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Billions of Brood X cicadas will return to swarm parts of the US this summer

A new brood of cicadas is emerging after 17 years underground.
Cicadas Start To Emerge After 17-Year Slumber
The Brood X cicadas were last seen in 2004.Alex Wong / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Some states should prepare for the sounds of cicadas this summer!

Experts predict that billions of cicadas will be making appearances in the coming months in more than a dozen states including Georgia, Illinois and New York. The bigs will be from Brood X, which contains three different species of cicadas, all of which only emerge every 17 years. The group, also known as The Great Eastern Brood, was last seen in 2004.

Cicadas typically appear in 17-year cycles, though some cicadas operate on a 13-year schedule.Alamy

When and why do cicadas emerge?

Cicadas typically appear in 17-year cycles, though some cicadas operate on a 13-year schedule. Cicadas of the same life cycle are classified in different broods. This year's group will be known as Brood X.

Another type of cicadas, known as "dog-day" cicadas, are much more common and emerge every summer.

Cicadas have an unusual life cycle. Cicadas burrow out of the ground, shed their outer skins, then find mates. Female cicadas lay eggs, and then the brood dies off in droves. The eggs hatch, the new cicadas return underground, and then spend years feeding on plant roots before emerging and repeating the cycle again.

Cicadas typically emerge in the late spring or early summer, waiting for the soil temperature to reach 64 degrees Fahrenheit before coming out.

Cicadas are generally harmless and are even eaten as snacks. Getty Images

Are cicadas dangerous?

Typically harmless, the insects pose no threat to people but can do some damage to trees.

The real issue of cicadas is their extremely loud mating hum, which can reach up to 100 decibels — the same sound level of power tools and lawnmowers.

In some cases, people have turned cicadas into a variety of snacks, including chips, chocolate-covered cicadas and even soup. One ice cream shop in central Missouri created cicada ice cream, and while a public health official expressed concern over the frozen treats, the dessert sold out in hours.