Cicadas invade parts of the east coast, NC

Cicadas invade parts of the east coast, NC

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on May 16, 2013 at 5:53 AM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 6:40 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hordes of cicadas are invading parts of the east coast from Connecticut to North Carolina. 

Some of the insects emerge only when the ground is warm after 17 years underground, and, at some point, they'll actually outnumber people this spring. 

While a few areas surrounding Charlotte will see cicadas, the Queen City will see very few.  The cicadas in our region are on a 13 year cycle. 

They last emerged in 2011. 

"2024 will be the next time that we'll get our fair share," said Lenny Lampel, Natural Resources Coordinator for Mecklenburg County.  However, resident to our northeast are currently being invaded by cicadas. 

According to Lampel, Yadkin, Guliford and Rockingham counties are just a few of the counties that are seeing the swarms.  The insects emerge to mate, and after a few weeks, they'll die. 

Their offspring will then go underground and then emerge in another 17 years.  Lampel says he's not surprised that people are so fascinated by cicadas.  

"It's such a spectacle when it happens and there's really nothing else like it in nature.  And you know you have cicadas who live all over the world, all different species, but nowhere in the world do you have this synchronized pattern where that many will emerge all at the same time," said Lampel. 

He also reminds North Carolina residents that, while cicadas can be irritating, they're virtually harmless. 

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