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Periodical Cicadas

If you're going outside, you might want to grab some earplugs. Why? Because 13-year periodical cicadas (peer-ee-odd-i-kul si-kae-duhs) are out, and their buzzing is making a huge racket! These harmless, pinkie-sized insects spend most of their lives underground. They wriggle to the surface every 13 or 17 years—depending on the kind of cicada—for a huge reunion concert. To attract lady cicadas, males flex drum-like organs on their tummies that create a loud hum. When thousands of cicadas hum together, they make enough noise to rival any rock band. If singing cicadas are getting on your nerves, don't despair. The ruckus should end in another few weeks.

To learn more about periodical cicadas, buzz over to the Conservation Department's cicada page.