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When will cicadas emerge in 2024? Nearly all of Michigan will be spared

Brood XIII
Brood XIII of periodical cicadas will appear in several states across the country, including a small portion of southwest Michigan. (Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)
  • Trillions of ‘periodical’ cicadas are expected to emerge starting in mid-May in various parts of the country 
  • However, most of Michigan will miss out on the loud insects, with the exception of a few counties near the Indiana border
  • A brood of 17-year cicadas emerged in Michigan in 2021 

Over a dozen states in the Midwest and southeast U.S. will experience an “invasion” of trillions of cicadas later this spring. 

Starting in mid-May through late June, two groups, or broods, of cicadas are expected to emerge in an area stretching from Illinois through the southeastern U.S.: Brood XIX, which emerges every 13 years, and Brood XIII, seen every 17 years.


Some people in parts of southwest Michigan near the Indiana border may see or hear the insects, but most of the state will be spared, according to experts at Michigan State University

What are cicadas? 

There are over 3,000 species of cicadas. Some emerge every year, but it’s the “periodical” ones, which can lay low for a decade or more then make a grand comeback that attract the most attention. 


Cicadas are known for the loud buzzing sound males make to attract females during mating season. 

Michigan has several species of the insects, including ”dog day” or annual cicadas that spend most of their life underground and emerge every year in late spring for about two months before dying off.

Dog day cicadas are thick insects, about 1-1.5 inches long, with green and brown markings. They usually feed on tree roots and tree sap. 

Michigan is also home to periodical cicadas that spend about 17 years in the ground, then emerge by the millions, sometimes trillions, before leaving their offspring behind for another 17 years.

“The periodical cicadas only occur in the eastern part of the United States, mostly east of the Mississippi,” said Howard Russell, an entomologist at Michigan State University.  “There are a few broods that have jumped the river and occur west of the Mississippi, but most of them are in the eastern part of the country.” 

Periodical cicadas are slightly bigger than annual cicadas and have black and red highlights with big red eyes. The most commonly found periodical cicada species in Michigan is Brood X. 

The last time an army of periodical cicadas emerged in the state was Brood X in 2021. They were spotted in Washtenaw, Genesee, Livingston, Oakland and Lenawee counties in southeast Michigan and St. Joseph and Branch counties in the southwest.

When and where will cicadas emerge this year?

True to their name, dog day cicadas will start to appear in Michigan in late summer. 

Brood XIII periodical cicadas, on the other hand, are expected to emerge in May. In Michigan, they may be spotted close to the Indiana border, according to Michigan State University horticulture expert David Lowenstein.

Female cicadas lay their eggs in trees and can lay them by the hundreds. The larvae will fall to the ground and burrow until it’s time for them to emerge, whether it’s the next year or more than a decade later.

Cicada larvae are triggered by warm rain and will emerge when the soil temperatures reach about 64 degrees Fahrenheit, said Russell.

Are cicadas harmful to humans or pets?

While the buzzing sound can be annoying, cicadas are not a threat to humans or pets, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  They don’t bite or sting. Pet owners may even find their pets eating them.

“They're not really a threat to people,” Russell said. “In areas where they occur in large numbers, they are a nuisance …  they're loud, they're big, boisterous insects.“ 


They can be very beneficial to their ecosystem. Cicadas can help aerate lawns and improve water filtration into the ground, according to the EPA

What should I do if I spot cicadas? 

If you see a swarm of cicadas, the EPA advises against spraying them with pesticides as they are “generally ineffective” at keeping them away. 

Cicadas also don’t feed on leaves, flowers or fruit. Homeowners don’t need to take any special precautions to keep them away from their shrubs or gardens. After a few weeks, the insect will go away or die so it’s best to just leave them alone. 

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