Cicadas Have Arrived

Just the other day I was all, “Huh, I don’t hear any cicadas, I wonder what happened to them around here.” Today:

Yup, they’re about. It’s loud but not overwhelmingly so. No, the dog hasn’t eaten any as far as I can tell. I can’t say the same about the cats.

Any cicadas where you are?

— JS

42 Comments on “Cicadas Have Arrived”

  1. No. VA they’ve been here over a week, the exoskeletons have pretty much disappeared. Still buzzing, they do go quiet when it rains. Our dog ignored them too. I’ll miss them when they’re gone.

  2. They are all over the place here in Maryland and very loud

  3. Karen A. Wyle – I'm an appellate attorney, an author, a photographer, a politics junkie, and a Hoosier (aka intermittent fan of IU basketball). My published work (aside from law review/legal journal articles) includes multiple science fiction novels, some near future and some involving other planets, equipped with aliens. More recently, I've veered off into historical romance, specifically a series called Cowbird Creek and set in 1870s Nebraska. I've also published one nonfiction book, Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers. While originally intended to help writers use accurate details in their legal settings and expand the scope of such stories, I realized while writing it -- and have heard from readers -- that it could also be of use and interest to students, immigrants, and anyone interested in better understanding the American legal landscape. My other blog, Looking Around, is at
    Karen A. Wyle

    Those sound like the every-summer cicadas. The 17-year brood have a sound like an alien weapon in a 1950s SF movie — a high-pitched hum. Here in south central Indiana, we have both, at overlapping times of day — which means that in early afternoon, we have dueling cicadas.

  4. Seattle is always cicada free. I understand that there are some species of cicadas that live in Washington state, but the not the infamous noisy, stinky type common to the eastern states.

  5. There is a brood of the 17-year buggers that stretch through Missouri and eastern Kansas, but they aren’t on the same schedule as the East Coast bunches. None here in Wichita, but we might not notice: we have loads of the yearly cicadas plus (non-harmful) locusts and other loud summer bugs!

  6. Yes, they’ve been here in the DC area for the past three weeks.
    It sounds like a constant, unearthly howl, and I expect I’ll start losing my sanity soon.
    Cicaida fhtagn!

  7. Karen A. Wyle from south central Indiana is absolutely correct: there’s nothing like this anywhere else as we’re reported to be the epicenter of Brood X.

    I put a sound meter on my iPhone and measure the amplitude daily (the frequency is about 4KHz) and although the average is about 70dB (inside your house with the AC running is <40bB) today I found an area in which the volume peaked at nearly 90dB.

    And you'll know you're really in cicada country when you smell them. The husks and carcasses are at least 6" deep at the base of my huge maple and oak trees and it smells like a rotting corpse. Just awful!

    That enormous, treeless lawn of yours in your friend right now. Trust me on this!

  8. None here in the San Francisco Bay area and strangely enough I miss their cacophony having grown up in the Ozarks. Don’t miss them flying into my face though.

  9. Silver Spring, MD. Zillions of ’em, to coin a phrase. The last week or so, more of them can be observed flying (clumsily).

    This time of day there are two simultaneous sounds: a steady-state phaser on low power, and a very fast shaking of maracas that rises and falls every 6 seconds or so.

  10. Dave Creek – Dave Creek is the author of the novels CHANDA'S HOMECOMING, WATCHER OF THE SKIES, ALL HUMAN THINGS, CHANDA'S AWAKENING, and SOME DISTANT SHORE, novellas TRANQUILITY and THE SILENT SENTINELS, and short story collections KAYONGA'S DECISION, THE SECRET OF PLAINSVILLE, THE HUMAN EQUATIONS, and A GLIMPSE OF SPLENDOR He's also published the Great Human War trilogy, including A CROWD OF STARS (2016 Imadjinn Award winner), THE FALLEN SUN, and THE UNMOVING STARS (2018 Imadjinn Award winner). Dave also edited TRAJECTORIES, an anthology of stories about space exploration and its many challenges, and is the author of MARS ABIDES: RAY BRADBURY'S JOURNEYS TO THE RED PLANET, a non-fiction look at Bradbury's Martian stories. His short stories have appeared in ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT, AMAZING STORIES, and APEX magazines, and the anthologies FAR ORBIT APOGEE, TOUCHING THE FACE OF THE COSMOS, and DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS. He's also been published in the Russian SF magazine ESLI and China's SCIENCE FICTION WORLD. In the "real world," Dave is a retired television news producer. Dave lives in Louisville with his wife Dana, son Andy, Corgi/Jack Russell Terrier mix Ziggy Stardawg, and polydactyl cat Hemmie.
    Dave Creek

    Here in Louisville, I can hear them in the distance, but haven’t seen any yet. Other parts of the city, I’m told, have plenty.

  11. As Tater mentioned earlier in the comments (hi Tater!) they are prevalent and LOUD here in central Maryland. I saw my first one on May 10 and I’m told they’ve hit their peak here. So far, only one has hitchhiked into the house on my shirt.

  12. lif strand – – I write, therefore I am. Unless I'm taking photos. Or making art. Or not.
    Lif S

    New Mexico: We have the usual summer cicadas, though they started a bit later than most years (just a few days ago) and today’s the first day they’ve been singing all day long as opposed to just the morning.

