Rare double-brood cicada emergency will not be in Southwest Virginia

BLACKSBURG, Va. – A rare double-brood cicada emergency is coming this spring.

The last time it happened was 229 years ago, but experts said we’re not going to see it here in our region.

Entomologists at Virginia Tech said thousands of 13-year-brood and 17-year-brood cicadas will be coming out from under the ground, but this rare, synchronized event will be in central Illinois.

They are expecting billions of these winged insects to make an appearance, and some bug lovers will likely head to the Midwest to check it out.

“For an entomologist, and for any kind of amateur biologist or people who really just enjoy things out in nature, it is a pretty big show to see so it is a bit of a disappointment we are not going to see the double-brood here,” said Eric Day, an entomologist at Virginia Tech.

Cicadas are known to emit a high-pitched buzz, or mating song, that can reach up to 100 decibels — roughly equivalent to a motorcycle or jackhammer.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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