Rockdale County

Swarm of cicadas of ‘biblical proportions’ could bring venomous snakes along with them

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — Several counties in north Georgia will soon experience a swarm of cicadas some are describing as being of “biblical proportions.”

Millions of cicadas are about to dig their way out of the ground, but an insect expert told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that it’s not the cicadas we should be worried about.

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Brood X cicadas have lived underground for the last 17 years and are ready to make their appearance.

James Murphy, a UGA extension agent, says the insects are all grown up and about to “re-emerge.”

“Honestly, they’re pretty startling. if you’re not familiar with insects, the most striking thing is their eyes. They’re bright red,” said Murphy.


While cicadas will not do much damage, they attract something that can.

James Handley traps and removes venomous snakes and says copperheads love to eat cicadas. While they do not love the short grass in your yard, Handley says they will make an exception, so you should watch your step for the next couple of weeks.

“It can bite you. Make you sick. It can possibly kill you. It’s rare that it does, but it could,” said Handley.

“So all of our birds, reptiles, including snakes, amphibians, even mammals. Possum, raccoons, squirrels, they’re happy to take advantage of this massive buffet that Mother Nature has rolled out for them,” said Murphy.

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Experts say only far north Georgia counties will see many bugs and it should all be over by June.