They are noisy. They can leave their skin all over the place. They can also be the sweet song of summer in northern Iowa. Cicadas will emerge this summer in the area according to Winnebago County Naturalist Lisa Ralls, but do they pose a real threat to area crops and plants?
The periodical cicadidaes that pose a threat to east coast and southern states will feed on plants, Our annual cicadas don’t.
These annual cicadas will find their way into trees and on houses. There is no threat to area crops.
Annual cicadas will shed their skin very soon after emerging from the ground making for a fun hunt by children to find the skin still clinging to branches, leaves, or even the ground.
Cicadas are a food source for birds and they have no defense mechanisms to hide or defend themselves. Those that survive don’t live long after mating.
While annual cicadas are found here in northern Iowa, their counterpart periodic cicadas cannot handle the long cold winters underground. As to their song they sing to attract a mate, it doesn’t come from their mouth.
The local cicadas should begin to emerge in late June.