Brood II Cicadas

Asked April 17, 2013, 12:58 PM EDT

Dear expert,
I hear the cicadas are coming to the NorthEast and will soon emerge to mate. I also read that the females have a saw like action that burrows their eggs into small tree branches and when these little things come out of their eggs they drop to the ground, burrow down and feed off the sap from roots of trees.

I am greatly concerned for my fruit trees which are already normally under assault from apple maggot. With many trees (and what about blueberry bushes or even nonfruit bearing bushes like lilacs, or even just our gardens...etc), I am wondering how will I protect them, without going to the costly extent that a large farm may have the financial ability to do? I have tried to look for netting, but mostly bird netting is wildly available and not the correct dimensions......but if I sewed it together would it be strong enough? I read cicadas are 3 inches long!! (making my stomach turn really...) they must be pretty tough....what is the layman, non large ag (agricul)-man/ poor farmer to do? Please please write an article addressing this for everyone or reply individually to me, as time permits. Thank you for your knowledge, advice and willingness to share with the community. Much appreciation,

Orleans County Vermont fruits and vegetables insect issues horticulture

1 Response

Exclusion is the best route of protection. Mature trees and shrubs usually survive even heavy feeding by cicadas with little permanent damage. While the immediate damage may look severe, the plants recover fairly quickly. Bird netting is sufficient to exclude them. The adults are only active for a few weeks before they die, and the sheer volume of cicadas makes chemical controls ineffective.