Gwinnett County

No need to fear -- but the cicadas are coming by the billions

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia is about to be home to an invasion of billions of bugs.

“The first thing you’re going to notice is the noise,” horticulturist Sonya Harrison said.

North Georgia will soon be swarmed by cicadas. The Great Southern Brood it’s called. Bugs burrowed in the ground that reemerges every 13 years.

At Harrison’s “My Secret Garden” in Peachtree Corners Wednesday, her customers were warned.

“I live on Wolf Creek. I’ve got all of the wildlife you can imagine,” Gay Shook said.

The insects will invade the South by the billions. Each will measure about an inch and a half.

They don’t bite. Don’t’ sting. Don’t devour your flowers. But Harrison told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that they lay lots and lots and lots of eggs in long strips.


The weight—even though it’s not much—could break tender twigs.

“If you can imagine that all over one small tree, you wouldn’t have much tree left,” Harrison said.

She recommends special fabric or netting to protect the plants.

The cicadas won’t be around for long, but Harrison chuckles when she says it’s part of the cycle of life she could live without.

“I don’t particularly like seeing them. I think they look like something that’s prehistoric when you see exoskeletons all over the ground. But that’s me,” Harrison said.

If billions of the Great Southern Brood aren’t enough for you, The Northern Illinois Brood is reemerging at the same time.

Both at once -- a trillion cicadas. It hasn’t happened since Thomas Jefferson was president.