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Swarm of cicadas could cause ruckus for local economy

A major cicada migration could impact small tree nurseries and orchards.

Cicadas could cause damage to trees and orchards
Cicadas could cause damage to trees and orchards

ROANOKE, Va. – Get ready to hear a symphony of cicadas as they migrate to our region.

These loud insects may end up doing more than just mating as they could disrupt the local agriculture economy.

Billions of periodical Brood X cicadas are expected to move toward the South over the next six weeks.

Though they may only linger in the Southwest Virginia region for a couple of weeks, they could cause great damage to small tree nurseries and orchards.

Virginia Tech Entomology Professor Douglas Pfeiffer said the insects damage young trees by laying their eggs on small limbs.

“That may delay the bearing of a tree by a year because those damaged little limbs have to be pruned off and new limbs developed,” he said.

This is why Pfeiffer said he encourages people to not plant new apple trees a year or two before an expected swarm of cicadas.

He said not much can be done to prevent them so he encourages people to take out their lawn chairs and enjoy their sound.

If pets find them in the backyard and accidentally consume them, Pfeiffer said there is no need to worry as the insects are not toxic.

About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.