Periodic Cicada Brood XIX

Sorry if this doesn’t deserve a new thread.

Many of us are in for Brood XIX in 2024. Last time, these guys were unspeakably horrible.

I’m already stressing about this in relation to my pawpaws. The branch diameter tends to be perfect for these demons.

I wanted to get reactions to a crazy idea:
I already paint my pawpaw trunks to prevent southwest injury.
I had the crazy thought to paint the undersides of branches with sky blue paint with the rationale it would confuse the cicadas with a type of camouflage against the blue sky (in addition to possible deterrence from the latex paint itself.)
Same principle many fish use by having a dark dorsal side and pale ventral side.

Go ahead, I can take the mockery …


Hey go for it. They are a pain. Do they make a lot of noise or just tree damage that bothers you?


Where in TN are you at? Maybe you’ll be okay. There’s a total solar eclipse in April next year in the same areas of the brood emergence. Sounds biblical…


I’m near Nashville. Last emergence was apocalyptic. You couldn’t really walk down the sidewalk without getting swarmed.
Yes the sound was deafening. Piles and piles of carcasses under trees.

However, I didn’t have a garden or orchard at that time.


Are cicadas deterred by Surround? I was not using the product when Brood X emerged and ended up covering all of my young trees with insect netting. It was a real pain. The only thing they left largely untouched without protection if I recall correctly were my figs, jujubes, and citrus. I might have tried Surround if I had known about it.


In parts of Texas, like Amarillo, there are cicada every year all summer long. They caused some damage. But the worst part was the constant noise all day all summer long. Disgusting…!!

Alpine, 400 miles south, doesn’t have a single one ever. So nice, being outside is actually peaceful…!!!

1 Like

I hear ya!
Yes we have the “regular” cicadas yearly. They’re noisy for sure but nothing like the plague of XIX

1 Like

I believe some tried it last year for Brood X as mentioned in that thread. My recollection is that it was perhaps moderately helpful.

Yeah physical exclusion is the best approach but not feasible or affordable for the number of trees I have.


There are 3,000 species of cicada worldwide. Only the eastern USA has the 17 yr type. Everywhere else it’s annual types.

1 Like

It would definitely have been a task if my trees had not been so young and sized small enough to cover. I try to be harmonious with nature but I will say I’m glad it’s a 17 year cycle not every year because it’s pretty awful with them everywhere as you say - apocalyptic.


Oh man this is absolutely frightening. :scream: The last time was apocalyptic.


They’re here!!! :scream:
Saw one yesterday while mowing.

Also Noticed more bird activity on the ground than normal.

This morning have observed 2 exoskeletons and a half eaten fellow on the sidewalk.

Time to get my netting up


I guess it was a bad time to plant our new persimmon trees. I heard that the cicada arrive (Annapolis, Md) in mid May so I will probably buy netting this week and put it on the new trees at the end of next week.


Wife and I were planting some hosta divisions a friend had provided, a week or two back… encountered several cicada pupae in the process, and saw at least one hole that looked like one had emerged, but have not seen any ‘shells’ on trees, nor heard any - yet. Maps I’ve seen showed us outside - but not far out - of the projected emergence area, but I guess we’re close enough that the maps are not ‘set in stone’.

1 Like

Some maps/resources are flat wrong (or you could say “incomplete”). The one website that most often comes up in Google searches is missing my county.
The Tennessean newspaper printed a list of counties which also omitted mine.

Yet 13 years ago we were up to our eyeballs.
Go figure.

So far still just a smattering of the critters but did observe a crow slurp one down.
Will be interesting to see how fast the numbers ramp up.

1 Like

They’re picking up fairly quickly as of yesterday. Now seeing them on my front porch.
Still nothing approaching peak.

1 Like

Started hearing them yesterday- numbers picking up considerably.
Most not full size yet.

Still can’t get away to get my netting up.

I’m glad this discussion is here, because I did not know about this threat.

“The young nymphs will drop to the ground where they burrow into the soil to feed on the sap of tree roots, starting the 17-year cycle all over again.”

“Most of your plants won’t be harmed,” Kole says. “Your flowers will be fine, your shrubs will be OK, your older mature trees will be fine.”

But if you have tender young trees on your property that were planted in the last year or two, they need protecting, he says.

“The female cicadas lay eggs in smaller branches — branches the size of your pinky or smaller,” he says.

Female cicadas use an appendage called an ovipositor to slice slits into twigs, where they deposit their eggs.

“That kills the branch,” Kole says. “So young trees that are made up only of those smaller branches are in jeopardy.”


I had already moved by 2011, but in 1998 they were all over Williamson Co. Presumably the cicadas didn’t check the map to know they weren’t supposed to be down your way…


Even this doesn’t do it justice. I don’t recall this from 13 years ago but they are spotty in terms of where they congregate and “sing”. My yard seems to be ground zero. A block away they are not noticeable