How to Keep Cicadas Under Control

by Elizabeth Michael
a few cicadas on a tree

Cicadas are a hot topic these days, and these noisy critters have many homeowners waiting with bated breath for their estimated arrival in May and June of 2024. If your state is considered a popular cicada destination, you may be wondering how to prevent these mysterious pests from invading your home and garden — not to mention your ears. Cicadas don't bite or sting, but their buzzy, vibrating mating calls can get pretty loud, especially in late summer.

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Learning about these unique insects and taking steps to cicada-proof your home inside and out can help ensure you're fully prepared for their upcoming emergence. 

By When Will Most of the Cicadas Have Emerged?

While certain cicada species arrive every summer, other species (periodical cicadas) only emerge every 13 or every 17 years. For the first time since 1803, two broods will start to emerge around the same time, in May and early June of 2024. Referred to as broods XIII and XIX, this group of cicadas should start appearing as soon as the underground soil reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit at 8 inches deep. Specific emergence dates can also vary slightly depending on your location, but expect to see them as the weather starts warming up. 

During the emergence period, cicada nymphs travel from the earth's soil onto trees and other solid objects. Next comes the molting period, where the baby cicadas shed their shells. As the nymphs become adults, they develop a soft outer body that darkens and hardens rapidly. Once the transformation from nymph to adult is complete (usually within five days) the adult cicadas begin their mating ritual. This is when the males start emitting that telltale buzzing noise. When in large swarms, cicadas can reach noise levels equal to a motorcycle or tractor. 

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Which Areas Will Be the Most Affected?

Fun fact: The U.S. states most affected during the upcoming Brood XIII emergence all contain the letter "I.” These states include:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan 

The U.S. states most affected by Brood XIX include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia 

So, you can imagine the states that are on both of these lists will experience an especially high number of cicadas.

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How Can You Protect Your Home From Becoming Infested During the Emergence?

While the good news is that cicadas don't typically invade home interiors, it's possible for a critter or two to enter your home. In addition to buzzing the night away at loud volumes, cicadas are also known to release excrement, and you definitely don't want that. Here are some easy solutions to help keep rogue cicadas out of your home:

  • Eliminate access to entrance points. Cicadas may enter your home through small holes in screens, window gaps and even your chimney flue. Sealing window gaps with caulk and replacing or repairing damaged screens are a few simple ways to keep cicadas at bay. 
  • Close your chimney flue. Believe it or not, cicadas can fall down the chimney and make their way into your home. Make sure your flue is closed during the resurgence period to deter these potentially noisy house guests. 
  • Inspect your yard for signs of infestation. Female cicadas often lay eggs on small shrub branches, which can quickly lead to multiple cicadas in your yard. If you spot cicadas in your yard or on your plants and shrubs, it can increase the risk of them entering your home. If you detect signs of a potential cicada invasion in your yard, it may be a good idea to contact a professional pest control service.

How Do You Protect Your Trees, Shrubs, Flowers and Garden From Cicadas?

From wrapping your trees to hosing down potential egg-laying sites, there are many ways to keep your trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens protected from cicadas. Female cicadas typically lay their eggs within a week following their emergence, with small twigs on shrubbery serving as a common egg-laying location. Cicadas are also drawn to fruit trees and ash trees, so it's important to take extra precautions if you have these trees in your yard.

Some effective cicada-prevention methods include:

  • Tree-wrapping: Wrap your tree trunks with aluminum foil or barrier tape specifically designed for trees. This can help prevent cicadas from climbing high into the trees and laying eggs on small branches.
  • Hose down trees: Hosing down the trees in your yard with plain water is an easy way to remove live cicadas from both the trunk and the branches. Once you've removed all the visible cicadas, consider wrapping the trunks to prevent reinfestation.
  • Cover trees and shrubs: Covering your trees and shrubs with netting can help prevent cicadas from sitting on the twigs and laying eggs. If you notice any cicadas on the leaves or twigs, spray your trees and shrubs down with your garden hose and then apply the netting. 

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. Systems, equipment, issues and circumstances vary. Follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of the Blog is subject to the

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Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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