Dog day cicada rests on tree bark.

It doesn’t really feel like summer until you hear the buzzing song of cicadas cutting through the air. For some this is just another part of summer that blends into the background, others may find the call slightly more annoying, explains naturalist Angela Pierce with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Either way, you are not the intended audience. Cicadas begin emerging in midsummer and only live about one month. That doesn’t give the male cicadas much time. During that time, they must feed and find a mate. While some insects use chemicals called pheromones to attract a mate, cicadas use their song. The louder the call, the more likely they can be heard by a mate.

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