Millions of cicadas invade Great Plains after 17 years underground

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Millions of Rare Noisy Cicadas Emerge After 17 Years Underground

Weather.com -- Summer nights can be an intoxicating blend of warm weather, gentle breezes and a clear sky full of stars. But this year, in some areas, those calm nights will be interrupted by the frantic chirps of cicadas coming to the surface for the first time in 17 years.

Brood IV, also known as the "Kansan Brood", is emerging by the millions all over Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, according to USA Today. These red-eyed insects have been underground for nearly two decades, but they're back and looking to mate.

"The reports so far from Kansas are that this emergence is much larger than 17 years ago, so I'm holding out hope for a good show here this time," Creighton University entomologist Theodore Burk told USA Today.

8 PHOTOS
Cicadas emerging
See Gallery
Millions of cicadas invade Great Plains after 17 years underground
A periodical cicada lands on an Iris leaf in a garden in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, May 29, 2015. Brood IV cicadas, the Kansan brood, are emerging in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa this spring. These periodical cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. The last time they emerged was 1998. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A periodical cicada lands on a Daisy in a garden in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, May 29, 2015. Brood IV cicadas, the Kansan brood, are emerging in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa this spring. These periodical cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. The last time they emerged was 1998. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A periodical cicada lands on an Iris leaf in a garden in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, May 29, 2015. Cicadas last as long as it takes for them to mate and run our of energy which translates to about four weeks of singing. These periodical cicadas have a 17-year life cycle. The last time they emerged was 1998. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Picture shows a cicada or cigale on a tree on August 4, 2013 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
A cicada, a symbol of France's south-eastern area of Provence, is pictured on a tree on July 28, 2013 in Marseille. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A 13-year cicada peers over a ledge in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Portions of the southern states are currently experiencing the emergence of the periodic cicadas, which tunnel their way to the surface to shed their skin and mate after 13 years underground. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A cicada pokes its head out of a shrub, Wednesday, June 9, 2004, in Newport, Pa. Cicada courtship is just now reaching its peak in central Pennsylvania after a 17-year wait. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

(MORE: Here's What Extreme Heat Does To The Body)

The loud noises emitted by the male cicadas are mating calls to females. Once a new generation of the insects is born, the adults die and decompose and leave behind millions of newborn cicadas that will go back into the Earth for the next 17 years.

"The sound is deafening, and the people get pretty frustrated," Jason Griffin, Kansas State University associate professor, told ABC News.

Here's the good news if you live in an area infested by Brood IV: It'll be a only few weeks before the cicada mating period ends and those warm summer nights will be quiet and calm again, KAKE.com reports. Areas with scores of dead cicadas, however, will probably smell for a while, the report added.

Read Full Story

People are Reading