I only have to survive the next 4 to 5 weeks and then I will have a perfect summer. Why, you ask? One word for you: Cicadas.
This is the year of the cicada for the East Tennessee area. Nashville has its very own symphony of buzzing, whirring, screaming insects. Almost everyone you run into has at least one thing to say about our problem. Most people are freaked out. And I am one of them. I mean, not to the point where I run into my house, bar the doors and windows and hunker down for the next five weeks. I try to ignore them. Best to my ability, which is not easy. Because they are in the trees, in your house, waiting for you on your doorstep, whizzing by you as you drive, hitting your face if you’re outside…it’s like a plague. A bad, nasty plague that you have to wait out and hope no one gets injured in the process. So far I have spit out maybe a few wings here and there, but nothing too critical. And can we talk about the anatomy of the cicadas? The worst part is their red/orange eyes. Menacing and just straight up evil looking. And they aren’t little guys either, they are a healthy size. All those years in the ground did them good. I was never a bug person, never thought they were cute or wanted to keep them as pets…no, I want to kill all the bugs. And I am quite the bug warrior. My house has had a cave cricket (another horrible insect that the world could definitely live without) problem and me and my roommate have had to be so brave in killing them. But I am not brave when it comes to cicadas. I don’t even think I could kill one. All I can hear is like a big *crunch* and that makes my stomach turn. I’m not even gonna post a picture, just because the sight of them make me sick. (disclaimer: I’m a bit of a drama queen)
So here is a list of some of the things people say about cicadas: (I work in a bank so there are two things people are talking about right now, cicadas and the weather. Well, the weather is more of a year round thing. Thankfully we have something else to small talk about)
1) They are loud. (We already clarified that) But everyone at least can agree that theses guys are deafening.
2) Now everyone has an opinion when they are the loudest. My sister told me around five pm is when they are noisiest. I think she might be right.
3) I’ve heard they pee on you! What??
4) They are attracted to noise. So screaming as I run away not a good idea, right?
5) Some little kid told me that they bore into your skin and burrow underneath. Yeah, I’m gonna have nightmares tonight.
6) What’s the purpose? That’s what everyone seems to be asking and I don’t have an answer. I’m puzzled.
7) They do not like the cold or rain. This is true. Last night we had a terrible storm and this morning they are all over the place!! All over the ground, in the walk ways, right in front of our door…it’s so nasty.
8) People have said they are good for fishing. Alright, that’s legit. I’m just not picking up one of those things though. Never ever.
9) They are attracted to light and warmth. So don’t leave your garage open with the light on at night! One person said they had a swarm inside, so they spent 45 minutes getting them out. *barf*
10) Dogs are the exterminators…they like to eat them. But if they eat too many they could get sick. How much is too many? Idk, I wouldn’t want to find out
11) And other animals like to eat them as well…like birds?? I’m not sure about this.
12) If they land on you, they are quiet and instantly still. So if one is on your back you will never know! (fascinating what people come up with)
13) You can eat them.
14) They are ugly. (I came up with this myself)
15) I guess they like the younger trees. They latch on, eat the bark and then lay their eggs in the tree. Or something like that. I love the stuff people come in and tell us. Everyone has something different to say.
So there you have it. Cicadas are bug form of the devil, I’m sure of it. They are so gross and I cannot wait for these five weeks, or however much longer we have, to be up. I wonder where they all are going to go? I guess we’ll figure this out when their time is up.
If you have anything to add to my list or cicada stories, please feel free to share.