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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Billions of cicadas will emerge this spring and Indiana will be their main stage

It's soon to be the buzz around town: Billions of cicadas are coming this spring and they really want you to hear them sing.

INDIANAPOLIS — Get ready because the cicadas are coming...in the billions. That's right, billions of cicadas are preparing to reemerge this month and Indiana is their main stage. 

Seventeen years ago, we were adding friends on MySpace and listening to OutKast's "Hey Ya!" on repeat. Meanwhile, cicada larvae were burrowing beneath the soil where they've stayed, awaiting their big debut. 

This spring an enormous "brood" of cicadas will reemerge when the soil reaches about 64 degrees. West Virginia University biologist Matt Kasson told the New York Times that this usually happens in the third week of May, but it could be sooner. 

The brood that is emerging has been dubbed "Brood X" by scientists and is also known as the "great eastern brood." Brood X will be seen in 15 states with heavy concentrations in Indiana. 

Credit: USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry
Active Periodical Cicada Broods of the United States

So how will you know when Brood X is above ground? Well, the first sign is the sound. Brood X is the largest of the 17-year broods and when they arrive they'll have no time to waste. 

Cicadas only have about six weeks to mate. Males will quickly cluster in groups and sing a loud chorus to attract females to mate with, according to the National Wildlife Federation. After they reproduce they'll die, starting the cycle over. 

While the number of cicadas coming to town is alarming, do not fear the big black and orange insects, they are not a threat to you or your pets' health.

But if you'd like to try something new, the National Wildlife Federation said people that have sampled cicadas often say they taste similar to canned asparagus.