Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions has received several calls from homeowners this spring asking what bug is making that noise. It is the 13-year cicada and what it is doing is eating, mating and laying more eggs.
Cicadas spend most of their lives underground, where they feed on the juices from plant roots. During this time they cause very little damage, but every 13 years, they tunnel to the surface to begin their life cycle all over again. The sounds that you are hearing are the male cicadas singing to find a mate. Once they have mated, the female cicadas move up the branches of trees and cut small openings to lay her eggs. One female can deposit as many as 28 eggs beneath the tree bark and can make as many as 20 slits before moving on to the next twig. This process damages trees and shrubs, especially oak, hickory, apple and dogwood trees, along with blueberry and azalea bushes, frustrating Missouri homeowners.
Although there isn’t a lot you can do about cicadas infesting your backyard, if you are worried about damage to your trees and shrubs, especially young ones, you can cover them with cloth netting to prevent the females from gaining access to the branches. And you can rest assured these insects won’t be around long. The adult cicadas only live about 5 weeks and just about the time the adults die, their eggs will hatch and the nymphs then fall to the ground and burrow into the soil to start the 13 year incubation period all over again.
One other thing homeowners should be aware of is that cicadas are not poisonous; they will not bite or sting you, your children or your pets, so you can continue to enjoy the great outdoors this spring.
Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions is a longtime Missouri pest control company proudly serving St. Louis, Wentzville as well as many other locations throughout Mid-Missouri. For more information on the 13-year cicada or any of our effective pest control and lawn care services, please contact us today.