It’s almost time. Every morning I check the flowerbeds and walk a little cautiously on the soft grass. Under the large maple tree in the back, it’s mostly soil and I look for new holes in the ground with my eyes. I’m sitting on the balcony pricking my ears, yet I only hear birds chirping and bees buzzing in late spring. But is this happening now, I wonder? Are they coming now?
Cicadas with black red eyes.
Because it’s like in a horror video movie In the coming days and weeks, billions of cicadas are expected to invade the Washington DC area and several states in the eastern and central United States. Larvae, laying and laying underground for 17 years as larvae, feeding on sap from trees and plants. They waited their time and just waited for the first warm enough days in 2021 for the resurrection from the underworld. It’s the so-called Brood X variant (Brood 10) of rotating cicadas that will soon besiege the capital in a dramatic attack, swarming and singing its deafening song.
17-year-old cicadas in North America have the longest life cycle of all insects, and in every region live the same litter.
The last time they appeared here in Washington was in 2004, when George W. Bush was president, nobody had smartphones and I was still in high school. One day at the playground with the kids, I spoke to a woman who remembered the invasion then. She said they were sitting everywhere, on porch railings, cars, and fences.
From the holes in the ground, which you can start seeing weeks before cicadas crawl, insects appear and take most of what’s around them. They drop their shells and then develop into black flying birds with fiery red eyes, up to three centimeters long but with a wing width of more than seven centimeters. For a few weeks they live in the sun, in the wide world. They sing in the trees, mate, lay eggs, and then die. Those who did not kill first are understood by all kinds of animals, human feet and cars.
The choir is male they have It must attract females that can reach more than 100 dB. Much like a lawn mower. And they will be – everywhere. According to an expert interviewed by The Washington Post, the mass attack is precisely their superpower – rallying billions at once is a good guarantee for the survival of enough people and ensuring the survival of the species.
I took another turn in the garden, checking the plot under the maple tree again. Surely the holes became more? From here they come crawling through their paths in the underworld. It’s happening now, underground movement, transformation, movement, evolution. Despite my expectations, I have no idea what to do once the invasion begins. Maybe close all the windows and play loud music inside. But the whole scene is irresistible. It would be an amazing short-lived and crappy outburst and I imagine, a slight panic among the many of us humans at our dinner parties and coffee breaks on the balcony between zoom meetings.
Then suddenly it was all over again and the ground was covered with black cicada corpses, the eggs had just laid a hole in the tree branches and the new larvae burrowed into the ground. Until 2038. The return of cicadas.