Residents along the East Coast and Midwest are bracing for the emergence of Brood X cicadas in the coming weeks.  A team of entomologists from Virginia Tech is available to speak with media outlets on the topic.  

Periodical cicadas are large, clear-winged insects with bulbous eyes that occur periodically (every 13 or 17 years) depending on the species. Periodical cicadas spend most of their lives as immatures, called nymphs, living in the soil, and feeding on tree roots. The transition from soil dwelling nymphs to mature adults is synchronized based on the year and temperature of the soil, allowing for the entire brood to emerge together to breed and lay eggs.

Periodical cicadas can serve as a nuisance pest making loud annoying noises while congregating in mass on and around trees after they emerge. In certain situations, the egg laying habits of these insects can pose a threat to young trees, which could cause economic damage to orchards. Brood X (ten) the largest geographically of all the periodical cicada broods emerges this year in May and will certainly draw a lot of attention.

Virginia Tech experts available to discuss all things cicadas include:

·       Eric Day – Insect ID Lab Manager, Virginia Tech Department of Entomology

·       Douglas Pfeiffer – Professor of Entomology, Virginia Tech

·       Marc Sutphin – Extension Agent for Fredrick County, Virginia

·       Adria Bordas – Extension Agent for Fairfax County, Virginia

·       Beth Sastre - Extension Agent for Loudoun County, Virginia (Available to present in Spanish)

Schedule an interview

To schedule a live or recorded interview with any of these Virginia Tech experts, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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