Mon, July 15 at 8am – 

Due to the excessive rain:

  • Sunset Woods Park and Sunset Valley Golf Club are closed.
  • Portions of the paths at The Preserve of Highland Park and Larry Fink Park are flooded.
Wild Insights with Mark Bryant: A Cicada Invasion!

March 29, 2024

THE CICADAS ARE COMING! Join Mark on this edition of Wild Insights where he shares what’s in store for this rare “double brood emergence!”

What’s all this buzz about cicadas?

Here’s what to know about this once-in-a-lifetime event!

Why is 2024 a special year for cicadas?

For the first time since 1803, two broods belonging to two different species of periodical cicadas will emerge at the same time—an occurrence that happens only once every 221 years! One brood has been underground for 13 years, and the other for 17 years. What’s more, this year’s cicada groups, known as Brood XIII and Brood XIX, happened to make their homes adjacent to one another, with a narrow overlap in central Illinois.

When will we see them?

Cicadas typically emerge once the soil temperature reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. We would expect the larger majority to emerge from mid-May to early June, but this year, we may see them earlier due to the early warm temperatures.

Where will they be?

The insects are expected to merge all over the Midwest. However, here in Illinois, we may be primed to see more than our neighbors. Brood XIX (the 17-year brood) has a wide range across the Midwest and into Louisiana, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Brood XIII’s (the 13-year brood) population is mostly centered around Illinois but stretches into Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa.

What should we expect?

Noise, and lots of it! Cicadas are emerging primarily to mate, and their calls are loud. Their calls can reach 100 decibels, comparable to a motorcycle or a jackhammer! You will also probably see large gatherings of the young nymphs, and their old shells around the base and on the trunks of trees.

Should I be worried?

Not at all! While they may be big and loud, cicadas are harmless to humans and pets. And while they may do some damage to trees and large plants as they lay their eggs, they are not harmful to household gardens and crops like locusts are. This year, cicadas will be a valuable food source for birds and other predators.