D.C. area spared from 17-year cicada invasion — for now

WASHINGTON — Soon, billions of bugs — that’s billions with a “B” — will invade the East Coast, but this time the D.C. area is off the hook.

“We’re not going to have cicadas this year,” said Mike Raupp, the bug guy at the University of Maryland College Park.

He was talking about the brood 5 cicadas, commonly known as 17-year cicadas after the amount of time they’ve been living in the ground. They’ll emerge soon — by the end of May, depending on weather conditions.

“Parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia — it is going to be spectacular,” Raupp said.

He says you will have to travel a little farther west of D.C. to enjoy cicadas this year.

“I know — how disappointing (that) we are off the hook, in this area,” Raupp said. “I guess this is good news for cicada-phobes. But sorely disappointing for cicada-philes.”

But come 2021, he says, look out. “That’s the big brood, brood 10,” he said. “We’ll all be treated to that, even in the D.C.-metro area. This is the largest mass emergence of cicadas anywhere on the planet.”

Northern Virginia faced brood 2 back in 2014.

“These are kind of fun bugs,” he said. “They’re not going to hurt you or your pets.”

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up