Many residents remember the loud chirping or buzzing noises that distracted golfers and visitors at the Memorial Tournament back in 2004. It’s been pretty quiet since, until this year, when the periodical cicada made its return – four years ahead of schedule.
There are two different species of cicadas in Ohio. The periodical cicada (pictured) can be identified by its red eyes and black body. At molt they are white and after a few hours as the exoskeleton hardens, they take on their dark color. Periodical cicadas emerge on a 17 year cycle while dog day cicadas (the other species in Ohio) can be found every summer. Dog day cicadas have green bodies with black eyes.
The periodical cicadas in Franklin County are part of what is known as Brood X. This Brood is supposed to emerge in 2021, but for some reason, some of the cicadas from Brood X are emerging early. Ohio State’s Extension, Nursery, Landscape, Turf (ENLT) offers insight into this strange early appearance: http://bygl.osu.edu/node/756
Cicadas do not pose a threat to humans or wildlife. They don’t bite or sting, and most adult cicadas don’t even feed. They rarely damage plants and females prefer to lay eggs in fruit trees, beech, maple and hickory. They avoid most other trees and shrubs. They’re just our harmless, noisy neighbors for a short time.