Illinois residents prep for 'cicada-geddon' as double-brood invasion imminent

Illinois is just weeks away from the highly anticipated cicada invasion and when we say invasion, we mean it.

Hundreds of trillions or even quadrillions of bugs will emerge from the ground. If you do the math, that’s an average of 1 million per acre.

Get ready Illinois, cicada-geddon is coming.

"It’s like an entire alien species living underneath our feet," said Saad Bhamla, a Georgia Tech School of Engineering professor.

Bhamla said we’re in for a rare double dose of cicadas this year. There are two broods of periodical cicadas that will emerge at the same time. We have the 17-year cicadas and the 13-year cicadas.

Michael Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, said the last time this happened was in 1803.

"I’m fascinated by the whole thing. This only happens once every 221 years," Raupp said.

So when is this going to happen? Pretty soon! Cicadas begin to emerge once the soil temperature at 8-inches deep warms to 64 degrees. As of late-April, most of Illinois has an 8-inch soil temperature in the mid-50s.

According to historical averages, Illinois typically reaches the 64-degree threshold sometime between mid-May and early June.

So it’s about to get noisy. This is what May Berenbaum, a professor at the University of Illinois, said about just how noisy our little cicada friends will be.

"What you will hear this year…is singing that will reach decibels of 90 to 100," Berenbaum said.

That’s equivalent to the noise of a subway, a power lawn mower, or factory machinery.

While many Illinoisans aren’t looking forward to the so-called cicada-geddon, Robiar Smith of R.B. Pest Control said there are remedies we can do to try to get ahead of the bugs.

"So what we need to do is just make sure the landscaping and shrubs are cut as low as possible. Contact your pest control company and we’ll come out and get rid of it," Smith said.

While it’ll be a noisy spring and summer in Illinois, it won’t last for too long. Cicadas are typically only alive above the ground for about a month. They emerge, mate, lay their eggs, and then die.