Early cicada emergence adds to list of 2020 surprises


Early cicada emergence adds to list of 2020 surprises

Photo credit: University of Illinois Extension

Broods of periodical cicadas are beginning to emerge four years early in some midwestern and delta states.

University of Illinois Extension entomologist Sarah Hughson tells Brownfield, although the news comes as a bit of a surprise, early emergence is common.

“We don’t really know exactly why they are emerging early, but it is something that does happen regularly with some broods of cicadas. We may still have the main portion of the brood emerging in 2024 when we expect them.”

She says cicadas rarely pose any threat to row crops but can cause some damage to young fruit trees and other small trees.  

“If folks do want to protect maybe a cherished ornamental tree, they could do that by meshing over that tree or using some type of screening to protect it, and orchard owners can do that as well.”

Hughson says the brood XIII, 17-year cicadas are popping up in northern Illinois, while parts of central and southern Illinois are seeing the brood XIX, 13-year cicadas.

Other states with early emergence of brood XIX cicadas include Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri.  Hughson says Wisconsin will also see some emergence from brood XIII this year.

Click here for a map of cicada emergence.

Interview with Sarah Hughson

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