Cicadas are often mistaken for locusts, probably because both tend to descend upon a particular area in appalling numbers. In the case of cicadas, they actually emerge from their underground existence and live briefly above ground to spread their wings, mate and lay their young – all within a span of four to six weeks during springtime or the early summer months.

Most cicadas emerge from their netherworld existence every year. These are known as the annual cicadas. Periodical cicadas however, have a much longer incubation period. Periodical cicadas have either a 13 or a 17-year life cycle. They are typically only found in the northeastern United States. It is not entirely known why nature has chosen this rather peculiar life cycle for periodical cicadas. Some scientists believe that this unusual life cycle puts cicadas out of sync with their natural predators, thus helping to ensure the survival of the species.

The next time you have a hankering for a high protein, low-fat, carb-free snack with a light nutty flavor, pop a deep-fried or dry roasted cicada in your mouth instead of a handful of potato chips. Yes, cicadas are edible, and consumed quite regularly in several parts of the world. If you catch them soon after they morph into their adult form, they can be eaten whole. But catch them later in their adult life, you have to snap off their heads and legs before eating them, as these body parts tend to get hard as cicadas mature.

Cicadas are not biting insects like mosquitoes, nor stinging ones like bees and wasps. They certainly do not cause crop damage of plague-like proportions like their often-mistaken evil twins, the locusts. Despite their relatively harmless nature, however, their sheer number can sometimes cause property owners serious concern. Even annual cicadas emerge in the hundreds of thousands each time. When you need help dealing with any type of pest, call the professionals at North Fulton Pest Solutions. We work hard to give you a pest-free environment.

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