Save 50% on Your First Treatment

Contact Us Today to Claim Your Savings - Limited Time Only

Short Quote


Cicadas (Cicadoidea) are fascinating insects recognized for their unique appearance and distinctive songs. Found worldwide, their life cycles, particularly those of periodical cicadas, have intrigued scientists and laypeople alike. While they aren’t considered pests traditionally, their presence can be overwhelming due to their sheer numbers. Let Mint Pest Control guide you through the captivating world of cicadas.


Cicadas are large insects with stout bodies, wide heads, transparent wings, and large compound eyes. Depending on the species, their size can range from 0.75 to 2.25 inches. They’re often mistaken for locusts, but cicadas don’t form swarming plagues, unlike locusts. Their most distinctive feature is their sound-producing organ, called a tymbal, found on their abdomen.

Common Cicadas Species

Magicicada (Periodical Cicadas)

These are best known for their 13-year or 17-year life cycles.

There are seven species in the Magicicada genus, but three of the most noteworthy are:

Magicicada septendecim: Emerges every 17 years and is primarily found in the northern part of their range.

Magicicada tredecim: Emerges every 13 years and occupies the southern regions.

Magicicada cassini: Another 17-year cicada, often sharing its range with M. septendecim.

Appearance: Black bodies with red eyes (though some can have blue or white eyes).

Neotibicen (Annual or "Dog Day" Cicadas)

Commonly seen and heard during late summer.

Several species are spread across North America, but some well-known ones include:

Neotibicen tibicen: Found widely across the eastern U.S.

Neotibicen pruinosus: Recognizable by its size and song.

Neotibicen canicularis (Northern Dog Day Cicada): Common in the northern U.S. and Canada.

Appearance: Generally larger than periodical cicadas, with green, black, and brown coloring, and often transparent wings.

Diceroprocta apache (Western Cicada)

Commonly found in the southwestern U.S.

Known for its loud and distinctive song.

Appearance: Greenish-black with partly transparent wings.


Commonly found in the western U.S.

Different from other cicadas due to their silent nature; they don’t produce the typical cicada song.

Appearance: Varies by species, but many have a muted, camouflaged coloration to blend into their surroundings.


Life Cycle and Habits

Cicadas have a unique and prolonged life cycle. After mating, female cicadas lay their eggs on tree branches. Once hatched, the nymphs drop to the ground, burrowing and feeding on tree sap for several years. This underground phase can last 2 to 17 years depending on the species.

There are two main types of cicadas: annual cicadas (which emerge every year) and periodical cicadas (which emerge in periodic cycles, most famously every 17 or 13 years). When it’s time, nymphs emerge, climb trees, and molt into adults, leaving behind their exoskeletons.

The adult cicada’s primary goals are to mate and lay eggs. Their loud songs, produced by males, are mating calls to attract females.


Cicadas feed exclusively on plant sap. They pierce into plant stems, roots, or branches using their needle-like mouthparts to access the sap. While this feeding doesn’t generally harm mature trees, excessive feeding or egg-laying can damage young or weak plants.


How to eliminate Cicadas

1. Physical Barriers
Netting: Use mesh netting to protect young or vulnerable trees. The netting should have holes smaller than 1 cm (0.4 inches) to keep adult cicadas out.
Garden fabric: Wrap it around tree trunks to prevent females from laying eggs in the bark.
2. Garden Hose
If you notice cicadas emerging from the ground, a strong stream of water from a garden hose can discourage and displace them.
3. Beneficial Predators
Encourage natural predators to frequent your yard. Birds, especially, are avid cicada hunters. Installing bird feeders or baths can attract birds that might help keep the cicada population in check.
4. Pesticides
For severe infestations, insecticides can be used. However, be cautious. Many pesticides can also harm beneficial insects, pets, and even humans. It’s best to stick with eco-friendly pest control methods that are safe for humans and pets. Speak to our exterminators to learn more about such treatments.
5. Manual Removal
If the number is manageable, you can pick them off plants and trees by hand. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water to eliminate them.


Are cicadas harmful to humans?

No, cicadas are harmless to humans. They don't bite or sting. Their loud sound might be a nuisance to some, but they pose no threat.

Why are some cicadas called "17-year cicadas"?

Certain cicada species, known as periodical cicadas, have a 17-year life cycle. They spend 16 years underground and emerge en masse in their 17th year.

Do cicadas damage plants?

While cicadas feed on plant sap, they rarely cause significant harm to mature plants. However, female cicadas laying eggs can split tree branches, which may harm young trees.

How can I manage cicadas?

If you're concerned about young trees, consider using netting to protect them during significant emergence years. But remember, cicadas benefit the environment, so it's best to let them be.

How long do adult cicadas live?

After years underground, adult cicadas live for just a few weeks to mate, lay eggs, and die.

Eliminate pest invasion all year round

Innovative EcoBloc technology creates a fortified barrier against bugs

We deploy an arsenal of environmentally responsible and effective UV and water-resistant products which include micro-encapsulated formulas that target pests and ensure long-lasting protection.


We thoroughly inspect a property to detect pest activity, possible points of entry and the most effective treatments.


Our team will provide a report with inspection results and our professional recommendations for the most effective treatments.


Using our proprietary 4 Season Eco-Bloc Technology, we address all agreed-upon issues. We maintain ongoing reporting for easy referencing.

Clean, happy, healthy spaces

You enjoy it, we protect it

What's bugging you?

Contact us today to claim 50% off your first treatment.
This offer is available for a limited time only.

Free Quote