Up to 1.5 million cicadas per acre could emerge, and people living in southwest Virginia, parts of North Carolina and West Virginia may witness this unique phenomenon, says Virginia Tech in a press release.

Fortunately, cicadas are harmless to humans. At most, the noise they make could become a nuisance.

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“Communities and farms with a large number of cicadas emerging at the same time can have a significant noise problem,” said Eric Day, Virginia Cooperative Extension entomologist in the department of entomology at Virginia Tech.

“I hope that any trouble with the disturbance is tempered by the rarity – and the incredible – of this event.”

However, they are a danger to orchids, vines and trees due to the nesting habits of its females.

“Cicadas can occur in overwhelming numbers and growers in the intended fields of activity should be alert,” said Doug Pfeiffer, professor and extension specialist in the entomology department at Virginia Tech.

Cicadas are large, cut-winged insects that occur either annually or periodically. It is a mystery to know why periodic cicadas appear only every 13 or 17 years, but it has been theorized that it is to avoid synchronizing with the cycles of predators.

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