Cicadas are coming, but not to Missouri

The cicadas may straggle into Missouri, but not as they usually do, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Tamra Reall.

Periodical cicadas are coming in 2021, but probably not to Missouri.

University of Missouri Extension horticulturist Tamra Reall said Missourians may see straggler cicadas from other states, but not the massive swarms of noisy insects that more eastern states will see. The next brood to emerge in Missouri will not appear until 2024, according to a release.

Periodical cicadas, as opposed to their larger annual counterparts, emerge every 13 or 17 years in late May to early July.

Cicadas are noisy and overwhelming. But they are also magical, said Reall.

“They are magical because of how rarely they emerge. Their scientific genus reflects this – Magicicada,” said Reall, who has a background in entomology. “Just take time to reflect on the cool factor.”

This heavy-bodied insect features large, red compound eyes and membranous wings. Adults are an inch long and have a 3-inch wingspan.

While some find them annoying, periodical cicadas are mostly harmless, Reall said.

However, if the state gets a few, remember to protect young trees as the female seeks out smaller stems to deposits her eggs. Prevent this by covering with cheesecloth or mosquito netting. Generally, healthy trees will do fine without chemical treatment, she said.

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