With most of the US currently covered in at least a few inches of snow, I’d be willing to bet there’s millions of people dreaming about the sweet relief of summer.
Warm weather, beach trips, day drinking, I mean the possibilities are nearly endless.
While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I feel obligated to share with you some information I just received that may dampen your spirits quite a bit.
According to Newsweek, this summer is going to bring an event so rare that we haven’t seen it since Thomas Jefferson was in the White House and we won’t see it again until the year 2445.
Over a trillion, yes one thousand billion, cicadas will be emerging from the depths of the underground to swarm some 17 states.
I was in Virginia for a cicada swarm in 2021 and while that was a “normal” emergence for these bugs, let me tell you it was not at all a good time.
Millions of thick, inch long flying bugs (that are blind) suddenly appear out of nowhere, cover every imaginable surface, shed their exoskeleton, mate, lay eggs, and then die, leaving behind a ridiculously gross mess. Sometimes there’s so many bugs and sheds that people have to brush off their cars in the morning as if it snowed…
But according to Hannah Fry, a science communicator, that will be nothing like what were in store for during May and June of 2024.
I do have to say, the lifecycle of these insects is pretty interesting. There are different types of cicadas, called broods, and they live most of their lives underground, but appear every so often to fly around and breed.
How often is every so often? Once every 13 or 17 years.
In 2024, Brood XIII and Brood XIX will sync up their emergence for the first time since 1803 (the year Ohio became a state and the Louisiana Purchase happened).
Fortunately, not every state which has cicadas has both broods, but for the few that do, it’s going to be quite overwhelming.
Brood XIII is found in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Brood XIX is found in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Louisiana, as well as Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.
That means if you call Indiana, Illinois, or Iowa home, you’re going to be in for a rough go of it in a few months.
But even for the states that don’t have both broods, I can say from experience, it’s not fun.
So yes, look forward to better times in the summer when there’s no snow on the ground and you can walk outside without cursing the weather, but just be warned, you’re going to have some unwelcomed company…