Invasion! The 13 Year Cicadas


I noticed little holes in the ground like big pin pricks scattered all around.  I wondered what kind of insect had tunneled down to put its eggs to bed.

It didn’t take very long to find out, but the insects were not going in.  They were coming out!  I noticed a few of them on the front step.  Then my husband discovered them crawling up the sycamore tree.  Then we found them on the oak tree too. 

Next we noticed that some of them were still molting.  They split the outer capsule of their shell. What emerged looked like an albino alien from someplace far away. 

Once outside their spaceship they lingered nearby…  waiting for their wet, albino wings to dry.

No longer albinos when their bodies dry, they become darker in color, then they start to fly.  They cluster together, and then they start to sing.  Rubbing their wings together they produce their song, and they sing it together all day long.

These are not the annual cicadas that sing in the evening and at night.  These are truly aliens, the 13 year kind.  They’ve been in the ground all these years just waiting to crawl up.  I wonder how they survived all my hours of digging with my spade?  They must have been buried deep, just down there waiting.  Now that they are above the ground and have broken out of their shells, they are still here (just hanging out and cluttering up my yard)!

They are on the tree trunks and on my hostas.  They litter my front porch and the sidewalk that leads to it.  I’ve stopped trying to avoid them when I walk, but I grimace when I hear them crackle beneath my feet.

They are on the tall grasses and the hellebores.

They cover the heucheras that border the walkway.

They hang on the garage door and the outside walls of my house.

They are on the bergenia

and the lambs ear too!

They are in the lawn and on the driveway.  They crawl up anything that’s vertical and touches the ground.  I’ve even had to brush them off myself to keep them outside.

They love my tires.  Some of them have been taken for a ride.

I took my morning walk today and looked at other yards along the way.  There were a few cicadas lounging here and there.  The largest number appeared to be at the church and the nursing home, but no where did I see a yard invaded like mine.  I don’t understand it.  I didn’t live here 13 years ago. I’ve added most of the plants since then. How could their parents have known back then that this yard would be the perfect ground zero?

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About Glenda

Retired ... taking it slow and enjoying the simple things in life
This entry was posted in pests, photos 2011, photos of my garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Invasion! The 13 Year Cicadas

  1. she says:

    wow!! i have not seen any here yet — am hoping your little aliens stay where you are!! have you researched to see how long they stay? all summer perhaps?? maybe i will wait till they are gone before i come visit –haha, don’t worry — i am NOT afraid of them!!! if i could survive the summer that all three kinds appeared at the same time, i can survive the invasion at your place!! good luck!!!!!!!

  2. she says:

    just did a little search and found that your 13 year cicadas burrow one to 8 and a half feet — no wonder all your gardening hasn’t bothered them!!!!

    do you remember the year we had the 17 year and 13 year and yearly cicadas at one time? my friend pat’s yard was completely covered — no wonder she had not grass that year!! later, gator!!

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