Cicadas

    Cicadas

    Cicadidae

    cicada

    Periodical cicada (John Ghent, Bugwood.org)

    cicada damage

    Slits in branch created by egg-laying females (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bugwood.org)

    cicada emergence holes

    Periodical cicada emergence holes (Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • adults: 1 – 2 inches; clear, lacy wings held tent-like over body; make a telltale clicking or buzzing noise
    • immatures: live underground
    • shed skins from immatures can be found on the sides of host trees

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • many deciduous trees and shrubs
    • adults suck sap from plant branches, but damage is minimal
    • immatures suck sap from plant roots
    • most damage occurs when large populations of egg-laying females wound trees
    • excessive egg laying can score and kill small branches

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • overwinter as immatures in the soil
    • require few to many years to develop
    • immature development occurs underground
    • pupate above ground on the sides of host plants
    • leave cast pupal skin stuck to tree
    • adults are active throughout summer
    • females lay eggs in slits cut in branches
    • mmatures drop from eggs to the soil and feed on underground roots
    • adult, egg-laying females are the damaging stage

    IPM Recommendations

    • Damage to plants and trees is usually minimal; tolerate this insect.
    • The mobility of this insect makes insecticidal control difficult.
    • Cover small trees to exclude large populations of cicadas.