There have been queries as to whether periodical cicadas will be numerous in Illinois next year. Brood X, the Great Eastern Brood, is a major 17-year cicada brood that is expected to emerge next spring. It occurs over much of the eastern United States but in Illinois gets into only Iroquois, Vermilion, and Edgar counties in the east-central portion of the state. Most of the area of these counties will be affected, as well as a narrow band just north of
I-74 extending about half-way across Champaign County from the east.
Expect a large number of news reports on this insect next spring because the Great Eastern Brood occurs in Washington, D.C., and in New Jersey, close to New York City. With the high concentration of news reporters in these two cities, many stories are likely to be produced. If the news reports are like they were in 1987, they will make it sound like cicadas are coming out all over the United States, and there will be numerous calls to Illinois arborists and landscapers.
The next major cicada emergence in Illinois will be Brood XIII, the northern Illinois brood, which will cover much of the northern half of Illinois in 2007. The relatively small emergence of periodical cicadas in northeastern Illinois in spring 2003 was a portion of this brood that emerged after 13 years in 1969 and has been emerging every 17 years since that time.
Periodical cicadas have a major impact on small, newly planted trees. They lay eggs into the trunk, causing it to weaken and snap off. We recommend the avoidance of major tree planting during the year before a major emergence. If practical, delay planting trees this fall and next spring in Iroquois, Vermilion, and Edgar counties in areas where there are established trees that had the cicadas in 1987. New housing developments on agricultural land or other treeless areas are unlikely to have serious cicada problems. Similarly, if all of the shrubs and trees were removed before houses were built, any cicada nymphs in the soil would have starved to death when the trees and shrubs were removed, so those areas will also not have cicada problems.