Calling all Texans from Amarillo to Beaumont and everywhere in between. There's nothing like walking out your front door and hearing the high-pitched buzzing squeal of a cicada.  What's even worse is trying to sleep with that buzzing going on.  Get ready because 2024 is set to bring a historical emergence of cicadas.

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2024 is The Year of the Cicada

What does that mean? The year of the cicada?  Periodical cicadas emerge from the ground in 13 and 17-year cycles, and two different broods will be emerging this year.   Brood XIX which is known as the Great Southern Brood, is a 13-year cicada, and Brood XIII which is known as the Northern Illinois Brood, is a 17-year cicada.

After hatching the nymphs lay in wait underground for 13 or 17 years and then emerge.

According to The University of Connecticut Study on Cicadas:

2024 is a special year for periodical cicadas:

  • For the first time since 2015, a 13-year brood will emerge in the same year as a 17-year brood.
  • For the first time since 1998, adjacent 13-and 17-year broods will emerge in the same year.
  • For the first time since 1803 Brood XIX and XIII will co-emerge.
  • You will be able to see all seven named periodical cicada species as adults in the same year, which will not happen again until 2037.
  • You will not see all seven named species emerge in the state of Illinois again until 2041.

The emergence is expected to start in late April and early May.

Cicadas are not to be confused with locusts or grasshoppers.  

Once every seven year cicada
Craig Schmidt

Cicada Mania describes the cicada as an insect with six legs, two antennae, two compound eyes, 3 simple eyes, 2 pairs of wings, a beak for drinking, opercula (covering their auditory chambers), and at least one method of making noise (most males have tymbals).  They are more kin to aphids and are cousins to the crickets

How will the Year of the Cicada Affect Texas?

Texas won't be inundated with these periodical cicadas some areas in North Texas near Oklahoma may experience some of the year of the cicada.  However, the rest of Texas will see the normal amount of the annual cicadas that visit each year.

Those states that will be affected by this once-in-a-lifetime brood emergence will be  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, northern Illinois, also parts of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

As the emergence of these cicadas starts taking place, you will hear them, and start to see the exoskeletons attached to trees.  Just be nice and don't try to scare people with the empty shell, that's just not nice.

Photos of a Cicada Breaking Free from Its Shell

The Brood X cicadas are emerging after seventeen years and they're shedding their larva shells all over the tristate. Here's what it looks like as they do it!

Gallery Credit: Chadwick J Benefield

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