  13. I’m not aware of any reported in Iowa — just dumbass Republicans. I’d rather have cicadas.

  14. Austin, TX. We get cicadas every year. I know it’s summer when I hear the first one. I’m expecting to hear the first one any day now.

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  16. In Hong Kong, we get a similar noise in the parks from a similar insect. Happens most of the time when it’s hot, which is most of the time here.

    Back when we could gather in crowds in Victoria Park, you’d often hear them falling into the call and response rhythm of speakers and crowds, i.e. the person with the bullhorn would say something, the crowd would respond, and in the silence after that, the insects would make a loud chittering.

  17. Nothing noticeable here in central Stark County, Ohio, but we drove down to Powell for a niece’s grad party today and took quite a few on the winshield. The noise in my brother’s neigborhood was noticeable, but did not impede conversation outdoors.

  18. The cicadas in 2004 were so much cooler. Those were REAL cicadas, man. This 2021 batch is just kind of lame.

  19. The Smithsonian is offering some awesome Brood X items to commemorate this year’s hatch; I grabbed a tee since I figured it might be the ‘last hatch’ in my lifetime- a ‘Not My First Hatch.” I was in Kansas in 1987 for one of the 17 year hatches, and the noise is unreal…you can’t escape it, and it just bores into you. They were literally EVERYWHERE…

  20. They have one party every 17 years and they don’t even eat anything, just play music and hook up. It does get old after a few weeks, but not to them (I think each one drops in for a few days, then dies, actually, but they’re not punctual).

    I’ve had worse neighbors.

    Actually, I’ve been a worse neighbor.

  21. I’m on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river about 50 miles upstream from Cincinnati. That puts me right on the southeast border of Brood X. I’ve seen a few exoskeletons, but no living cicadas. We’ll be in the middle of Brood XIV in 2025.

  22. I looked up the Texas cicadas – it had never occurred to me to do that until this year, when everybody keeps talking about them – ours are called “dog day” cicadas and they’re on a 13-year cycle, but some of them come out each year, so as somebody said above, we get them every summer. Some years they’re louder than others, but they’re always there.

  23. Northern part of Prince George’s County, DC Metro area.

    Can hear them when there’s nothing else making noise. Not as loud as the air conditioner or the regular car engine noise.

  24. Here in PA it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. I had friends over this weekend, and one who only lives 2 miles away was confused when he turned of his car engine and could hear something running. It wasn’t until he opened his door that he realized that the cicadas in my area are VERY LOUD. And their dead bodies are now everywhere. We are very much in the midst of it.

  25. Suburban MD- loud, a friend with a ‘real’ audio monitor measured 85+ dB in her back yard and I’ve seen others on the internet posting higher.

    I always think of the Martian death ray in the 53 War of the Worlds.

    I attended an outdoor jam session in Potomac MD a couple of weeks back. Played three tunes with the house band, cicadas climbed up the back of my neck during two of them.

  26. Lots of cicadas here in N. Virginia but I was visiting friends up in Columbia (MD) yesterday and the alien invasion really went to town on them; this weekend was probably something of a climax to this brood.

  27. I live in rural Texas. The cicadas don’t usually show up until about mid-month. And then it’s just loud for a while. All of my dogs will eat them if they can reach them.

  28. Montgomery County, MD here. They’re everywhere, and while my youngest has had “the talk,” we had to revisit it as the previous conversation didn’t include cloacas or ovipositors.

  29. Sadly, I am in the desert Southwest, so no cicadas here, but my sister is visiting my mother in your old NoVa stomping grounds, and she has sent great pictures and videos of cicadas everywhere, and loud as can be. Glad you are getting some of them. I would love to experience this phenomenon.

  30. “Here in PA it varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. I had friends over this weekend, and one who only lives 2 miles away was confused when he turned of his car engine and could hear something running.”

    I don’t know if we were being trolled, but when the drone started this year someone posted on the neighborhood Facebook group for help tracking down the noise in the neighborhood- obviously someone’s heat pump/air conditioning compressor was failing, but they kept walking around and couldn’t find it….

  31. My brother-in-law in Herndon VA has been doing audio analysis of the cicadas there. Up to 97 db in volume, which is as loud as power mower. Loudest frequencies are around 1340 hz with an even louder peak at 5.9 khz.

  32. Both at our home in Arlington, VA and at our cabin near Berkeley Springs, WV, they are everywhere and super loud. We love them! FWIW, I think the ones you are hearing are the Cassinii species (Septendecim are the ones that sound like Star Trek TOS phasers, Septendecula have a more discrete CHEK-CHEK-CHEK call).

  33. Another Montgomery County, MD resident here. Yes, they’re freakin’ loud.

    I wound up getting dragged out onto my front porch by my son while listening to a reading on my home laptop during Balticon. After the reading I was hanging out in the con suite Zoom where I got to amuse the other folks present (including an Australian) as they could hear the cicadas clearly through my laptop mic whenever I unmuted to say something!

  34. Nothing showing in Southeastern MA…but a friend in Virginia is sending me videos of them inundating her yard and the surrounding woods. It’s a constant buggy drone-sound! And evidently they tickle when they crawl up your leg!

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