Cicadas reappear after 17 years

Jason Liu, Writer

After 17 years of dormancy, Brood X cicadas reemerged throughout Virginia in the beginning of May 2021.

“They’re going to be everywhere in the next few weeks,” said Mr. Kevin Reif, an eighth-grade RCMS science teacher.

Brood X Cicadas, also known as the Great Eastern Brood, are a special breed that emerge from underground every 17 years. The cicadas are expected to appear across the entire East Coast of the U.S., including Virginia. Additionally, they will be expected to stay for around 4-6 weeks before returning back underground for another cycle of dormancy.

“At least they only appear for a short time,” said Kavin Velmurugan, an eighth-grade RCMS student.

While Brood X Cicadas aren’t a major threat to the environment, they generate lots of noise. These cicadas vibrate several sharp buzzes throughout the day at high speeds in order to find mates and repel predators. These sounds can reach up to 90 decibels, similar to the amount of a motorcycle.

Due to their loud sounds, many students will find the cicadas to be irritating. “I won’t even be able to hear myself think,” said Fillip Georgiveski, an eighth-grade RCMS student.

“Last time the cicadas were here in 2004, I remember they would not stop making noise,” said Mr. Reif.

Other students are quite apathetic about the cicadas.

“I don’t really care that much since they’ll only stay for a few weeks,”  said Connor Courtney, an eighth-grade RCMS student, “and then they’ll just go away for another long 17 years.”

Mr. Reif finds them interesting.

“Despite the noise, I personally find it fascinating that a species goes through a cycle of several years of dormancy only to appear for a short period of time,” Mr. Reif said.

Connor put the inconvenience into perspective.

“I think we’ll just have to deal with it for now,” said Connor, “as we’ve dealt with much worse things before like the Covid pandemic.”