Brood X: Georgia among states to see billions of cicadas this spring

ATLANTA — It sounds like a biblical prophecy, but millions and billions cicadas will be swarming Georgia - and soon.

Brood X, a group of cicadas that emerge every 17 years, will tunnel out of their long dormancy and take over several states, including areas in Georgia.

The last time Brood X made an appearance was in 2004. The cicadas come out once soil reaches 64 degrees. They are often triggered by a warm rain.

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They typically begin to emerge in mid-May and will stick around through June. They will be hard to miss because their calls can approach 100 decibels. That’s the same intensity as a lawn mower.

“This is like having a National Geographic special in your backyard,” said Mike Raupp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland.

So who in Georgia will people see the most cicadas? If you’re in Fannin, Gilmer or Union counties, get ready.

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What will they look like? The Georgia DNR said at first glance they look like nothing more than a smaller version of the annual cicada, but they are much different. If you take a close look at one, you will immediately notice that it has bright red eyes, a black head, and bodies and transparent wings fringed with orange.

They will come out in mindboggling numbers. Some areas could see as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre. However, typically their numbers range from tens to hundreds of thousands per acre.

The U.S. Forestry Service released a map of the active cicada broods of the U.S.

The cicadas will breed and leave behind the next generation.

But Brood X isn’t the only emergence you need to watch for. In 2024, Brood XIX will be active in even more parts of north Georgia, including metro Atlanta.

They’re expected to emerge in Cherokee, Fulton, Jackson, Madison and other western counties.

Georgia hosts only one brood of 13-year cicadas. However, three broods of 17-year cicadas have been identified in the Peach State. They made their appearance in 2017 and 2021, and will come back around 2028.

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Information from the Associated Press and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was used in this report.