Large Brood X Cicada, with golden yellow wing veination and red eyes and legs, clinging upside down on a green leaf.

It is almost summer.  The entomologists have been announcing their arrival for a few months.  For the past few weeks, strange 3/8 inch holes have been appearing, usually near or around the bases of trees. Brood X cicadas have finally arrived. It's been thirteen years!  These holes are their entrance to our world of light, leaves and air from their underground homes of close, dark  earth and roots and mycorrhizae. Here they are here in full force, and the air at our farm is full of a yawing sing-song of insect lust.

Yes, it has been thirteen years.  We first heard them at the farm in 2011.  At first we had no idea what was going on, we couldn't pinpoint the source of the racket, it was coming from everywhere.  And then we started seeing them, these glorious, big cicadas that looked very different from the yearly cicada.

Dry red clay soil with holes in the ground that measure about 3/8 inch diameter. T Brood X cicadas have emerged out of these holes.
Brood X Cicada, a large insect with bright red eyes and clear wings with goden veination, rests next to an empty tan husk it has just emerged out of. It is resting on a white cloth that is hanging in a greenhouse.

On the left, a Brood X Cicada has just emerged from that empty tan husk.  It is resting on a white cloth that is hanging in our greenhouse. These insects are big and bumbling, but are just here to have a good time. They will mate, lay eggs and either die enriching, our soils with their carcasses, or feed the birds and wildlife with their high protein bodies...all their fun will be over in a couple of weeks.


No need for insecticides.  They're just here for a party they've been planning for thirteen years.  They will be gone soon.  And if we are good stewards, they will return in thirteen years for another amazing two week party.

Here's a link to some more information and a video about Brood X  by the Nature Conservancy.