cicada emerging from shell

Cicadas in Georgia: Historic Emergence in 2024, Not a Lawn Threat

As we approach the warmer months in Georgia, an exciting natural phenomenon is on the horizon – the emergence of cicadas. This year, we are in for a particularly special treat as we anticipate the arrival of not just one, but two periodical cicada broods. For the first time in over 220 years, both the 13-year Brood XIX and the 17-year Brood XIII will be emerging simultaneously, a rare event that hasn’t occurred since the time of Thomas Jefferson. This historic alignment means that discussions about cicadas may be more prevalent this year, and the buzz is certainly warranted.

Understanding Cicadas

Cicadas are large, winged insects known for their loud, shrill singing. They spend most of their lives underground as nymphs, feeding on the roots of trees. After 13 or 17 years, they emerge from the soil, molt, and live above ground for about a month. During this time, they mate, and the females lay eggs in the twigs of trees and shrubs. When the eggs hatch, the cycle begins anew. 

freshly molted cicada

Why This Year Is Special

In 2024, Georgia will witness the emergence of Brood XIX, also known as the Great Southern Brood. This 13-year group of cicadas is set to make its appearance alongside Brood XIII, the Northern Illinois Brood, which follows a 17-year cycle. The simultaneous emergence of these two broods is an extraordinary event, with the next occurrence not expected until the year 2245. 

When to Expect the Cicadas

Cicadas typically begin to emerge in late April and May when soil temperatures reach 64°F. In Georgia, we can expect to see and hear Brood XIX as they come out of their underground slumber. The symphony of cicadas will continue through May and June, providing a unique soundtrack to our spring and early summer. 

The Impact on Lawns and Landscapes

Contrary to popular belief, cicadas do not pose a threat to lawns. They do not feed on grass or other plants in your garden. Their primary focus is on mating and laying eggs in trees and shrubs. While younger, more tender plants may be susceptible to injury during the oviposition process, this is generally not a concern for well-established lawns and landscapes. 

Why You Shouldn't Use Pesticides

It’s important to resist the urge to use pesticides to control cicadas. These insects are not harmful to humans, and their presence is temporary. Pesticides can have unintended consequences, harming beneficial insects and disrupting the natural ecosystem. Nature has its own way of keeping cicada populations in check, with predators like the cicada killer wasp and a parasitic fungus playing a role in controlling their numbers. 

Embrace the Natural Cycle

As we anticipate the emergence of Brood XIX in Georgia, remember that cicadas are a natural part of our ecosystem. They provide a unique soundtrack to our summer, and their presence is a temporary, albeit fascinating, event. So, as you enjoy your lush, green lawn from NG Turf this season, take a moment to appreciate the cicadas and the role they play in nature’s symphony. 

Trust NG Turf for Your Lawn Needs

As we anticipate the natural spectacle of cicadas in Georgia, it’s a reminder of the beauty and resilience of nature. For homeowners and landscape professionals looking to maintain or enhance their lawns during this time, trust Atlanta’s premium sod supplier, NG Turf. With a commitment to freshness and quality, NG Turf offers a variety of high-quality sod options, including Zeon Zoysia, Rebel Fescue, and TifTuf Bermuda, all delivered directly from our local farms. 

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