Cicadas emerge after 17 years for mating season

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ATHENS, WV (WVNS) – As we get closer to summer, 2020 has another trick up its sleeve; this time it is cicadas.

Millions of cicadas are expected to emerge across the two Virginias for their mating season, which happens once every 17 years. Several of the big, noisy insects are already settling in Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett’s front yard.

They creep up through the forest floor and settle on tree branches. There, they break out of their exoskeletons into adult form.

“You’ll see them on the off years and then sometimes you’ll see them in different territories,” Puckett said. “In Northern West Virginia, they’re on a 13 year cycle, but here in southern West Virginia, southwestern Virginia, it’s the 17 year cycle and this is the big one in the Eastern United States.”

Puckett told 59 News he has seen three cycles of cicadas emerge in the mountain state.

Scientists recommend farmers protect their crops from these insects, because if too many eggs are laid on one plant, that plant could die.

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