Trying to escape Brood X cicadas this summer? Look no further than Ocean City, Maryland
For four to six weeks this summer, some parts of the U.S. will play host to an insect end-of-life mating bonanza: the 17-year cicadas, also known as Brood X (that's ten).
In 2004, the critters hatched from eggs in tree branches before scuttling down into the soil. Now, they are emerging from their holes after years of quietly feeding on tree sap from roots underground.
Entomologists and other cicada-lovers are expressing excitement for the event, which won't happen again until 2038.
"This is a natural and fascinating occurrence!" exclaims the University of Maryland website. "The UMD Department of Entomology Cicada Crew has excellent videos, fun cicada accessories, and answers to common questions about these fascinating insects!"
But what if trees full of bugs loudly trying to attract a mate just aren't your thing? If you live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, then you're in luck.
Maps of the imminent cicada emergence show the bugs will not be appearing in the counties of Wicomico, Dorchester or Worcester — and even farther north, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The bugs don't like the sandy soil, DNR says.
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Will there be cicadas on the beach?
Though Delaware is within the Brood X cicada zone, Maryland beaches are predicted to be cicada-free.
How long will cicadas stay in Maryland?
Brood X cicadas usually emerge in late April through early May and live four to six weeks. So from late June to early July, Brood X cicadas will be found from northern Georgia to New York, west to the Mississippi River and in the Midwest.
There can be as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre, which brings the brood population into the trillions. Brood X is also known as the "Great Eastern Brood," and is one of 15 broods of periodical cicadas that appear regularly throughout the eastern United States.
Though the Maryland beaches may serve as a respite from the giant Brood X's visit to the surface, even the most dedicated cicada-avoiders will have to face the music eventually: The "dog day" or annual cicada comes out on the Eastern Shore every year.
Environmental watchdog reporter Julia Rentsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.