It’s like a jolt to every single one of your senses. One minute you’re sitting on your deck, soaking in the sunshine and sipping on your favorite beverage, and the next, a sound loud and electrifying penetrates your ears.

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Welcome to cicada season in New York. 

If you’ve ever been outside, or even inside with your windows open, you’ve likely heard an incredibly shrill high-pitched sound coming from your yard during the summer months. Some people confuse the sound as coming from locust but the real critter behind the trilling sound is cicadas.

Some years the sound is worse than others, especially when the 13 to 17-year cicadas emerge by the MILLIONS from the ground after living right below our feet for…you guessed it, 13 to 17 years. And then there are years like this where there isn’t a massive brood overtaking everything.

The cicadas that you hear in your yard are annual cicadas and they come out this time every summer. These cicadas are known as annual cicadas and the sound that they’re making? It’s their love sound – as in the sound they make to let potential partners know they’re available for baby cicada making.

Unlike periodical cicadas that spend between 13 and 17 years living live underground, annual cicadas spend around two years under the earth with the adults popping out every summer to mate. And to sing the song of their kind which sounds an awful lot like a high pitch scream.

Did you know that each state in the United States has at least four different species of cicadas? If you’re not a fan of their mating call, be glad you don’t live in California where they have 80 different species!

Are Cicadas Locusts?

No. Cicadas have big, clear wings and bodies that are rounded. Locust are smaller and their body is slim and straight. Another way you can tell the difference is that locusts have big hind legs which they use to launch themselves everywhere.

Can Cicadas See?

Sometimes people wonder whether or not cicadas can see because they move really slowly and are easy to capture. However, the answer is that they can see, and actually, they've got five eyes which gives them a great view of everything going on around them.

Do Cicadas Pee?

Yes. And, if you plan on going for a walk in an area where there are lots of trees and lots of cicadas, you might want to pop a hat on your head because the insects pee a whole lot and their urine is similar to watery tree sap.

Do Cicadas Eat Plants

Not generally. Cicadas love to eat tree sap, but that doesn't mean they won't turn to your plants if they hatch in mass numbers and there aren't enough quality trees to sustain them.

Are Cicadas Edible?

As a matter of fact, the Cleveland Clinic says that cicadas are perfectly safe to eat except for people who have a shellfish allergy (fun fact - they derive from shellfish), people who are pregnant or lactating, young children, or anyone who is at risk of gout.

Do Squirrels Eat Cicadas?

You bet. Squirrels aren't picky and will eat just about everything, including cicadas.

Are Cicadas Harmful to Dogs?

Cicadas are not toxic insects however, if your dog isn't used to eating cicadas, and if they consume too many cicada shells, it can lead to a variety of unpleasantries such as vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, and more. If you have concerns, chat with your vet.

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