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What’s that high-pitched chirp you hear during the warmer months? It could be cicadas. Cicadas are often incorrectly assumed to be locusts (a group of insects categorized as grasshoppers). They are usually about two to three inches long with large, transparent wings. However, in the immature nymph stage, cicadas are wingless.

While harmless to humans, cicadas can be a nuisance to your yard and damage your plants during their nesting and adolescence. Female cicadas lay eggs in tree branches, then about 60 days later the eggs hatch into nymphs and drop to the ground. When they hit the ground, they burrow a few feet into the soil and feed on the fluids in the tree roots. It’s this stage that can be damaging to your vegetation and beautiful backyard. After nymphs mature they crawl out of the soil as adults and live for up to 50 days.


You may only notice cicadas every once in while, but not every year. That’s because there are two groups of cicadas, annual and periodical. Annual cicadas go through their life cycle and emerge like clockwork every year. Periodical cicadas, however, emerge every 13 or 17 years. There are more annual cicadas in the U.S. than periodical.

To protect your plants from cicadas, you can wrap the greens with netting to keep cicadas out and from nesting in the branches. If you have already spotted cicadas in your tree, you can remove them by hand or by spraying them with a garden hose. Spraying traditional or over-the-counter insecticides usually does not work since the bugs come from other properties. These tough little buggers make it necessary for you to find a reputable southern Maine cicada exterminator like Ants Etc. Pest Control. Call (207) 892-7855 today send cicadas flying away from your home and garden.