Brood X Cicadas emerging this spring in parts of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Spring is coming and so are the cicadas.

“17-year cicadas are going to be coming out of the ground in several different Kentucky counties,” said Jonathan Larson, University of Kentucky Entomologist. “It will be billions of bugs.”

Unlike annual cicadas, these will be Brood X, a type of periodical cicada that’s been underground for years.

“These, they are red-eyed, they’re black body with orange on their wings, they are a little smaller, they come out earlier in the year,” said Larson.

They will come out in the masses in May and June and make a lot of noise.

“They can get quite loud,” he explained. “Over 100 decibels in some cases as they chorus.”

Here’s the good news in all of this, Larson said areas along the Ohio River will see the most in the state.

“Louisville, Covington, some of those are going to be the places that will see it the most,” he said. “Newport is another one. If you wanted to go to a state park, big bone lick is supposed to be one of the hot spots.”

However, he said could still make it a little farther south.

“We’ll see a little bit here and there,” he said. “There will be stragglers in some different counties.”

He said cicadas are not harmful to humans or pets, they don’t bite nor spread diseases. However, they could harm some trees when laying their eggs

“The female cuts into the branch with her ovipositor, it’s this sword-like object, and when she does that she creates these little slits,” said Larson.

He explained it’s not a problem for big trees, but could be for young trees and fruit trees. If you’re worried or the cicadas are an issue in your backyard, you can protect them with a net.

“We would recommend going out and buying netting that has holes that are smaller than half an inch, wrapping that around the tree leaving that on there for about 6 to 8 weeks,” Larson said.

Larson said while the cicadas’ purpose to emerge this spring is to breed, they will be a large food source for animals.

Even though Central and Eastern Kentucky will miss the worst of it this year, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Larson said Brood XIV cicadas are expected to emerge in the coming years.

“We can wait until 2025 until Lexington is going to see a big emergence,” he said.

Depending, that’s something to look forward to or dread.

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