What’s all the BUZZ about? Most likely what you’re hearing are the Cicadas (males) in your trees and around your neighborhood.
You may also see what some refer to as a “MONSTER” flying pests flying around your yard too!..Have no fear as those “MONSTERS” are working hard to rid the Cicadas from the trees. These are really wasps and referred to as “cicada killers”. You also may be seeing holes (the size of your finger) with dirt shooting along the side of the holes in your yard. NOTE: if you’re seeing larger holes in your yard without dirt along the sides of the hole you may have “chipmunks.”
We’re getting calls about huge monster looking bugs flying around backyards and panicking families. Have no fear, what you’re seeing most likely are the “CICADA KILLERS” (WASPS). They’re in full force around Kansas City. Cicadas are sometimes incorrectly called harvest-flies or “locusts”. Some emerge on 13-year cycles and some emerge on 17-year cycles. Brood emergence’s usually contain more than one species. The periodical cicadas are all similar in appearance: 1 to 1.5 inches long including the wings. The eyes, legs and margins of the wings are orange. Periodical cicadas sing and fly in spring, whereas other species of cicadas are active during the summer. Read on if you would like to learn more…
After spending from 2-17 years in the soil, cicada nymphs dig their way to the surface (sometimes constructing mud “chimneys” up to 3 inches tall). In late May or early June, the nymphs eventually crawl to the trunk of a tree or some other object and cling there. Soon the insect molts into the winged adult stage, leaving behind the cast skin. Adults are active during daylight hours.
Egg laying scars on stem Adult Males begin to sing with a shrill buzzing noise to attract females. After mating, females use their sawlike ovipositors (for laying eggs) to split open the bark of hardwood twigs and insert eggs in two rows. Damage by cicadas is from the tiny slits made during egg laying. If there are many, dying tips of branches may be noticed. This is normally not a major problem for large trees. After 6 or 7 weeks the eggs hatch and tiny ant-like first stage nymphs drop to the soil to burrow in for the next 2 or more years (periodical cicadas develop for 13 to 17 years). While in the soil, the nymphs feed on the roots of many kinds of trees.
Farming and urbanization of suitable habitats have reduced the populations of many cicadas, and it is thought that some broods of the 13-year and 17-year cicadas may be extinct. To learn more about cicadas, go to the University of Michigan site: http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/michigan_cicadas/Periodical/