even downtown.

Climate changes are behind the premature debut, Kritsky says.

Cicadas spend much of their lives underground and emerge every 17 years to mate. But warming ground temperatures have triggered accelerated growth in the bugs. In turn, some cicadas will be ready to emerge from their underground homes outside the 17-year period.

An early cicada invasion also happened in 2000.

Kritsky hopes to track the early cicadas. He's asking people to send photos and locations if they spot one of the bugs. More information on how you can help here.

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