17-year Cicadas to Appear in Richmond Area in May

April 7, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Richmond area soon will be buzzing with a sound heard only once every 17 years.

Around mid-May, millions of 17-year cicadas will crawl out of the ground and mate. The females then lay eggs and both adults die. In the summer, the eggs will hatch and their offspring will burrow into the ground to begin the next cycle.

College of Mount St. Joseph cicada expert Gene Kritsky says it's Richmond's day in the sun for cicadas.

Kritsky tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the insects do a lot of good during their short time on the surface. Their holes aerate the soil, and they return nutrients to the soil when they die. They also provide food for birds and other animals.

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