The worlds largest insect emergence of "Brood X" cicadas in May will result in some damage to fruit trees and prized yard trees and shrubs, but the large insects will not cause crippling harm to common farm crops, an Indiana University scientist says.
Two cicadas mate during their brief above-ground reproductive period.
Copyright Holder: Chris Simon, University of Connecticut
"There will be some crop damage, especially to orchards, but we dont expect a disaster," said IU Bloomington biologist Keith Clay, who recently received a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to study Brood X. "The cicadas dont harm evergreen trees or leafy, non-woody plants. But isolated shrubs, broad-leafed trees, and trees with soft, woody branches are vulnerable. People who have just spent thousands of dollars on landscaping may want to consider throwing netting over the trees during the two-to-three-week period when the adult cicadas are out."
Clay recommends that concerned gardeners, vintners and farmers place netting -- with holes no greater than one-half inch across -- securely over the top of vulnerable plants.
David Bricker | Indiana University
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