Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Cicadas 2021 | Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden

If you’ve been outside anytime in the last two months and you live in the Midwest, Southeast, or Mid-Atlantic, you’ve probably heard it. What is it? A sound you may not be familiar with. Phillip Elden says that those born before 2004 probably don’t remember the Brood X cicadas that came through that year. 
Q: What are cicadas? 
Phillip Elden: Cicadas are an insect that hatches from eggs and live underground the vast majority of their lives. There are more than 3000 species, but just a handful are notable. Seven different “broods” burrow underground for up to two decades before emerging in a loud and unanimous buzz. 

Q: Do cicadas eat trees? 
Phillip Elden: Many people fear the cicada brood reemergence for concerns over whether or not the cicadas will harm their trees. The truth is that they can cause some damage, but it is not because they eat leaves, flowers, or shrubbery. Most cicadas are actually more at risk than they put your plants at risk. Cicadas are an excellent source of food for many other larger animals, including frogs. Unfortunately, smaller shrubs and small trees may sustain some damage because cicadas can lay their eggs in these tight spaces. 
Q: Should I spray pesticides to get rid of cicadas? 
Phillip Elden: No! There will be millions of cicadas emerging, and spraying pesticides won’t help. What pesticides will do, however, is kill other insects, including butterflies and bees. 
Q: I’ve heard that people eat cicadas. Is that true? 
Phillip Elden: Surprisingly, yes, cicadas are packed with protein, and they are low-carb and low-fat. For those with celiac disease, cicadas are also gluten-free. As disgusting as it sounds, cicadas can be battered, fried, and mixed with seasonings and sauces to make everything from pasta to tacos. Perhaps the best use for cicadas is that they make great fishing bait.