the 2013 cicada invasion hits our backyard

If you live on the Eastern seaboard, you’ve heard about the impending cicada invasion. Supposedly there are about a billion of these little red-eyed buggers emerging from the ground every square mile. They start their rise to the surface, after being dormant for 16 years once the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees. That must have been what happened on Wednesday evening, because we went out into our backyard and found them everywhere. While not exactly biblical in numbers, they are bountiful and easy to spot. They especially seem to enjoy parking themselves on our daughter’s swingset. They come out of the earth small and brown nymphs, and then crawl onto to something where they can “hatch” out of their exoskeletons. It’s pretty trippy to discover them mid-hatched. They come out looking like white albino bugs, but then turn dark and almost, dare I say, beautiful. Their wings are iridescent and their eyes are indeed beady and red. Our girl has been having great fun corralling them for my photog husband, who is documenting them in all their glory. We’re currently investigating cicada recipes — apparently they taste a bit like corn and are high in protein. We’ll do some experiments and report back here.

Is your yard being overrun by cicada’s yet? Would you eat them? Share your tales here!

Photo by Chad Hunt Photography.

From our partners
Mary S

It disturbs me that this is tagged “cooking”! : ) Seriously, though, having grown up in Ohio, I went through not one but THREE of these (there was a group that emerged off-schedule at one point, several years early). The emergence in the ’80s was the weirdest; they literally covered the roads in parts. But they don’t bite and they only live for 24 hours, so we just dealt with it. And when they came out when I was a kid, we thought it was cool on the playground to hang those abandoned exoskeletons on our shirts like groovy pins! : D

Mary S

PS The last emergence during my time in Ohio was the year I was getting married — outside. I actually called an entymologist at UC to be certain that our wedding would be scheduled before they emerged, cicadas up wedding dress skirt not high on my bucket list.

You’ll find some great recipes in “Cooking with Cicadas” (available in paperback and Kindle at