PREPARING YOUR HOME AND GARDEN FOR THE CICADA EMERGENCE: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

With the arrival of spring comes the anticipation of the cicada emergence, a natural spectacle that occurs once every 17 years in certain regions of the United States. While homeowners may have concerns about the impact of this event on their property, including lawns and gardens, it’s essential to understand both the potential challenges and benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what homeowners can expect from the cicada emergence, offer tips for preparation, and delve into how these fascinating insects can actually benefit your lawn and garden.

 

Understanding the Cicada Emergence:

Cicadas are renowned for their distinctive buzzing calls and remarkable life cycles. Periodical cicadas, such as the Brood X cicadas, spend the majority of their lives underground as nymphs, feeding on tree roots. After 17 years, they emerge en masse, shedding their exoskeletons and transforming into adults. The males fill the air with their loud mating calls, while the females lay eggs in tree branches, marking the culmination of their extraordinary life cycle.

 

Impact on Lawns and Gardens:

Despite the initial concern, cicadas do not pose a significant threat to plants. While adult cicadas may cause some minor damage to tree branches when laying eggs, healthy trees typically recover without long-term consequences. Furthermore, cicadas do not feed on plants during their adult stage, meaning they’re unlikely to harm garden vegetables or flowers. In fact, their emergence can even have some benefits for your lawn.

 

Beneficial Effects on Lawns:

One surprising benefit of the cicada emergence is its potential to aerate your lawn. As cicadas emerge from the ground, they create exit holes through the soil, providing natural aeration. These holes allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil, promoting healthier root growth and overall lawn vitality. Additionally, the decaying bodies of cicadas can provide a nutrient boost to your lawn, acting as a natural fertilizer.

 

Preparing Your Home:

To minimize any inconvenience during the cicada emergence, homeowners can take proactive measures to prepare their properties:

 

    1. Protect Young Trees: Cover small or newly planted trees with netting or cheesecloth to prevent cicadas from laying eggs in the branches.

    1. Secure Loose Objects: Secure outdoor furniture, grills, and other loose objects to prevent them from becoming landing spots for cicadas during mating.

    1. Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal gaps or cracks in windows, doors, and screens to prevent cicadas from entering your home.

Coping with Cicada Noise:

The loud buzzing of male cicadas can be overwhelming, especially in areas with dense populations. Homeowners may find it helpful to:

 

    1. Use Noise-Canceling Devices: Consider using noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, or white noise machines indoors to minimize the impact of cicada calls.

    1. Limit Outdoor Activities: Schedule outdoor activities during quieter times of the day to reduce exposure to cicada noise.

Aftermath of the Cicada Emergence:

Once the cicada emergence has concluded, homeowners may need to take some additional steps:

 

    1. Clean Up Debris: Remove cicada exoskeletons, discarded egg casings, and fallen branches from your lawn and garden to maintain its aesthetic appeal and prevent hazards.

    1. Monitor Tree Health: Keep an eye on trees that may have been affected by cicada egg-laying. Prune damaged branches as needed and consult with an arborist or landscaping company if necessary.

Conclusion:

The cicada emergence may initially seem daunting, but with proper preparation and understanding, homeowners can navigate this natural phenomenon. By taking proactive measures to protect their property and understanding the benefits cicadas can bring, homeowners can appreciate the awe-inspiring spectacle of this once-in-a-generation event. With patience and care, your home and garden can emerge from the cicada emergence unscathed and potentially even revitalized by the beneficial effects of these remarkable insects. Visit jerseycitylandscapers.com for more information on the cicada emergence.