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May to Mark Return of 17-year Cicadas

James Appleby / AP

James Appleby / AP

April 9, 2013

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring cicadas.

You may have heard these noisy insects recently. These cicadas have red eyes, black bodies and golden wings. Different from the “dog-day” cicadas we hear in July and August each year, these insects are coming out after 17 years in hiding.

The insects target newly planted fruit and ornamental trees, such as apple and dogwood. Hardwood trees, especially oaks, are also vulnerable, but pines and other conifers are usually left alone.

Trees can be covered with fine netting for protection, but using sprays to control the cicadas is not recommended.

Though they can be extremely noisy, cicadas are not poisonous and do not bite or sting.

The insects are expected to stay in the area until the end of May or early June.

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