Cicadas in Indiana are nothing new. For many Hoosiers, in fact, their annual buzzing is a welcome signal for the start of summer.
But this year, it’s different.
This year is the reemergence of Brood X, one of the largest groups of cicadas that comes just once every 17 years. This brood will emerge in 15 states across the Midwest and along the east coast. But one of the largest populations is right here in Indiana.
In some of the densest areas, that means there could be millions of the red-eyed bugs crawling out of the ground — per acre.
“It makes the ground look like it’s bubbling or boiling,” said Elizabeth Barnes, an entomologist with Purdue University.
The cicadas will emerge pretty much anywhere there are mature trees, even in Indiana’s metropolitan areas. And it won’t be long before the males unleash their mating calls at volumes that rival a concert.
Brood X is one of the largest groups of periodical cicadas, and also one of the most broadly spread. These cicadas will actually appear in 15 states spanning as far north as New York, south into Georgia and reaching into the Midwest.
Indiana, in fact, has one of the largest populations of Brood X, according to the U.S Forest Service.
“I do think that southern Indiana and some of the surrounding areas does seem to be the epicenter,” said Keith Clay, a distinguished professor emeritus from Indiana University who studied their last emergence in 2004.
That’s largely because of habitat and a pretty temperate climate. Hoosiers can expect cicadas to emerge anywhere there are healthy older trees, particularly in pockets — such as parks and older neighborhoods.