EDGEWATER, Md. — Mother Nature has been cooking up a treat for the last 17 years. It's called Brood X.
Billions of cicadas, huge insects that look like a cross between a house fly and butterfly, will emerge.
It’s a spectacle that only comes around for a few months almost every two decades. While it can be annoying, a lot of people await it eagerly.
“That’s actually part of a mud tube right there,” said Brad Lehigh, owner of Blades of Green, a lawn care company.
Lehigh is excited about the incoming swarm.
“Over a million per acre are coming. So most people have a half acre, you’re going to have 500,000 just around your house,”
Those billions of cicadas will be spread out over close to 20 states mostly on the East Coast and parts of the Midwest. They will be accompanied by their signature sound, which is how they attract mates.
“Brood X is one of the larger 17-year broods," said John Cooley, a professor at the University of Connecticut
He lives and breathes cicadas. He's also happily anticipating their time above ground.
“They like those wonderful warm spring days, maybe in the 80s. Not too hot, not too far into the 90s,” said Cooley.
Cicada fever is real. We found some groups on Facebook where people were showing off cicada tattoos or jewelry.
People like John and Brad want everyone to know that despite the fact the bugs will appear in overwhelming numbers, you don’t really need to do anything, with the exception of very young, small trees. If you have these, netting is your best option to protect them.
“They’re harmless. They’re actually beneficial. They feed a lot of other animals like birds and raccoons and squirrels and all kinds of things,” said Brad.
Brad insists the bug is a highly nutritious treat for the ecosystem, and potentially you.
“Let’s get a little Old Bay hot sauce on him. They’re quite, I wouldn’t say tasty, but they’re certainly edible and who knows, could be a food source for the future,” he said.
My best description, a wet, but crunchy chip.
While you certainly can eat them, your best bet might be to just sit back and watch nature’s once every other decade spectacle.