WINSTOM SALEM, North Carolina (NBC) — Over the next few days the once-in-every 17-year invasion of cicadas will visit the Mid-Atlantic states.
Billions of the bugs are starting to hatch right now.
In some neighborhoods you’re not going to see a thing.
In others the cicadas will be everywhere.
The insects come out of small holes in the ground, climb trees to shed their exo-skeleton, and harden their wings.
Then they go up into the leaves to find a mate.
“The general call that you here when they’re up in the trees is the mating call. It’s kind of a pssssh,” says Rick Bolling of North Carolina’s Greensboro Science Center.
Bolling says they don’t bite or pose a threat to humans.
So what is their purpose?
“Mainly food for other animals,” he explains.
The adult cicadas will only live about a month.