Staten Islanders Try to Avoid "Creepy" Cicadas

The "creepy" cicadas are taking over streets and hanging on bushes and fences

By Marc Santia
|  Tuesday, May 28, 2013  |  Updated 2:29 PM EDT
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The cicada invasion has begun in parts of New York City. Marc Santia saw plenty of them on Staten Island.

NBC 4 New York

The cicada invasion has begun in parts of New York City. Marc Santia saw plenty of them on Staten Island.

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Right on schedule, cicadas have taken over Staten Island, dangling from bushes, crawling up trees, clinging to fences and even hanging onto street signs. 

"I just feel creepy," said resident Judy Debreau. "I feel like they're on me." 

The insects emerge every 17 years and stick around for about four to six weeks. The bugs are already the talk of Castleton Corners, and they haven't even started making their signature sound yet. 

Kindergartner Cam Manley said she knows cicadas aren't dangerous and that they don't bite, but was disturbed by how "icky" they appeared. 

"I don't like the way they look because they freak me out," she said. 

For Jen Remauro, this warm-weather week was the wrong time to break out the summer sandals.

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From the Archives: 1996 Cicada Invasion

In this story from 1996, Pat Battle visited a woman in Scotch Plains, N.J., who said she was "invaded by cicadas." At the end, viewers are reminded that they won't have to worry about cicadas until the far-off year 2013.
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"I don't know why they need to come visit," said Remauro. "They can't just come in dribs and drabs? It's like having your whole family come for Christmas. They all have to come?" 

A standup comedian, Remauro has managed to find some humor in the bugs that spend 17 years underground only to emerge, mate, then die. 

"You've gotta be nice to them," she said. "They have one chance to have fun, so this is it. This is their chance!" 

Cam, who is 5 years old now, will be 22 when the bugs return -- and she's just fine with that.

"If I'm a grown up, I won't be scared anymore," she declared. 

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