DAILY DIRT: Now it’s time to start preparing for those broods of cicadas


Yes, another article talking about cicadas.

Daily Dirt for Thursday, April 11, 2024

It’s proving to be an eventful year in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 916 of The Daily Dirt

1. Now that the eclipse has (finally) passed, what’s next to occupy our curiosity?

I’m going with the pending invasion of trillions — yes, trillions — of locusts, or in scientific terms: broods of cicadas.

At some point, most likely during May and/or June, two separate broods will be making West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri home. The Midwest is one of the epicenters of this coming invasion, and our region is scheduled to be hit hard.

When the broods emerge from the ground, the cicadas will cover fields and houses in their path. They will shed “exoskeletons” and produce a collective noise that rivals a jet engine in terms of volume.

Well, that sounds pleasant.

The two broods in question, Broods XIII and Brood XIX, will be emerging simultaneously for the first time in 221 years. The last time this happened was in 1803.

These periodical cicadas are different from annual cicadas, which emerge from the ground every year. In a year when a periodical cicada brood emerges, the adults begin to appear during May and June and spend the next four to six weeks flying around, attracting mates and coating trees in huge masses of eggs before they die. Millions of cicadas can erupt from each acre of the ground, resulting in billions of the insects suddenly emerging all at once.

The broods may cause damage to trees during their time aboveground, as well as some serious noise pollution while killing numerous other insects. However, they will soon die, littering streets, yards and fields with dead bodies. Their eggs will then hatch, and the nymphs will bury themselves in the ground, where they will stay until some point in the late 2030s.

Mowing the yard should be a lot of fun in a few weeks, eh?

2. Well, we have a new No. 1 license plate in the 2024 Great Plate Debate, our third year of seeking the most creative vehicle identifications across West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

CO XIST is one of the all-time great plates and knocked US-MALE off the pedestal. AUZZIE has tumbled to bronze-medal status. Keep sending in your nominations!

Gold medal: CO XIST
Silver medal: US-MALE
Bronze medal: AUZZIE.

Best of the rest from the past week:

3. Speaking of the week’s best, here’s the finest of “Found on Facebook”:

  • “When Chuck Norris tells a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Will Smith slaps himself.”
  • “Marilyn Manson looks like Nicolas Cage disguised as Marilyn Manson.”
  • “Man, I thought growing old would take longer.”
  • “So far, this is the oldest I’ve ever been.”
  • “My neighbor suggested I put cow manure on my strawberries, Tried it. I’m going back to whipped cream.”

Steve Thought O’ The Day — One other note today about Chuck Norris. As a child, he built sandcastles. Today we call them pyramids.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He doesn’t mow his own yard.

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