Cicada Protection

We are supposed to get hit with 17 year cicadas this summer. I have dozens of fruit trees and bushes, all 1 to 4 years old. Any ideas on how best to protect them? I’m willing to net them, but not sure how long the nets would have to be on the trees and how restrictive they would be on new growth. Would sprays do any good?

In theory you could net them, but its a lot of work. Cicada season is around a month long if I recall our last big one here. I had 100 young trees when they came through and I basically lost a year of growth after I had pruned out the damage. Sevin kills them but you need to do a large number of sprays to have any impact - they just keep coming up and the spray is not affecting the ones still underground. Its like a bad zombie movie where the weapons are not working.

The next time we get a bad batch here I plan to use heavy Surround coverage - it is supposed to slow them down. Hit the undersides of pencil-thick limbs, that is their favorite spot.

Thanks, I didn’t even think of Surround. Maybe I’ll net my best 5 or 10 trees and Surround the rest heavily and often.

How do we find out when we get them? I’ve only lived full time in RI for 14 years. Is this our year too, since our zones are so close? Thanks

Here is one site

Does anyone know if they avoid thorny plants like gooseberries and thorny blackberries?

Thanks ztom. MA and RI are not even listed so I we’re not in line for those creatures. I remember growing up in Ohio, they were on large hickory trees and the insect was huge. I loved collected their empty shells. It was a very noisy insect. We have them in the south of France every day during the summer.

a horde of praying(preying?) mantis might help, if your cicadas don’t emerge in great numbers. The apache cicadas in the mojave desert emerge at an ‘early’ 13 years of age, but they do it in staggered deliveries, so we get them on a yearly basis, and not on a 17 yr wholesale cycle. Maybe that is a good thing for trees/plants here

here’s a pic of a mantis devouring a teen-aged mutant ninja cicada. 13 years its senior!

The cicada hit me bad this year. They were 1-2 inches apart on a lot of bushes and trees there was so many of them. You could have sprayed all day everyday and never cut into their numbers in my opinion. That net sounds like a plan.

I looked into the Surround data and in the only study I could find it reduced the number of injuries by half. Thats probably not what you were hoping for, but based on how many branches I had to remove from trees in my last attack it would be well worth the effort. Please post your results.

1 Like