May 6, 2013 3:45 pm

2013: Invasion of the cicadas

For those on the east coast of the Canada and the United States, this summer is going to be a little louder than usual.

It might sound like something out of a horror movie but, any day now, residents can expect billions of cicadas to crawl out of the ground and overrun the east coast.

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This invasion of the noisy summer bug is expected, though. Cicadas operate on a cycle, living underground and feeding on tree roots for 13 to 17 years. Once the ground is 18 degrees, they crawl out, eventually shedding their outer skin and emerge with wings. Then, they make a lot of noise, mate and die. Their offspring will burrow back into the ground…and the cycle will start once again.  This year’s cycle of cicadas are commonly referred to as Brood 2 by scientists.

Researchers still don’t completely understand why cicadas operate on this cycle, a recent study concluded that the giant, noisy, red-eyed bugs are somehow controlling their largest predator: birds.

–with files from The Associated Press

© Shaw Media, 2013

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