It’s That Time of the Every 17 Years

It’s That Time of the Every 17 Years

Photo: Associated Press

Get ready, Western Illinois—the cicadas are coming.

The cicadas that were born 17 years ago are about to emerge in parts of seven counties in the state. Once they’re out, University of Illinois entomologist Phil Nixon says they’ll be hard to ignore, as the males “sing” to attract females.

“If you’re going by on a highway and they’re in the trees nearby, you’ll hear it even though the windows are up on the car and you’ve got air conditioning on,” Nixon said. “So they’re quite noisy, according to some people, or beautiful singers, according to others.”

The males will be out for two or three weeks before dying, with the females sticking around to lay eggs. Once those eggs hatch, the cicada nymphs will burrow into the ground and stay there until 2031.

Nixon says this emergence of cicadas is smaller than those in Southern and Northern Illinois, and will be most noticeable in Henderson and Warren counties, along with parts of Fulton, Schuyler, Knox, DeWitt, and Champaign counties.

In those areas, cicadas will cause some interesting ecological effects as other animals find a new and abundant food source. “Fishermen will find out that the fish will not bite when these insects are out” because they’re so stuffed with cicadas, Nixon said.

That effect will be evened out once the cycle is over, as some animal populations that were able to grow due to feeding on cicadas will be thinned by starvation once the insects are gone.


Recent Headlines

in Local

U of Chicago Closed


Specific online threat

in Local

Durbin Balances Refugee, Spending Issues


Durbin says Syrians can come here safely

in Local

Davis Is Bullish on Coal


Repeats "All of the above" strategy

in Local

Springfield Micro-Lending Fund Gives $120K in 1st 2 months

City of Springfield

The city of Springfield's new micro-lending program has given out a total of $120,000 in loans.

in Local

U of I Business Incubator has NSF Grants for Female and Minority Entrepreneurs

u of i research park

The people trying to turn ideas into commerce at the University of Illinois have a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in a program called AWARE.