Are Cicadas Coming in 2024? Here’s How to Prepare
Outdoors How To Prepare for Cicadas

How To Prepare for Cicadas Biggest Emergence in Over 200 Years

May 22, 2024 at 2:46 PM PST
Outdoors How To Prepare for Cicadas

How To Prepare for Cicadas Biggest Emergence in Over 200 Years

May 22, 2024 at 2:46 PM PST

We are at the home stretch to summer which means warm weather, travel, vacations and more are about to be in full swing. However, if you are from the southeast or other eastern parts of the US, you know what else the beginning of summer means: cicadas. If you are wondering “are cicadas coming in 2024?” the answer is yes and in a big way (not to scare any bug haters).

The arrival of cicadas this summer will be unlike any you have ever experienced. Literally. This year will see a rare co-emergence of two different broods: Brood XIII (17-year cicadas) and Brood XIX (13-year cicadas). This will be the first time that both cicada broods emerge from the ground at once since 1803. The co-emergence of these two different broods with different life cycles occurs once every 221 years and is not expected to occur again until 2245.

This double emergence does mean there are billions of cicadas expected to arrive this year, though the separate broods will not affect the same areas. The 13-year brood XIX will emerge primarily in the south east in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The 17-year brood XIII will emerge mainly in Illinois and potentially extend into some of the states of Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

If you live in one of the affected states, all you probably want to know now is how to prepare for cicadas, but it’s important to note that cicadas are not harmful for either humans or pets. They don’t bite or sting, and do not cause any threats to gardens or plants.

Cicadas can slightly harm trees, especially younger/smaller ones, when they lay their eggs. Plus the sheer number of them and their loud buzzing can be a nuisance. Here is everything you need to know on how to prepare for cicadas this summer.

Protecting Trees and Plants

The most physical harm cicadas usually cause is to young or stressed trees. Female cicadas lay eggs by cutting slits in small branches, which can cause the tips of these branches to die off. This can be problematic for young trees that do not have many branches to spare. Here is how to protect your trees.

  • Young Trees: Cicadas can damage young trees by laying eggs in small branches. Protect young or vulnerable trees by wrapping them in fine netting or mesh with holes smaller than 1/4 inch.
  • Netting and Screening: Use fine mesh netting to cover shrubs, small plants and any other vegetation that might be affected by swarming.
  • Insecticides: Insecticides are generally not effective against cicadas and are not recommended. There are too many of them for insecticides to be helpful, especially as they do not eat plants. The insecticides can in turn harm other creatures like bees and butterflies.

Home and Yard Preparation

Here is how to prevent cicadas from entering your home.

  • Seal Entrances: Ensure that windows, doors and vents are properly sealed to prevent cicadas from entering your home as they are very clumsy and could stumble in.
  • Clean Up Yard: Remove debris and leaf litter where cicadas might congregate.

Personal Precautions

Again, cicadas pose no threat to humans. However, they are big, loud and swarm in large groups which can be gross to many people. Here is how to prepare for cicadas when in proximity to them.

  • Protective Clothing: When spending time outdoors, wear long sleeves and hats to prevent cicadas from landing on you.
  • Ear Protection: The noise can be very loud, so consider ear protection if you find the sound overwhelming. According to Past Pest Control, the buzzing of cicadas can reach up to 100 decibels. This is about as loud as a lawnmower or garbage truck.
  • Outdoor Activities: Plan outdoor activities during times when cicada activity is lower, such as early morning or late evening.


Cicadas are not poisonous to pets. However, problems arise when pets eat too many of them as with many other things. This can easily occur as they arrive in such large numbers. Here is how to keep pets safe.

  • Supervision: Keep an eye on pets to ensure they don’t eat too many cicadas, which can cause digestive issues from over indulgence.
  • Outdoor Time: Minimize the time pets spend outside during peak cicada activity.

How Long Will Cicadas Be Here?

Cicadas arriving this summer are expected to be present for about 4 to 6 weeks. This period includes their emergence, mating and subsequent dying off. The exact duration may vary slightly depending on local environmental conditions, such as temperature and weather patterns​. By mid to late June, most of the cicadas will have died off, marking the end of their brief appearance above ground.

That is everything you need to know about how to prepare for cicadas this summer. This rare emergence may seem scary to some, but there is truly nothing to fear. It will be loud and a nuisance at most, and their presence will be temporary.



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