The Upcoming Brood X Cicada Invasion

A straggler of the Brood X cicadas in 2017

Image/Graphics by Katja Schulz

A straggler of the Brood X cicadas in the year 2017.

As many people may hear, the Brood X cicadas emerge from the ground every 17 years. The last infestation was in 2004, although you may remember seeing some since 2004, as there have been other broods that have hatched later and have emerged from the ground since then. The rest of the cicadas will be rising to the surface “by the billions” in May and June 2021, so get ready for the loud humming sounds and the large swarms.

While the cicadas are above ground, the female adults will lay hundreds of eggs in trees and will die shortly after. Once the eggs hatch, they will fall from the trees and burrow into the ground to begin another 17-year cycle. During the 17 years, the cicadas are underground, they suck sap from tree roots and are very active, unlike the common misconception that they hibernate for the 17 years they are underground. 

The following areas are to expect Brood X cicadas this May: Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to an article from, Adams, Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, County, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Somerset, and York counties in Pennsylvania will be impacted by this infestation. Although no closely surrounding counties are predicted to experience this phenomenon, there is still a chance we may get to see some of them in our area.

These cicadas are one of 15 broods of cicadas, they are known to be quite large, but cicadas are no danger to you or your pets; they’re just a bit annoying.