Parts of the Midwest from as far north as Illinois & Wisconsin to the deep South are beginning to experience "cicada-Seddon." That's what some people have called it because two broods are emerging at the same time. It's something that hasn't happened in over 200 years!

Read More: Wisconsin + Illinois Drivers Should Protect Their Cars From Cicadas

Cicadas are a pretty fascinating bug. Depending on the brood, they spend 13 to 17 years underground before they crawl out and breed. They have a very short life span above ground and die shortly after they breed. The eggs are laid on trees, and the nymphs then fall to the ground and burrow deep into the solid. That's where they stay for the next 13 or 17 years. Isn't that crazy?

Brood XIX Cicadas Have Emerged In North Carolina
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American Humane is the country's first national humane organization, and they want families to come together and learn about the fascinating cicada broods that are emerging this spring. They urge Americans to treat the insects with kindness, respect, and a sense of wonder.

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They point out the benefits the hordes of cicadas bring to the planet.

  • Ciadas aerate the soil when they burrow and tunnel. That helps air, water, and nutrients enrich the roots of plant life.
  • They also fertilize the solid. When they die, their bodies provide nutrients to boost the soil and vegetation.
  • They prune mature trees. When the eggs are laid on the end of branches, the nymphs drop to the ground. This helps naturally prune the tree and many species benefit from this.

American Humane says that the cicadas rarely cause damage to the trees, and are actually an important food item for a lot of larger animals including birds, lizards, and various mammals.

LOOK: 20 of the biggest insects in the world

Stacker compiled a list of 20 of the biggest insects in the world using a variety of news, scientific, and other sources.

Gallery Credit: Andrea Vale

 

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