Be part of WTOP’s cicada coverage

Here\'s where the cicadas are expected to emerge. Click for a larger version. (Courtesy of Zyla)

WASHINGTON – Cicadas have started to emerge and will be making quite a racket in the coming weeks.

There are 15 U.S. broods of cicadas that emerge every 13 or 17 years, so that nearly every year, some place is overrun.

This year’s invasion, Brood II, is one of the bigger ones. Several experts say that they really don’t have a handle on how many cicadas are lurking underground but that 30 billion seems like a good estimate. At the Smithsonian Institution, researcher Gary Hevel thinks it may be more like 1 trillion.

“There will be some places where it’s wall-to-wall cicadas,” says University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp.

The cicadas will be gone by mid-June, for another 17 years, Raupp says.

According to Raupp’s Bug of the Week website, cicadas have been spotted in Spotsylvania County, Va. and in California, Md.

Here’s how you can be part of WTOP’s cicada coverage.

Submit your photos to the gallery on the right.

Or use Twitter and tweet the photo with #WTOP.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein has put together a how-to-tweet tutorial below:

Thousands of 17-year cicadas have appeared in Mary Walker’s St. Mary’s County yard in recent days.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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