Cicada Apocalypse in the United States 2024

Cicada on a daisy
Photo by Wren Meinberg. Original in the public domain.

Since ancient times, the cicada has been seen as a symbol of resurrection. The newly hatched insects burrow into the ground and nourish themselves on tree roots for 17 years before emerging into the sunlight.

The earliest documented example of cicada folklore came from China. There is a stone carving of the bug dated 1500 BC. Even now, the cicada is celebrated as fine jewelry.

illustartion cicada on a tree
Cicada on tree (1900 – 1936) by Ohara Koson (1877-1945). Original from The Rijks museum.
cicada stone carving
Cicada stone carving.
Susan Shaw Cicada Earrings
Susan Shaw Cicada Earrings.

To purchase Susan Shaw Earrings click here

We are currently about to experience the cicada apocalypse here in South Carolina. It has been 17 years and all nature lovers are getting their cameras ready to photograph this fascinating insect.

Cicada on a branch
Photo by Jason Weingardt. Original in the public domain.

The last time the cicada apocalypse happened was in 1803. This is the first time since the 19th century that two broods of cicadas will merge at the same time. They will be looking for partners. The males will be singing extremely loud to attract the females. They are as loud as 110 decibels which is almost as loud as a chainsaw.

Photo by Ashley Riedel/USFWS. Original in the public domain.

They have a short life span so they need to find an ideal mate quickly. Some cicadas have a 13-year life cycle (Brood XIX) while others have a 17-year life cycle (Brood XIII). What makes this year so special is that both broods will be meeting. The dual emergence aligns every 221 years!

Cicadas: Why Do They Make the Sound They Do?

Interesting Fact: How Do Cicadas Make Their Sounds?

Many scientists and biologists want to study this unique event. You can download a free app called, ‘Cicada Safari’ and track this fascinating event. Plus, your tracking contributions will help many biologists and scientists understand this wonderful creature.

For more information visit

FOX 5, Cicada Safari App.

Gian cicuda (Cicada speciosa) illustrated by Charles Dessalines D’ Orbigny (1806-1876).
Digitally enhanced from our own 1892 edition of Dictionnaire Universel D’histoire Naturelle.

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