Spring in Louisiana is a very short season. Okay, on the calendar spring in Louisiana is the same length as spring anywhere else. But, if you've lived here long enough you know that spring is a two-week thing here. We have a couple of weeks of warm days and cool nights and then the heat and humidity that feels more like summer tends to take over.

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From what we are hearing this spring in Louisiana could be a lot noisier and we could be greeted by an onslaught of insects that aren't mosquitoes. The good news is they don't bite. The bad news is they scream. Okay, it's not a scream like an irate mom at a little league game, but the noise will eventually "bug you".

Now, if it was just one or two of these insects that you had to listen to, you might be motivated to write a country song about how relaxing the nighttime is. But when you consider that there could be billions of these creatures all making noises that you can hear over a fairly large distance you can probably deduce that "relaxing" is not what this spring will be about.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The creatures we are speaking of are cicadas. In normal years their songs from the trees just enhance the ambience of a southern evening. However, beginning in April there is expected to be an "emergence" of not one but two large broods of the creatures. Seventeen states, Louisiana being one of them, have been targeted for the influx.

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One of the reasons cicadas will be a big deal this spring is not only one large brood is surfacing, there will be two. Entomologists speculate that there could be billions of cicadas during the height of the "emergence". The two broods have been living underground for 17 or 13 years, depending on the brood. And the timing will work out so both broods surface at about the same time.

In Louisiana, the speculation is that the majority of the cicada influx will take place in the northern section of the state. But, if you've experienced large cicada populations in the past, you might experience them again since the insects tend to return to areas where they last laid their eggs during their last emergence.

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Are Cicadas Dangerous to Humans or Pets?

The short answer is no, they are not. They don't sting or bite and are considered to be "good eating" by many other creatures. Your pets might even eat a cicada or two. If they do, don't worry. According to veterinarians they vomit after eating too many cicadas but the insects are not harmful to their digestive systems or overall health.

The biggest issue most of us will have with the "emergence" in a few weeks is that cicadas are creepy-looking. Most people will not want to have a cicada land on them. If you do, just brush it off, it doesn't bite.

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The noise will be the other issue that most of us will face this spring. Large broods of cicadas have been known to create noises over 100 decibels. That's the equivalent of the sound of a running motorcycle or a low-flying airplane or your neighbor's lawn mower cranked way too early on a Saturday.

The reason they make those noises is they are trying to get a date. Yeah, that's the insect's mating call. Aren't you glad humans don't do that? Oh, wait, we have Karaoke, maybe we already do. Hmm, maybe those cicadas don't sound so bad after all.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells









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