Cicada Quest Video Documents the Type of Cicadas Emerging in Iowa

Learn about the 17-year cicada by watching Cicada Quest: A Symphony of Nature

July 9, 2024, 11:16 am | Laura Jesse Iles, Brandon Kleinke

AMES, Iowa – Are you curious about the cicadas that are emerging in eastern Iowa? Maybe you’ve noticed the notorious buzzing sound they make, or maybe you’ve encountered a swarm of cicadas on your property or local park.

The Integrated Pest Management team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach produced a short video entitled: ‘Cicada Quest: A Symphony of Nature’ to help answer questions and share interesting information about periodical cicadas. This vision was brought to life by Brandon Kleinke, media production specialist for the team, whose goal was to share the team’s field trip over to eastern Iowa.

In the United States, there are seven species of periodical cicadas, three of which the Integrated Pest Management team found on their adventure. The loud noises heard by many from the cicadas are the males singing in order to attract females for mating. After mating the eggs that are laid will result in the hatch of a new brood, that will live underground for 17 years before emerging and repeating the process all over again.

“Viewers can gain an appreciation for how cool the periodical cicada is and how it is a very interesting phenomena to get to witness,” said Laura Iles, director of the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center. “The next time to see periodical cicadas in Iowa will be in 2031 when Brood III emerges in central Iowa.”

Each year, annual cicadas emerge, but the periodical cicadas are a different genus and only emerge every 13 or 17 years. The periodical cicadas can be loud, but they only last a few weeks as the adults seek out mates and lay eggs.

Don’t be worried about the health of your trees where the cicadas have laid eggs. In areas where the cicadas emerged, egg laying causes some branch tip dieback, but it is not harmful to the tree’s overall health.

Learn more about the Integrated Pest Management team by following the updates to the team website, including additional educational videos about insects found in Iowa.

Shareable photo: Cicada on a tree branch.

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