For whatever reason, the 17 year cicadas that hit our area have decided to grace us with their noisy presence 4 years early this time. I don’t pretend to have any scientific knowledge as to the why, and not certain the scientist/professor at Mt. St. Joe college nearby does either. He studies them and asks if you are in the greater Cincinnati area, that you email photos and locations to him at firstname.lastname@example.org to help him in his study.
Being that this is Cincinnati, it isn’t a real shock that this is going on, after all we’ve been known to have the heat on in the morning and the air conditioning on in the late day. One week, in January, we had snow, then warmth, thunderstorms and tornadoes, then back to snow. Yes, in a one week period. We do weird here very well.
While incredibly creepy looking, they are harmless. They do not bite and pretty much all they do is provide a great deal of deafening noise with their little mating calls, and food for birds. It does freak one out if hit in the head as they fly past, and they seem to really lack navigational skills because you will frequently be dive bombed. And they are EVERYWHERE in the areas they emerge.
As a child, I was deathly afraid of them, but my brothers found them rather fun to play with, pulling off wings before squashing them. As an adult I was known to learn who was afraid, then catch them and put them in their office while they were at lunch. The unsuspecting victim always assumed it came in on their clothing. As a child of 4 years old, my son and his buddy across the hall in our apartment building would catch them and feed them to his friend’s piranhas. This was a source of endless amusement to them both.
Catching them is very simple, just pinch their wings together and pick them up. But be prepared as they will try to fly free, causing a strong vibration in your fingers and if you aren’t anticipating it you will let go on impulse.
My yorkie, Penny, when she was alive for one infestation, used to try to sneak them into the house to play with, but her mouth was so small we’d see the little legs wiggling out the sides. I admit, I look forward to letting one in the house to see how the cats deal with it, supervised of course.
Some folks in these parts actually eat them! Cooked, chocolate covered, even raw. BLAH! No thank-you I believe I will pass on that, um, delicacy.
So, as they are beginning to emerge, it will only get way worse before it gets better!