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The buzz around Brood X: Don’t fear the cicada, WVU scientists say


A Brood IX periodical cicada (Magicicada septendecim) rests on a leaf at Yew Mountain Lodge in Pocahontas County, West Virginia in June 2020. (Angie Macias Photo)

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They’re coming but there’s no need to fear (although you may want to reach for some earplugs). 

Brood X periodical cicadas are set to emerge in at least 15 states – including West Virginia - in late May, according to West Virginia University scientists with the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

This particular batch of noisy critters, called Brood X (“ten”), appears every 17 years and is expected to roam throughout the eastern part of the state through the end of June. 

“Cicadas are not locusts, and this is not a plague,” Matt Kasson, associate professor of forest pathology and mycology, said, jokingly. “It’s an awe-inspiring culmination of 17 years of quietly feeding on sap from roots underground. Although cicadas seem to appear out of nowhere, they have spent the last 17 years feeding underground to emerge and complete their development into adults that mate and die.”

Kasson, Brian Lovett and Angie Macias have studied cicadas for several years and break down what you need to know about the pending invasion, albeit harmless, of Brood X here: Top Ten things to know about Brood X Periodical Cicadas.

Other related content, including photos, videos and previous articles, can be viewed in the following media toolkit: The buzz around Brood X: Don't fear the cicada.

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CONTACT: Matt Kasson
Associate Professor
WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Jake Stump
WVU Research Communications 

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