In summer, you always know it is very hot outside when you hear that buzzing sound. For many years, I had no idea where the noise was coming from. I had never seen a cicada, though I knew they were always out there making a ruckus.

2024, however, is a unique year. Things are going to get very loud as we are going to have three different cicadas emerging at once for the first time in 221 years.

Photo by Sagar Vasnani on Unsplash
Brood 13 cicada. / Photo by Sagar Vasnani on Unsplash
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Periodical Cicadas

While Dog Day Cicadas are a yearly occurrence, there are some cicadas known as periodical cicadas that only appear every couple of years. Cicadas like "Brood 13"  only emerge from underground every 17 years, and "Brood X"  only emerge every 13 years. This year, these two breeds of Cicadas are overlapping in their cycles for the first time since 1803.

To put this into perspective, Michigan wasn't even a state the last time these cicadas emerged at the same time. It's been a very long time.

Photo by Stuart James on Unsplash
Photo by Stuart James on Unsplash
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READ MOREThat Ball of Leaves In Your Michigan Tree Isn't A Bird Nest

What This Means For Michigan (and You)

Most of the Midwest will see all these cicadas, but based on previous cicada cycles, only certain areas along the Indiana border will experience all three groups of cicadas.

Map of active periodical cicadas in the US
USDA
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Thankfully, this summer's ridiculous amount of cicadas will not affect humans much. Apart from the endless noise the insects make, they are harmless to people and pets and can be eaten by anything that eats insects normally.

Photo by Sonia Nadales on Unsplash
Photo by Sonia Nadales on Unsplash
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Trees will be the biggest targets of the cicada onslaught, as this is where cicadas lay their eggs and are the cicada's main sources of nutrients. Purdue University wrote a very insightful post about the Brood 13 cicada.

Since there is a chance we won't be seeing all the cicadas this summer, Michigan.gov has created a list of parks you can visit if you want to go cicada watching.

Photos of a Cicada Breaking Free from Its Shell

The Brood X cicadas are emerging after seventeen years and they're shedding their larva shells all over the tristate. Here's what it looks like as they do it!

Gallery Credit: Chadwick J Benefield

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Gallery Credit: Andrea Vale

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