Are cicadas already emerging? Images, videos show large sightings in Chicago area

Are cicadas already emerging? Images, videos show large sightings in Chicago area

Cicada Emergence in Chicago Area

Cicadas Emergence in Chicago Area

Cicadas have already started making their way to the surface ahead of their highly anticipated emergence in the Chicago area this spring. Billions of the insects from two broods are set to crawl up from the ground this spring and summer, and many in the Chicago area have already noticed the beginning of their arrival.

Sightings of cicadas, many still in the ground, have already been reported in numerous parts of the city and suburbs. A wall of what may be cicadas was spotted over the weekend on Wisconsin Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Old Town Triangle neighborhoods. In Downers Grove, gardeners reported seeing several just underneath the surface in the soil.

Some experts say that sightings of cicadas digging tunnels may not indicate their emergence just yet, but rather their preparation for it once soil temperatures reach the right levels.

Tom Velat with the DuPage County Forest Preserve noted that while signs of cicadas may be visible, there isn't enough information yet to determine just how big an emergence will be in the area.

Allen Lawrance, associate curator of entomology at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, mentioned the possibility of cicadas emerging earlier than expected due to climate and warmer temperatures. However, he emphasized that the emergence timing depends on soil temperature, typically when it exceeds approximately 64°F.

According to Lawrance, the 17-year cicadas (Brood XIII), which will emerge all across Northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, are expected to emerge around mid-May. Warmer weather could push this timeframe earlier, Lawrance said, but only if it's enough to push soil temperatures above the 64-degree threshold.

In Chicago, officials issued an advisory earlier this month, saying the first emergence is expected sometime around late April through early June. The advisory also mentioned that neighborhoods and areas with older homes could see a bigger impact.

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