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Large Brood X cicada emergence will bring negatives and positives to environment

Large numbers of cicadas are set to emerge in northeast Indiana once soil temperatures hit about 65 degrees. With that are concerns for trees, but once they die, they'll help nourish the earth.

Posted: May 14, 2021 8:52 PM
Updated: May 18, 2021 12:45 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- The relatively quiet days of spring will soon be interrupted by the ear-piercing sound of cicadas.

This year is special though, Brood X cicadas only come around once every 17 years.

James Wolff with the Allen County Purdue Extension Office says while he can't give an exact number, there will be a lot of them.

"There’s just going to be a large number of cicadas, Wolff said. "With the 17-year brood that comes out you’re going to notice them mostly around wooded areas and trees."

The reason there will be so many is a survival tactic to outnumber prey, and cicadas also rely on trees to survive.

Cicadas pierce the bark of tree and shrub branches and lay their eggs inside, potentially causing damage, especially to smaller trees and shrubs.

Wolff explained, "Either it kills that area or if other disease or infection gets into it, it can make it even worse."

To protect a small tree or shrub, you can keep it wrapped in fine mesh, smaller than bird mesh, for the next month to limit cicada damage.

Once the cicadas are dead, though, they become a natural fertilizer and can help you with composting and growing beautiful plants.

Brett Bloom, the owner of Dirt Wain a Fort Wayne composting company, explained "They’ve been sucking sap and eating twigs for seventeen years, just building that mass on their bodies. They come out, they die, they fall to the ground. They’re going to compost naturally."

Bloom explained dead cicadas are good for your compost heap and your garden, and your plants will reap the benefits of the large number of dead cicadas.

"If you are an avid composter and you’ve got a tumbler or you’ve got a pile that you turn with a shovel. Throw them in there, turn them a lot, it’ll just put those nutrients right back into your composts. Tons of nitrogen," Bloom said.

The decomposing cicadas will add nitrogen to the ground, helping plants grow and completing the circle of life.

So while they may be annoying to listen to, Bloom says "I think we should think of it as a gift and really just kind of enjoy it."

If composting or gardening isn't your style, both Wolff and Bloom says you can eat the cicadas.

However, Wolff warns that you should cook them first.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
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Van Wert
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Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
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