This year, North Carolina is on the brink of a remarkable natural spectacle. As we edge closer to summer, an air of anticipation envelops the state, not just among its human residents but stirring beneath the earth itself. For the first time in over two centuries, we’re set to witness the simultaneous emergence of two distinct cicada species. This event, rich in both sound and significance, offers a unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in one of nature’s most fascinating cycles.

Cicada 101

Cicadas are among the most ancient and intriguing insects known to science. Unlike their annually appearing cousins, periodical cicadas, including the ones expected this year, spend the majority of their lives in a subterranean state, emerging only on the 13th or 17th year of their lifecycle, depending on the species. This year’s spectacle involves the Brood IX and Brood X cicadas, marking a historical confluence that has not been observed in this region for more than two centuries. These insects, with their distinct appearance and life cycle, play a pivotal role in the ecosystem, offering a window into the complexity and resilience of nature.

Why is 2024 So Special?

The dual emergence of Brood IX and Brood X cicadas is not just a rare occurrence; it’s a natural phenomenon that provides invaluable insights into cicada biology and evolutionary strategies. The sheer volume of cicadas emerging simultaneously is expected to have a pronounced impact on the local ecosystem. This natural event serves as a crucial feeding period for numerous predator species, while the cicadas themselves contribute to the natural pruning of trees, enhancing the health and vibrancy of forests and landscapes in subsequent years.

Understanding Cicada Noise

One of the most notable aspects of cicada emergence is the distinctive chorus of sounds they produce. The males’ loud mating calls, which can reach up to 100 decibels, are a marvel of nature’s design, intended to attract females in the dense auditory environment of a cicada emergence. This natural concert, although overwhelming to some, is a temporary and harmless phenomenon that underscores the cicadas’ brief but impactful above-ground phase.

Preparing for the 2024 Cicada Emergence

The impending cicada emergence, while fascinating, may raise concerns among homeowners regarding potential impacts on gardens and landscapes. However, with informed preparation, it’s possible to mitigate any adverse effects without disrupting the cicadas’ natural lifecycle. Employing simple measures like netting for young trees and postponing significant landscaping activities until after the cicadas have retreated can protect your green spaces effectively. Learn more about how to prepare and protect your home and garden from cicadas.

Moreover, embracing the cicada emergence as a unique natural event can enrich our understanding of the environment. Educational opportunities abound, from observing cicada behavior to participating in citizen science projects aimed at tracking and studying the emergence.

Cicadas and the Benefits They Provide to the Ecosystem

Beyond the immediate spectacle, cicadas play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Their emergence from the ground aerates the soil, promoting healthier plant growth. The nutrient-rich waste left behind by cicadas further fertilizes the soil, contributing to a more robust and diverse ecosystem. Additionally, the mass emergence provides a feast for birds, small mammals, and even fish, offering a boost to local wildlife populations.


As North Carolina prepares to play host to this grand natural theater, it’s important to approach the event with both curiosity and respect. The cicadas, far from being mere noisy invaders, are key players in the tapestry of our ecosystem, contributing to its health and resilience. Bug Out stands ready to assist those in our community looking for ways to coexist with the cicadas, offering expert advice to ensure that the experience is both fascinating and harmonious.

In embracing the cicada emergence, we not only witness a rare natural phenomenon, but also connect more deeply with the rhythms and cycles of the natural world around us. This event is a reminder of the wonders that lie just beneath our feet, inviting us to look, listen, and learn from the incredible life cycle of the cicadas.

Understanding the 2024 Cicada Emergence in North Carolina Serving Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Durham

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