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A Mass Emergence of Cicadas is Expected in New York City

by Laura Macchiarola

plounsbury, flickr

Cicadas are coming back this summer, after waiting underground for seventeen years.

After seventeen years of living as nymphs underground, the cicadas are coming back.

Millions of the large-winged insects are expected to swarm the city, and as many as 1,500,000 cicadas can live per acre in the entire Northeast.  Craig Gibbs is an entomologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.  He said, while the insects may be an annoyance, they come with a surprising benefit.

"Millions and millions and millions of free food is suddenly around!" said Gibbs, "And just about anything will eat a cicada - raccoons, skunks, birds, dogs, cats, and other insects."

Gibbs also said that people are even sharing recipes for cicada delicacies.  But, if cicadas aren't your taste, they also aerate and fertilize the soil.




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