Ann Arbor Prepares For Massive Cicada Swarm

Apr 9, 2021

Credit Stephen Jaffe / AFP via Getty Images

The City of Ann Arbor is preparing for a massive swarm of cicadas this spring.

Billions of the insects will be emerging from the ground this May as part of a rare event that only happens once every 17 years.

The insects are harmless to humans but can cause damage to young trees, which has prompted the city to postpone its plans to plant any new ones this spring.

Tiffany Giacobazzi, the city’s urban forestry and natural resources planner, says they are warning people not to use pesticides to try to stop them.

“It’s not going to make any difference.  Cicadas are still going to come.  They’re not going to harm people or anything like that, but the insecticides can harm beneficial insects,” Giacobazzi says.

Giacobazzi says the cicadas will continue to swarm for about six weeks, and then go back underground for another 17 years.

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— Taylor Pinson is a writer/reporter for 89.1 WEMU News.  Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him studio@wemu.org