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Swarms of cicadas emerging in Midwest


LawnSite Senior Member
Headline from Yahoo news......

I'm in Florida now but originally from the Midwest- Chicago area. Don't seem to remember this as much of an issue growing up. Happens every 13 to 17 years depending on the species. After the last molt, they live about a week just to breed then die. I read the dead bodies can so thick that people are using SNOW SHOVELS to pick them up. Get ready to start bagging or pull out the mulching blades.

Estimates are that they will begin to emerge any day now from this coming Tuesday to June 1st ! Does anyone make a bug shield/guard for a rider???!! LOL


Former Moderator
I was just reading that on the yahoo page, and made sure to check that they weren't landing in PA. I remember one year the cicadas were so bad here, it was awful. Didn't even want to go outside that summer.

Mark in MD

LawnSite Senior Member
Happens every 13 to 17 years depending on the species.
There's one other type that comes out every 11 years. And then there are a few obscure ones that come out annually, but they are very small in numbers so you don't really notice them.

We had the 17 year variety here in '88 and again in '05. It's cool at first, but it gets old fast. When they die, there's just piles of them everywhere, and they stink.


LawnSite Member
Northern, IL
I live just north or chicago by the Wisconsin state line. My dad said we are going to get bird shot for the shot gun and just go nuts shooting them. :laugh: I was thinking about starting mowing this year, but I might wait until next year so I don't have to deal with them.


LawnSite Platinum Member
So, do the customers want you to pick them up or do you just mow over them?

What's experience like trying to mow in a swarm of them? Anyone got a story?

They are friendly creatures really. I dont even flick them off when they land on me. They will just sit on my shoulder the entire time I mow almost like a parrot. Mark is right they do stink like hell when they die off. Smells like a wet dog or something along those lines.


LawnSite Platinum Member
What type of insect is it that eats the cicadas? They actually dig into the ground to find them.