Illinois, hope you don't mind a few (or a billion) cicadas.

Hearing cicadas sing (or screech, depending on how you feel about it) is a staple of spring and summer nights. Cicadas can get pretty loud, with their mating calls reaching up to 100 decibels (a motorcycle going past you is 95 decibels), according to The RingerUniversity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign says each cicada species has a unique sound it uses to avoid attracting the wrong kind of cicada.

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The Cicada "Brood" To Know

Cicadas are divided into what's called "broods", which depend on the year and where the group of cicadas are living. Some broods are small and don't cover a large area, other broods are huge and can even span multiple states.

There is a Northern Illinois brood and this is the one that will take over the world. Or at least your eardrums.

Coming Your Way In May 2024

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Millions. Of. Cicadas. That's the forecast.

The Northern Illinois brood coming up in May has a reputation for being "the largest emergence of cicadas known anywhere", according to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

It's been a minute since we've seen this brood. A sub-brood of it came out in 2020. But the last time we saw the Northern Illinois cicada brood, people in Wisconsin and Illinois were reportedly using snow shovels to get cicadas off their yards, patios, driveways, and outdoor surfaces.

The full emergence of this brood was calculated to be about 1.5 million cicadas per acre in a floodplain near Chicago. Upland, they found about 133,000 cicadas per acre, which is much more normal of a number for cicadas. For reference, a city block is about 3.5 acres. 

What To Expect

When cicadas die, they stink. So prepare yourself for a stinky spring and summer. Also, experts say it's okay if your dog happens to eat a few cicadas but because of the bug's crunchy exoskeleton, don't let it become a staple in their diet.

So if you like the cicada song, get ready to listen to it on full blast in 2024. If you can't stand it, ask Santa for some good headphones.

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