A cicada in Cincinnati has definitely made its presence felt.
The insect caused a car accident there Monday after it flew through a window and hit the driver in the face, causing the motorist to veer off and hit a utility pole, reports the Associated Press. The driver did not suffer any serious injuries, although the vehicle did see significant damage.
These red-eyed insects typically live underground but come out every 17 years to mate. People know them for the loud noises they make. This year’s cicadas are known as Brood X, which includes three different types of the bugs.
While mostly harmless, cicadas have caused some trouble. Aside from the car crash, the bugs reportedly delayed a White House press corps flight overseas during President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip when they caused mechanical issues on the plane.
Cicadas caused a stir at this year’s PGA Tour, disrupting the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, last weekend. The National Weather Service has also picked up swarms of the insects on its radar.
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“The cicadas are making that sound because it's all about romance,” said Michael Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland. “This is the male cicada trying to convince that special someone that she should be the mother of his nymphs. He's putting on his very best performance.”
While cicadas are just looking for love, they're still causing frustrations, especially among drivers.
“Bug guts, they're acidic and the acid that is in the bug guts will eventually eat through the surface of the clear coat and etch,” Frank Provenzano, general manager of Encore Detailing in Owings Mills, Maryland, told NBC Baltimore affiliate WBAL. “It'll leave a permanent bug mark that can't be removed.”
Cicadas can wreak havoc, but the fact that they only emerge nearly every two decades make them all the more fascinating to some.
“To me, they're fantastic,” Raupp said. “They only come out once every 17 years for a spectacle unparalleled anywhere else on the planet. They're just unique, special creatures.”
The cicadas should retreat around the end of June, giving us a reprieve before they return sometime in 2038.