Millions of cicadas invade Great Plains after 17 years underground

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.

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Millions of cicadas invade Great Plains after 17 years underground
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)
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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.

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