PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – After 17 years in their deep slumber, big, bug-eyed cicadas will emerge, feasting on plant life and slithering out of their exoskeletons. At the same time, countless stink bugs will also awaken, invading our homes, our cars, our offices and maybe evening crawling around the inside of the computer you’re using right now.
KDKA-AM’s John Shumway talked to Dr. Chad Gore, regional entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control, about spring bugs. Despite most people getting creeped out by bugs like cicadas, Dr. Gore sees it differently.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Dr. Gore said. “They can be a nuisance if you’re not into the singing or noises they make. But from a pest standpoint, they’re not a big deal.”
In fact, Dr. Gore said that the damage done by cicadas is pretty limited, only slightly damaging larger trees.
So why do cicadas only come out every 17 years?
“Their life cycle takes 17 years, from the time they’re laid as an egg,” Dr. Gore said. “They drop into the ground and live as nymphs in the ground, feeding on roots from trees. ”
So, cicadas are actually good, but what about the stink bugs? Dr. Gore says there will be lots this year.
“If I could put my crystal ball out there and predict the future I think we’re going to have a pretty substantial peak this year,” Dr. Gore said.
Right now, they’re hanging out in tree cavities, under aluminum siding, or anywhere else that protected them from the cold. Dr. Gore said that you can keep them outside by sealing everything around your house, including cracks, vents and exposed air ducts. He also said that traps have gotten better, but people are making the mistake of setting them up near their homes.
“You don’ t want to attract them towards the house,” Dr. Gore said.