This summer marks the first time in 17 years that "Brood X," a specific brood of periodical cicadas that have been living underground, will emerge in several states

By Morgan Smith
June 09, 2021 04:12 PM
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Cicadas are causing more than a buzz in Ohio. 

On Monday, the winged insect caused a car crash in Cincinnati after it flew through a vehicle's open window and hit the driver in the face, causing the motorist to swerve into a utility pole, according to Cincinnati Police. 

"Nothing good happens with cicadas," the police tweeted after the incident. 

Thankfully, the driver sustained only minor injuries - bruising from his seatbelt and the airbags deploying - though the car saw significant damage, with the right side of its hood almost entirely ripped off, a representative from the Cincinnati Police said. 

This summer marks the first time in 17 years that "Brood X," a specific brood of periodical cicadas that have been living underground, will emerge in great numbers.

Unlike annual cicadas, periodical cicadas live underground in larval form for most of their lives and emerge every 13 or 17 years as adults to mate, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

After mating, female cicadas excavate furrows in slender tree branches to deposit their eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, young cicadas drop to the ground and burrow beneath the soil, waiting more than a decade to emerge into the open air again.

"Brood X" has begun appearing last month in the District of Columbia and is expected to appear in at least parts of the following 15 states: Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, USA Today reported. 

The winged, red-eyed insects have already made quite the impression this summer, causing mechanical issues on a White House press charter plane during President Joe Biden's first official foreign trip and disrupting a PGA golf tournament in Ohio earlier this month, according to Today

Cicadas are known for the loud, buzzing noise they make at night, which is actually a mating call. 

"The cicadas are making that sound because it's all about romance," Michael Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, told Today. "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."

Multiple outlets have reported that the cicadas should retreat underground at the end of June and are expected to reemerge sometime in 2038.