Bug Blog

Controlling the Cicada

Controlling the Cicada

You know that incredibly loud buzzing you hear in the summer. You might be reading a book or just falling asleep when a sound almost as loud as a jackhammer coming from not just one but many many insects interrupts the blissful silence. Who’s causing this racket? The seemingly harmless cicada. But, don’t let their docile nature fool you. These insects aren’t just a pain on our ears, they also wreak havoc destroying your trees and shrubs when they all get together for a party, which can include thousands of these pests.

The female cicadas are the main culprit here. They find deciduous trees and cut two small pencil sized slits into the trees branches and twigs, where she then lays her eggs. She doesn’t just do this with one branch, though. Oh no, she’s got to cover as much ground as she can, spreading her eggs all over innocent trees. The number of eggs she lays can reach up to 600. The twigs and branches in which these eggs are deposited usually die and break off. Her egg laying habits can even kill young trees and bushes, although mature trees can usually make a recovery.

Insecticide is often used to control this destruction, but the most effective way to prevent the female cicadas from laying their eggs in your trees and bushes is to place insect netting over them. Make sure you tie and seal it off so they can’t find any way inside, though.

Have you ever seen plants destroyed by cicadas? Do you deal with this problem? How do you protect your trees and shrubs?