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Who's ready for Brood X? Cicadas

 
gardener
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With all the hoopla about how 2021 has to be better than 2020, I just realized it just so happens to be a year for swarms of trillions of locusts, lol! (Yes, I know they are not really locusts). Who's ready? Any tips we tend to forget between the years? I remember losing some lilac bushes to the last  brood that hatched a few years ago. I'm wondering about harvesting and preserving them for chickens fodder...feasible? Other ideas for these little 100 decibel devils?
 
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they should store well dry, as long as rodents don’t get into them and you can use them before dermestid beetles reduce them to dust. or freezer? i remember brood v in eastern ohio in 2016 did serious damage to chestnut orchards there.

i found a pretty good brood map that seems to suggest there will be brood x just over the mountains from me in tn, but here we’re probably waiting for brood xiv in 2025. oh well.
 
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I'm hoping my chickens love them, I would like to store away a barrel of them, and I'm going to try to cover my cuttings.
Growing trees and shrubs, how can we protect them?
 
greg mosser
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they’re here! i’ve been seeing larval skins around that were a bit skinny for our every-year cicadas, and saw and caught the first periodical one yesterday. haven’t heard the song yet, i guess they’re still busy emerging and hardening off.
 
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I haven't seen any yet. The last time there was a big hoopla over them here, I worried in vain. While I did see the empty shells, I did not witness excess damage to my plants.

Anybody else gonna eat them? We're going to have a wild feast with another family. Cicadas and whatever else we've foraged.

As far as gathering them, I've read to find them in the early morning before they have hardened up and can fly. Scooping them into a paper bag is supposed to work. We'll see. We plan to put them in the freezer and wait for a quantity that is usable. That seems a kinder death than a pot of boiling water.

Greg, how would you dry them?
 
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I have never seen cicadas en masse, I'm a desert rat who moved to Missouri.
I'm very interested, I have heard of them all my life.
Will they damage my plants? Anything I need to plan to do?

Edit: Just looked up a map, I'm not getting any but the annual ones here.
 
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How about spicy popcorn cicadas?  Alas, I never see cicadas at my place....maybe someday.  Anyhow, that picture and recipe for you that live where they are bountiful from this site.
 
greg mosser
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I have never seen cicadas en masse, I'm a desert rat who moved to Missouri.
I'm very interested, I have heard of them all my life.
Will they damage my plants? Anything I need to plan to do?

Edit: Just looked up a map, I'm not getting any but the annual ones here.



there are desert cicadas, too! when i was a kid my mom went to a conference in phoenix and they were having a giant hatch-out of these big white and tan cicadas. too many too avoid stepping on them, etc....definitely a different species than the several that make up the periodical complexes in the east (small, red and black), but they’re there!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I have never seen cicadas en masse, I'm a desert rat who moved to Missouri.
I'm very interested, I have heard of them all my life.
Will they damage my plants? Anything I need to plan to do?



I've seen them, but never in the numbers I hear people freaking out about. From my understanding, the females lay eggs in the branches of trees. This can cause some damage to younger trees as it may kill the branch. The larva then drop down into the soil and feed on the roots.  Sounds like for more established trees and shrubs, it actually just prunes them a bit and isn't usually a big deal. Maybe if you have any smaller trees or shrubs that are important to you, you can use some kind of netting (maybe the stuff you used for maple seeds, if not still in use?) to cover them so they can't climb or fly onto them and lay eggs. That's what we're going to do.

I have yet to see or hear any sign of them here. Maybe the birds, squirrels and critters in my yard have eaten them all upon emergence? I saw a cardinal chow down on three in a row last year. I had no idea they could eat something so big!
 
greg mosser
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when they’re heavy, they can do a lot of damage. i visited a chestnut orchard in ohio a few years ago in fall, they’d had their 17-year hatch out earlier that year. they were harvesting about a tenth of their usual take. the end 14” or so of almost all the branch tips were dead. not kill-the-trees bad, but a big blow to production for the year.
 
Heather Sharpe
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greg mosser wrote:when they’re heavy, they can do a lot of damage. i visited a chestnut orchard in ohio a few years ago in fall, they’d had their 17-year hatch out earlier that year. they were harvesting about a tenth of their usual take. the end 14” or so of almost all the branch tips were dead. not kill-the-trees bad, but a big blow to production for the year.


Wow, that is rough. Good to know. I wonder what folks with larger trees they're relying on can do to protect them? Obviously on large and/or lots of trees, netting doesn't really seem practical.
Did the orchard have any plans for how to prevent those losses next time when you visited?
 
greg mosser
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nope. just talking about how glad they were that it would be another 17 years before it happened again.
 
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:
Anybody else gonna eat them?



If our tenant farmer hippie forager harvests some I'll certainly try them.

Lots of stories around about all the old timers eating them.

Best when they're still young, white, and creamy.

(get your mind out of the gutter, everyone)
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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How to butcher a bug:

Cicada1.png
[Thumbnail for Cicada1.png]
 
Pearl Sutton
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:How to butcher a bug:


Free range! This is high end meat, y'all!! :D
 
greg mosser
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‘so free range we don’t even see them for almost 2 decades’
 
greg mosser
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incidentally, i’ve seen maybe 3 of them since the first one last week. not quite a viable food source yet here.
 
Rob Kaiser
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the cheek meat is divine i must say
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I still have not seen any evidence of these bugs. I heard from someone who read somwhere... that my area won't get a big influx until next year. Huh.

For those that want to use this recource for protein, beware of a weird colored abdomin. It could be a fungus. Researchers are eager to study this fungus. They think it's got a single host of cicadas... Some of us are senstive to molds, and fungus. Don't eat em if this is present. Probably not good for your birdies either.


From here.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Joylynn:
This is the map I looked at:

and it looks like you can "view image" and  magnify it
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Huh. I may have to wait untill 2028! Bummer. Thanks Pearl.
 
greg mosser
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i’ve been looking at that map, too. my problem with it is that it only lists one brood per county, and there are likely places with multiple broods. according to the map, my county will get brood xiv in 2025, but just across the border (not far from here) in tn they’ve got this year’s brood x. maybe if you’re nearby you can get just a few like i’ve been seeing this year? we’ll see if they ever get thick here.

mostly unrelatedly, i thought i saw my fifth periodical cicada of the year this morning when something the right size and black clumsily flew from near where i was walking around the corner of the chicken house to farther down the chicken yard fence. on closer inspection, it turned out to be the biggest darth-vader-looking horsefly i’ve seen in quite a while.
 
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This is the fourth time in my life to experience them and something is terribly wrong. Maybe they will pick up but as of now there is 20% at best of what there were the other times. The ones I'm seeing are also smaller and many have deformed or even missing wings. I'm finding them dead on the side of trees just partially emerged from the shell. I understand although I haven't done the research to confirm it that the feed on tree roots during their time in the ground and massive numbers of trees have died here in the last 17 years.

In years past they were everywhere, not a branch or twig escaped the egg laying, the noise was deafening. I don't really miss that but still I hope maybe they just haven't gotten into full swing yet, maybe the ones so far are just a preview and the rest will be here soon.
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