May 31, 2017

Coping with a Summer Full of Cicadas

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that cicadas are on the way for summer 2017. As they start to emerge from their slumber and blanket yards throughout the Maryland area, many landscapers and gardeners worry about the impact of cicadas on all of their hard work. What should you expect this summer?

Get Ready to Hear Some Noise

Cicadas are noisy! Even if you haven’t ever seen a cicada, you have almost certainly heard them. Males vibrate a special organ in their bodies to alert any females nearby that they are ready to mate. Large groups of male cicadas will gather in one spot to amplify their voices and attract even more females. While those living in the suburbs might not suffer from too much cicada noise, those in cicada-dense rural areas might hear cicada noise that is easily over 50 decibels. 

Protect Your Trees

Male cicadas don’t do much damage to the trees that they sing from, but females use small twigs to lay their eggs. Large trees can easily withstand this pruning, but young or small trees might be a little bit worse for wear. If you have any small trees in your yard, wrap them with a thin layer of cheesecloth so that female cicadas can’t do any damage.

Save Your Work for Early or Late in the Day

If you don’t already, save your landscaping work for early or late in the day. Cicadas often think that the noises power tools and gardening tools make are caused as a result of male cicadas. So, cicadas might be attracted to your power tools and flock to your location. If you don’t want to risk being covered in cicadas, it’s best to save your power tool usage until early morning or dusk. 

Keep An Eye on Your Pets

Cicadas can appear in huge swarms and be very attractive to curious pets. Their exoskeleton can cause digestive problems for many pets, so make sure that your dog or cat doesn’t eat any. One or two won’t do any harm, but a whole bunch can lead to major issues.

Looking for help keeping your landscaping cicada-free this year? Give JFC Grounds Maintenance a call at (410) 655-2887.