Cicadas Back in New Jersey After 17-Year Absence

Billions of the insects will cover trees and shrubs on the East Coast this summer

By Roseanne Colletti
|  Wednesday, May 22, 2013  |  Updated 5:26 AM EDT
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Residents in Summit, N.J. have some new neighbors: thousands of cicadas that have emerged from the ground. Roseanne Colletti reports on their arrival.

NBC 4 New York

Residents in Summit, N.J. have some new neighbors: thousands of cicadas that have emerged from the ground. Roseanne Colletti reports on their arrival.

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Cicadas seemed to pop up overnight from little holes in the ground in New Jersey.

The insects, which emerge every 17 years, are the offspring of cicadas that were here in 1996.

“First thing this morning, we came out and they were all over the place, all over the newly planted bushes, trees,” says David Hadley of Summit, N.J.

Suzanne Currie was walking her golden retriever when she first spotted a cicada in her front yard. 

"We noticed he stepped on one, and then we looked up at the trees and said, 'Here they come. The cicadas are here,'" she said.

Photos and Videos

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.

From the Archives: 1979 Cicada Invasion

From this 1979 story on NewsCenter 4, reporter Jim Collis visited a homeowner in New Jersey as the cicadas emerged from hiding.
More Photos and Videos

Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge up and down the East Coast this summer, making a distinctive clacking sound used in mating.

“I remember last time the whole area was full of the sound,” says Jake Rabb, also of Summit. “It was amazing.”

The females lay thousands of eggs in tree branches that hatch into tiny nymphs. While the insects can damage small trees and shrubs, they’re best known for simply making a mess.

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