Cicadas Have Begun To Emerge

Photo credit: iStock/McKinneMike

The Wisconsin DNR confirmed the emergence of cicadas in Wisconsin.

A resident of Lake Geneva has sent photos of newly emerged cicadas taken on Friday, May 17. The DNR confirmed that these insects are indeed Brood XIII.

“Dozens are hatching in my yard,” the photographer wrote in their email to the DNR.

You can find periodical cicadas in the eastern half of the United States and nowhere else. There are seven species, four of which have 13-year life cycles and three that have 17-year cycles. Of those, there are 15 “broods” or year classes.

The 17-year Brood XIII is the only one known to emerge in Wisconsin, though only in the southernmost counties. However, Illinois and further south, will see the emergence of both Brood XIII and the 13-year Brood XIX. This will be the first time these two broods have emerged in the same year since 1803 – 221 years ago.

Cicadas’ deafening mating calls can be annoying. After they mate, their carcasses can become a nuisance as they litter the ground. The insects do not bite or sting. In fact, many people cook and eat them. Some even call them “tree shrimp.” Here’s a recipe:

When cicadas emerge, they emerge en masse. Densities of tens to hundreds of thousands of them per acre can be common. The noisy insects remain active for four to six weeks after emerging. They feed by sucking plant fluids from a wide variety of deciduous plants and shrubs. This feeding generally does not injure mature plants that are otherwise healthy.

DNR expects the insects to keep emerging in southern Wisconsin into June. They will not appear again in the state until 2041. If you spot cicadas on your property, report the sighting on the Cicada Safari app to help track the co-emergence of Broods XIII and XIX:

Learn more about the cicadas: