Cicadas 2024 Illinois: U of I expert shares new details of upcoming double brood emergence

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Rare double brood of cicadas coming to Illinois this summer
Cicada expert Dr. Catherine Dana joined ABC7 Chicago to explain the significance of the double brood of cicadas that will be buzzing in to Illinois this summer.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There has been a lot of "buzz" about the return of an annoying insect this summer.

A double batch of cicadas is coming to Illinois for the first time in over 200 years.

Dr. Catherine Dana, cicada expert with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, joined ABC7 Chicago to talk about what this means.

"What's happening is really special for Illinois, in particular because we have two different broods emerging across the state. So, the northern half, we're going to have a brood emerging, and then in the southern half we're going to have a brood emerging," Dr. Dana said.

This significant event only happens every 221 years.

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Although they are loud and they smell, you don't have to worry about getting bitten by the bugs.

Dr. Dana explained that cicadas are incapable of biting due to the shape of their mouths.

Another positive fact about the insects is that cicadas are a good thing for wildlife and plants.

"A lot of our wildlife will actually feed on cicadas. So, they're going to get their fill, and they're not going to be able to eat any more," she said. "But, once they die off, there will be lots of carcasses scattered across the streets. Those carcasses will break down and fertilize your plants."

Dr. Dana said to expect cicadas to begin emerging in northern Illinois around the middle of May.