Cicada Invasion? Not in the Valley


HARLINGEN, Texas — This year millions of cicadas are expected to emerge after living underground for the past 17 years. While the Rio Grande Valley is no stranger to the insect, local experts say not to expect those large numbers here.

“Here in the Valley, we do have cicadas every year. Other species of cicadas do not take 17 years to emerge from underground, some of them take three years, some take five years, some take 13 years,” said Luciano Guerra, Educator for the National Butterfly Center

Guerra said there are about 3 to 4 different species here in the Valley and how many we see depends on the year.

“Here in the Valley, it’s hard to say if it’s going to be a year with a lot of cicadas or not a lot of cicadas. We don’t know until it actually happens,”  said Guerra

Cicadas pose little to no environmental threat, but their sound can be a bit of a nuisance to some. Guerra said the sound the cicada makes is the loudest of any insect in ratio to its body size.

“It’s a vibration they have like under their abdomen they have like some drums almost that make this vibrating sound and it’s only the males that make that sound to try attract the female,” said Guerra.

There are already a few cicadas singing in the trees, but most Valley residents will see them in the summertime.

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