Billions of cicadas have emerged over recent weeks across 15 US states, and while they have not had a widespread impact in New Jersey, they are quite visible – and noisy – in several pockets of the Garden State.
The cicadas of Brood X (there are 15 types of cicadas that scientists lump into separate groups, or broods) have emerged from the ground where they have been hibernating for the past 17 years.
When they emerge, the three-inch-long insects with bright red eyes fly around for about a month, not causing any harm (they don’t bite), but annoying many with their incessant buzzing. The noise from cicadas can reach 90-100 decibels – as loud as a lawnmower.
In New Jersey, the cicadas have affected a small portion of the state, having been seen – and heard – in Princeton, Hopewell, Lambertville, Kingwood, and Clinton, but we have not received any reports of the insects in Lakewood.
Residents have described the sound as an irritation that could slowly sap your resilience and drive you crazy.
“It is so loud and endless, that you need to find a way to tune out the sound. Otherwise, you’ll end up institutionalized,” one person told TLS.
A TLS reader – Floral & Shrub – sent in a video of the creatures flying, along with the sound of their high-pitched buzzing, taken during a job in Princeton. The videos can be watched below.