Kate, Maryland: Do they bite and aren't they going to hurt animals?
Stroh: Cicadas don't bite. And they don't hurt animals -- at least not
intentionally. Dogs and cats love to munch on cicadas. And sometimes they
eat so many they vomit.
Stroh: They might if you live in a place where lots of Brood X cicadas call
Kim Wu, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Is it true that cicadas cycle every
17 years? I remember growing up in Asia (Malaysia) and they come around
Stroh: There are two general types of cicadas. Annual or "dog day" cicadas
are the ones you can hear each year on late summer afternoons. They live
all over the world. Periodical cicadas, on the other hand, only emerge
every 13 or 17 years, depending on the species. Periodicals are only found
in Eastern North America.
Matt, Baltimore: How long are cicadas?
Stroh: Adult cicadas are typically 1 to 2 inches long.
Michelle, Baltimore: Do you suggest the people stay at home from work or
travel if they take mass transit?
Stroh: Cicadas should have no impact on commuters.
Hadassah Beck, Baltimore: I have only been in Baltimore for about 6 years
and am deathly afraid of bugs in general. How bad does it truly get and how
long will it really last?
Stroh: How bad it gets depends on where you live and how many trees you
have around you. But take solace in this fact: The bugs don't last long. By
July 1 or so they should all be dead.
Maria, Pikesville: Will my puppy get sick if she eats any? ?
Stroh: If she pigs out, she might, so you might want to keep your dog away
from cicadas. Although vets say that even animals that do indulge aren't
likely to die. It's more like a case of doggie indigestion.
Cathy, Louisville, Ky.: I am scared of the cicadas. Do they stay in the
trees or swarm around you?
Stroh: Cicadas don't swarm in the sense that angry bees swarm. Cicadas are
notoriously bad fliers and, like a drunk on the sidewalk, are more likely
to bump into you by accident than with any kind of ill intent.
Dillon, Ferndale: If the temperature the cicadas need to come out of the
ground is 64 degrees, shouldn't they be out? It got in the 80s yesterday.
Stroh: You're right. It has been hot recently. But air temperature and soil
temperature are two different things and it takes time for the soil to warm
Lala, Westminster: What geographic area can we expect to see the cicadas in?
Roylance: In Maryland, anywhere except western Garrett County, Southern
Maryland and most of the Eastern Shore. Brood X cicadas will also be
emerging in parts of 15 other states from New Jersey to Tennessee.
The Sun's Frank D. Roylance and Michael Stroh answer your questions.
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.