Cicadas Begin to Emerge in Central Virginia

May 12, 2013

What some have dubbed "Swarmageddon 2013" is underway.

It has been 17 years since Jackie Monticup's backyard has been taken over by cicadas. She didn't know what to expect back then. This time around, she tried to prepare for the red-eyed insects.

"I read online how to predict how they'll come, so I bought a thermometer -- a soil thermometer -- put it in the ground. It didn't work," she said. "How I found them was I almost stepped on them yesterday."

Now, her backyard in Zion Crossroads is sprinkled with cicadas. The cyclical bugs are just starting to emerge after spending nearly two decades underground.

"They are all over the house, the fencing," said Peter Monticup, Jackie's husband.

Peter is a magician. He says the bugs, a type of magicicada, are quite mysterious themselves. While some people may fear the creatures, Peter says there is nothing to worry about.

"Well, just enjoy them. Don't get overwhelmed," he said. "They're going to be short-lived."

The bugs may have taken to the stage, but they haven't performed their most well-known trick yet -- their signature sound.

"It is the loudest buzz you can imagine, and it's almost like a screeching buzz," said Jackie.

The noise will come about a week and a half after they surface, experts say.

Adult cicadas live to be about six weeks old. After that, they leave their crunchy shells behind.

"It's just going to be very inconvenient and messy. But the amazing thing is, once they're done, it's like they disappear," said Jackie. "They vanish, just like magic."

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