17-year cicadas

When will Lancaster County see another swarm of cicadas?

Cicadas are insects that emerge from underground by the millions as summer approaches. You may recognize the chorus of singing males trying to attract females.

If those choruses sound much louder some years, that’s because some cicadas have a 13- or 17-year life cycle. When these groups emerge, they’re hard to miss.

One of those 17-year broods (Brood VIII) has started emerging this spring in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. But they probably won’t be found in Lancaster County.

Brood Eight of the Magicicada cicadas have been spotted in western Pennsylvania. A team mapping sightings show the cicadas haven't been seen east of Somerset.

So when will Lancaster County see another swarm of cicadas?

Of the 23 broods Cicada Mania tracks, brood 10 will emerge in Pennsylvania in 2021. Magicicada typically show up in early May and stick around through the last week of June

In the meantime, there are plenty of cicada species arriving annually.

There’s the Northern dusk-singing cicada (megatibicen auletes), the largest North American cicada (up to three inches long). There’s Linne's cicada (neotibicen linnei), with a black, green and brown camo pattern. And there’s the Eastern scissor grinder cicada (guess what it sounds like?)

Periodical cicadas put on enthralling show