Health

Are Cicadas Dangerous to Human Health?

For the first time in over 200 years, two groups of periodical cicadas will emerge at the same time — meaning billions of the insects will be buzzing around.

There are about 3,000 different species of cicadas globally, and in North America, there are seven species that emerge either every 13 years or every 17 years, says Hannah Burrack, PhD, an applied ecologist in the department of entomology (the study of insects) at Michigan State University in East Lansing.

In May and June, Cicada Brood XIX (13-year cycle) and Brood XIII (17-year cycle) will surface at the same time, bringing with them their loud buzzing (they can be as loud as a hair dryer) and molted exoskeletons.

 These two species have some of the largest populations, and together, they will cover most of the eastern United States, says Dr. Burrack.

The singing insects have already appeared in South Carolina, and they will continue to appear through June as far north as Michigan and Wisconsin. This map created by CBS News shows where you will be able to see cicadas in the United States this year.

If you’re wondering what to expect — or are just totally freaked out and worried about your health and your sanity — read on for expert answers.

Where Are You Likely to Spot the Cicadas?

If you live in a state that’s seeing cicadas this year, you’re more likely to find them in places that have trees, wooded areas, or shrubs that have been present for at least 13 or 17 years, says Burrack.


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