The 17 Year Cicadas are Returning to Parts of North Carolina

Over the next few weeks you may begin to the see & hear the distinctive sights and sounds of the 17 year Cicadas returning after their hiatus. Now they aren’t returning everywhere in our area just locations from around Lake Norman North.You can’t  miss the sound or miss their appearance once you see them. These little guys are waking up after being in the ground for 17 years.

The sound of Cicadas from Cicadas Singing in Princeton in 2004 by cicadamania


Now due also to so much construction and changes since 1996 they may not return everywhere. Here’s a look at the map of their possible locations. You can see areas along I-40 North have the best chance of seeing them.  Areas around the nationals capital and New York will see the biggest swarms.

Brood II (17 year) or Eastern Brood Cicada Map:

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These bugs may seem scary but they are completely harmless and they return in such large numbers to defeat their predators. Here is a great check list of information from

Are they coming to town?

Read this first:

  • This page is strictly dedicated to the Magicicada periodical cicadas (aka 17 and 13-year cicadas, and “locusts”).
  • This is what they look like: Red eyes, orange wings, and black bodies
    Magicicada septendecim
  • This does not cover annual cicada species (cicadas that arrive every year), or cicadas outside of the United States.
  • Magicicadas only emerge in the Spring and very early Summer (April-June). If you find cicadas in mid July to September, they are not Magicicadas.
  • If you’re in the right area, but in the wrong year, you might find some “stragglers”, which are Magicicada that emerge ahead of time (or after).

Figuring out if they’re coming to your town:

  1. Verify that they’re coming to your state. Check the Magicicada Brood Chart on this page.
  2. Check Cicada Brood Maps linked from this page to see if they’re coming to your general area.
  3. Check to see if they’re coming to your neighborhood. Good sources include:
    1. Check the Cicada Central Magicicada Database to see the counties where cicadas have appeared in the past.
    2. Ask someone who lived there 17 (or 13) years before.
    3. Old timers (hint: old timers usually call them locusts).
    4. Check your local Library for old newspaper articles.
    5. Check with a local college: contact the biology or agriculture departments.
    6. Your local county and town parks department (parks and rec). Some county parks departments plan events around cicada emergences.
  4. When will they emerge?
    1. They will emerge sometime in the Spring, for sure.
    2. They typically emerge once the soil 8 inches below the surface gets to 64 degreesFahrenheit.
    3. Cicadas in sunny areas of your yard will emerge before cicadas in shady areas.
    4. Cicadas in the southern-most states will emerge before cicadas in northern states.
    5. You can try the Cicada Emergence Formula as well.
  5. They’re coming, and I have baby trees!
    1. Spray them off with a garden hose.
    2. Foil around the trunk (to keep them from crawling up) (thanks Deborah).
    3. Insect barrier tape.
    4. Place netting over your precious ornamental trees: Try a landscaping supply place – where you bought the baby trees in the first place.
    5. Bagpipes (no joke, it worked at my friend’s wedding).
    6. Don’t use pesticide – we like all insects (especially pollinating bees).
  6. They’re coming, and they scare me!
    • Get a grip! They’re only bugs.
    • Try a hat, an umbrella, a bee-keepers’ outfit, a suit of armor…
  7. They’re coming, and they’re going to ruin my wedding!

Other Broods of Cicadas.

Magicicada Brood Chart
BroodLife span ( 17 or 13 year )YearWhere?Maps
I171944, 1961, 1978, 1995, 2012, 2029TN, VA, WVABrood I map(
II171945, 1962, 1979, 1996,2013CT, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VABrood II map
III171946, 1963, 1980, 1997,2014IA, IL, MOBrood III map
IV171947, 1964, 1981, 1998,2015IA, KS, MO, NE, OK, TXBrood IV map
V171948, 1965, 1982, 1999,2016OH, PA, VA, WVABrood V map
VI171949, 1966, 1983, 2000,2017GA, NC, SCBrood VI map(
VII171950, 1967, 1984, 2001,2018NYBrood VII map
VIII171951, 1968, 1985, 2002,2019OH, PA, WVABrood VIII map
IX171952, 1969, 1986, 2003,2020NC, VA, WVABrood IX map
X171953, 1970, 1987, 2004,2021DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVA, Washington DCBrood X map
XIII171956, 1973, 1990, 2007,2024IA, IL, IN, MI, WIBrood XIII map
XIV171957, 1974, 1991, 2008,2025KY, GA, IN, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WVABrood XIV map
XIX131972, 1985, 1998, 2011,2024AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, VABrood XIX map
XXII131962, 1975, 1988, 2001,2014LA, MSBrood XXII map
XXIII131963, 1976, 1989, 2002,2015AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, TNBrood IV map(