If sometime in mid-April or May you hear an ominous, ambient humming and notice that the ground looks like it’s swarming with insects, never fear — it is! After 17 years, it’s time again for Maryland’s visitation by Brood II Cicadas, everyone’s favorite infestation.
According to Business Insider, the insects arrive so rarely (and so regularly) because they spend most of their lives underground; the swarm we see is them living out their final moments as they produce the next generation, which will then burrow underground and hibernate for 16 more years. Because of their rarity, they have few natural predators. But they also don’t sting, bite, or transmit disease.
Another important thing to keep in mind: The warmer the weather, the sooner the cicadas will emerge. Business Insider links to two useful websites: the cicada wedding planner (full of useful tips like “bagpipes are effective at drowning out cicadas”) and the build-your-own cicada tracker. Or we could all just stay inside for the next two months.