What happens when the cicadas emerge?

Cicadas are set to emerge this spring and Smithsonian is answering some of the questions you may have.

When eight inches below the ground warms to 64 degrees, the invasion of the Washington metropolitan region will begin. Countless young cicadas will erupt from the soil, molting into adults who will then buzz nonstop at a decibel level close to the noise of a loud rock concert or a jet engine.

“Probably somewhere in the vicinity of a trillion cicadas will be out. It will be hard to walk outside without stepping on them,” said Floyd Shockley, the collections manager for the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. “They will be singing all day from approximately 10am to 5pm, every single day. It will be a constant buzz for three long weeks.”

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