Delmarva Expecting Minimal 17-Year Cicada Outbreak, Bad Mosquito - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Expecting Minimal 17-Year Cicada Outbreak, Bad Mosquito Season

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SALISBURY, Md.- You have probably heard all the hype lately about an impending invasion across the Northeast region of cicadas: those noisy, ugly bugs that tend to come out in droves. One particular species of cicada is due for a return to the area after 17 years of lying low.

Those periodic cicadas are expected to emerge from the soil from North Carolina to Connecticut. The good news for us here on Delmarva is we will not see anywhere close to the expected across the bay. But that does not mean we should let our guard down when it comes to summer's pests.

Their sound is unmistakable.

"You hear that noise. I know the noise they give out is real loud," said John Johnson of Salisbury.

"I wish that they didn't come out," added Sandra Welch.

"There is no such thing as a specific time and they may come out in one area one year, and another, another year, in great numbers," explained Dr. Jeurel Singleton, an entomologist at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. "This is a strategy for survival, to find mates and propagate the species."

They are called magicicadas, otherwise known as "17-year locusts." According to the latest maps, Delmarva looks to be in the clear from this year's outbreak. According to Dr. Singleton, we will see some of these cicadas, but nothing like other areas in the northeast.

"We are in a whole different climatic zone here," she said. "We have a lot of ocean influence, and because our soils are different here, many, many things are different here. We have a lot of coastal pine on this peninsula. We may not get a big hit, because they prefer deciduous trees."

However, Delmarva will see the annual cicadas that crop up every year.

Additionally, Singleton said the peninsula is in for a bad year for ticks and an even worse mosquito season.

"The ones that are the primary infectors of West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, dog heartworm and a lot of these viruses that can really be very problematic and deadly in some cases," she noted.

As for when those magicicadas are really expected to hit the Delmarva peninsula, it looks like we are off the hook for another eight years.

While cicadas are completely harmless, and cannot bite or sting, Dr. Singleton said precautions should be taken when it comes to ticks and mosquitoes. Be sure to check yourself and your pets thoroughly for ticks after spending time outdoors. To deter mosquitoes, wear repellent and take steps to clear your surroundings of mosquito breeding grounds.

"Anything that's standing water, any flower pots and so forth, dump it," Singleton said. "After you water your plants, dump it out and don't keep standing water around."

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