If you have not heard, the 17-year cicadas are making a very large appearance this spring. For those of you not familiar with the cicada, they are those large bugs that look like an oversized fly.

You also may remember them by their sound or mating call. I think their mating call resembles a drill drilling into something, so it is definitely not a sound you hear everyday.

They make the loudest sounds out of all insects, so be ready for a noisy spring. If this description still does not ring a bell, then maybe you remember their crunchy shells you found sticking to trees or scattered on the ground when you were in between the ages of 16 and 18.

These bugs may seem frightening but in reality they are harmless. First off, they live majority of their life underground which is weird yes but they only come above ground for one reason, and that is to mate.

The male cicadas are the ones who make the extra loud noises because they are trying to attract a mate for themselves. Second, if you were to Google what a cicada looks like, their appearance itself might not sit well with you. Their size alone with their giant wings is somewhat unsettling and then there are their blood red eyes on both sides of their head. The good news however is that they don’t bite. They do have sucking mouth parts but cicadas drink the sap from plants, so no worries! Lastly, I think it is important to know that their exoskeleton shells cannot hurt you either. I remember the last time cicadas emerged-I was younger and completely creeped out by the transparent, crusty looking casings.

I did not know they were empty until I accidentally stepped on one and heard it crunch. But since cicadas live most of their life underground, it makes sense for them to get a new shell when they come to visit us every 13 or 17 years.

A cicada’s appearance can be frightening to someone who does not know much about these insects.

Hopefully now you have a little more insight about the cicada and will not worry as much when you see one. Just remember that the only weapon they have is being obnoxiously loud and that they cannot bite because the only thing on their mind is attracting a mate. However, if you still are not a fan of the cicada, the good news is they are only expected to be here for the warm weather. As for where they are expected to emerge, the eastern portions of the United States win.

So if you plan on taking a long vacation to avoid these earsplittingly loud bugs just remember to steer clear of Virginia all the way up to New York.