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Cicadas Emerge from 17-Year Hibernation

The East Coast Brood II cicadas are coming out of the ground now throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Here's what you need to know.

They're heeeeeere!

The first cicadas — and their empty, crunchy shells — have officially arrived for the 2013 season.

Within the next few weeks, the cicadas awaken from a 17-year slumber, crawl out of the earth, shed their skins, and set parts of the East Coast abuzz in an plague-like event some enthusiasts have dubbed the “Cicadapocalypse” after the bugs' name, cicadas.

Known as the East Coast II brood, these cicadas  and several other states up through Connecticut.

If it seems like it's too soon for another round of swarming cicadas, it's because there are actually two separate 17-year broods of cicadas in our area. The 17-year cicadas that emerged in 2004 were the Brood X cicadas—the next time they'll appear is in 2021. These Brood II cicadas last appeared in 1996. 

When the ground temperature hits 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the bugs will come out, spend roughly one week on the ground molting, and then hit the skies. The result? A 7 kHz buzz could fill the region as the cicadas try to attract mates.

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If they behave typically, the cicadas will be around for four to six weeks. According to the Nature Conservancy, birds and other wildlife will have an ample source of food this year. In addition, the pruning of some trees that these insects do is actually good for local forests.

  • Read: 7 Reasons to Embrace the Cicada 'Swarmegageddon'

The Washington Post also playfully welcomed the first signs of Cicadas in the region.

Dozens of people have posted cicada sightings on Twitter, too.

Have you seen a cicada or its shell? Share your photos with us by clicking on the 'upload' button above!

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