The Cicadas Are Here: 5 Ways to Protect Your Home During the Invasion

cicadaNow that the ground temperature has reached 65 degrees along most of the East Coast, the 17-year Brood II cicadas have started crawling out of the Earth and into our trees. And onto our cars. And into our pets and our children and our garages and our homes. The billions of bugs are everywhere, and if you're concerned about protecting your property and loved ones from this year's magicicadas, here are a few solid tips.

Photo via dmitrybarsky/Flickr

  • Cicadas vs. Your Trees


    Cicadas aren't like those biblical swarms of crop-eating locusts they have in the plains. In fact, they're not really interested in eating that much ... it's the sex they're after. They may damage very young trees, but anything even mildly mature will not be harmed. Actually, they may even get a boost -- the cicadas aerate the soil, bringing nutrients to the surface that benefit plants.

  • Cicadas vs. Your House



    Not too much to worry about when it comes to cicadas and your home. They won't invade your house, nor lay eggs in your windows, nor anything creepy like that. For the most part, your home is completely safe from the cicada invasion.

  • Cicadas vs. Your Car



    If you're driving through cicada territory, odds are your car will decimate more than a handful of the critters. Their decaying, splattered bodies can cause harm to your paint, so wash and wax your car a few times this summer to prevent any permanent damage.


  • Cicadas vs. Your Pets



    I can remember a neighborhood dog going to town on a humongous pile of cicadas about 17 years ago -- the bigger the pet, the more likely they are to indulge in this low-hanging fruit. Er, bug. Technically, cicadas aren't harmful if ingested, but they do pose a choking hazard. Also, if your pet is vomiting up a lot of wings or other buggy parts, maybe give your vet a call.

  • Cicadas vs. Your Kids


    An errant cicada may fly into your kid and scare the living crap out of them, but other than that, they don't cause much harm. Even if your kid eats a couple, they'll likely be fine -- Asian societies have eaten cicadas for centuries. (Don't hesitate to call your doctor, though, if you feel like Junior's gorged himself on the bugs.) Worth noting: cicadas are arthropods. Don't eat them if you're allergic to shrimp, lobster, or other similar seafoods.


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