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Re: Cicada invasion...

> From: Bonnie & Bill Morgan <wmorgan972@ameritech.net>
> O.K.  The news has been that this is a very bad year for Cicada's
(the 17
> year cycle bug that is VERY LOUD and that litters the landscape
with its
> exoskeletons) in the Miami Valley of Ohio.  Is there anything I
need to do
> to protect trees, shrubs and/or perennials? 

Not unless you have some newly planted sapling with about 3 branches.
 The females cut slits in the tips of branches (they prefer them
about pencil size) and lay their eggs in the slits...this causes the
tips of the branches to die back and fall off.  Not a big deal with
an established tree, but it can slow growth of something newly
planted.  Mature trees don't mind this, heck my squirrels constantly
tip prune our oaks; cutting off tiny branches with acorns on them so
they can get the nuts off the ground.

After they lay eggs, the females die.  The males keep on going -
looking for another female.  If they do eat anything during their
short life above ground, it's not enough to do any harm to anything -
they are sucking insects.  The larvae spend X number of years
underground sipping sap from tree roots - no big deal, either; trees
can handle it.

Other than the above, they are totally harmless except to the
eardrums.  They don't bite; they are edible; they provide a bonanza
of food for birds and other wildlife as well as family pet dogs.  

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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