What Attracts Cicadas?


What Attracts Cicadas?

There must be a time of the year when you can hear a buzzing noise coming from the trees. Not to worry, you have been visited by cicadas. Cicadas are a group of insects who are noisy, have a couple of pairs of membranous wings, three simple eyes that are known as ocelli, and prominent compound eyes. Their size ranges from 2 cm to 5 cm.

The buzzing noise of cicadas can be extremely annoying. The buzzing noise produced by cicadas is actually their mating call. The male cicadas produce a very loud noise by vibrating their tymbals, which are a pair of membranes present towards the base of the abdomen. The buzz may either be rhythmic or sometimes “musical.”

Nevertheless, it can be extremely disturbing to keep hearing a buzzing noise all through the day. Before you take any precautionary measure, it is important to understand what attracts these troublemakers? This article will give you an idea about what are the different things that attract cicadas. Read till the end.

Insects and Lights are a Perfect Match

It is not unknown to anyone that insects are attracted to light, and cicadas are no exception to this theory. You may often find cicadas around the lit areas in your apartment.

Whether a cicada is guided or confused by light is still unknown. In the beginning, the cicadas do not look alive. You will often find them lying on their backs. The moment you pick them and toss them up, you will watch them fly away!

However, sometimes you are also likely to encounter cicadas who will not recover even after you throw them away or toss them up. The exact reason for this is not known. Nonetheless, it is no surprise that cicadas are attracted to light.

Cicadas are Attracted to Vibrating Machinery

Cicadas make your outdoor areas extremely noisy. Do you know what else might be attracting these buzzing swarms? Cicadas are already loud enough and create rhythmic sounds. The mating sound that they make is quite similar to the vibrating noise of power tools.

Yes, you heard that right! If you are used to using a power drill, lawnmower, leaf blowers, weed-whackers, hedge trimmers, or angle grinder in your backyard, you are likely to confuse the cicadas. They might mistake the sound of the instrument for a mating call and buzz around those working in the garden or backyard. Although this may not make sense, it sure does make sense.

To avoid being surrounded by cicadas when you are using noisy tools, try using your tools during the dawn hours when the bugs aren’t very active. Cicadas are also known for spending the evenings in the trees. This makes nighttime a convenient option for working. It can be any machinery that vibrates and causes a buzzing sound. Cicadas mistake the vibration for another cicada, and soon a swarm of cicadas are attracted to the machinery.

Cicadas Look for Hardwood Trees

When cicadas breed, they look for hardwood trees. When their season arrives, cicadas can be seen looking for the trunk of trees where they congregate and mate with their partners. Finally, the females move on to lay eggs on the ends of the tree branches.

If ever a cicada lands on you, you need to understand that the cicada must have been looking for a hardwood tree to copulate and breed. To cicadas, humans bear resemblance to trees. Therefore, while looking for the most suitable place, cicadas often tend to land on the arms, collars, and other parts of humans.

Protecting Your Trees against Cicada

You cannot make cicadas be quiet. They are notorious for their loud buzzing noise. Another harmful side effect of cicadas is that they cause considerable damage to your trees. If you are looking for ways in which you can deal with cicadas, here are a few ways in which you can protect your trees against cicada infestation.

In this regard, pest control is not the most feasible option as the cicadas come in large numbers, and spraying pesticides is of little or no benefit. Moreover, if you want to opt for non-chemical methods, you can do the following:

  1. Handpicking: If you find nymphs or adult cicadas in your trees in small numbers, then you can opt for handpicking. Handpicking may be time-consuming but it is safe and highly effective.
  2. Spraying: You can also shoo the cicadas off your plants by spraying water in the selected areas with the help of a garden hose.
  3. Foiling: to keep cicadas off your trees, you can also wrap the trunk of the trees with sticky bands to get hold of the cicadas or foil. This will help to trap the cicadas that might be moving upward to breed.
  4. Protecting: You can also cover your young or valuable plants with nets to form a protective covering around the plants.

To Conclude

Although cicadas are completely harmless and are not likely to sting you, you should try to get rid of any holes that might leave room for cicada intrusion.

Cicadas are not quiet creatures. They have earned their reputation of being noisy and are, hence, not the best kind of roommate that you might want to have. However, the good part is that cicadas are clumsy fliers. Therefore, one can easily pick up a cicada and throw it outside the house if it enters somehow.

Nevertheless, cicada infestation in your home is less likely because cicadas cannot breed while they are indoors. Securing the doors and windows of your house will not only keep cicadas but also other backyard bugs and insects away. Now that you are aware of the things that might be attracting the cicadas in your house, it will get slightly easier for you to keep them at bay and buzz-proof your house.

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