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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Get ready for Brood X, a swarm of screaming sex-fiend cicadas

Illustration for article titled Get ready for Brood X, a swarm of screaming sex-fiend cicadas
Photo: Richard Ellis (Getty Images)

Spring is on its way, and we all know what that means: The smell of freshly-bloomed flowers, nice cool days with plenty of sunshine, and—the seasonal highlight we’re looking forward to most this year—the arrival of a gigantic swarm of cicadas out to do nothing but eat, grow, and fuck at ear-splitting volume.


The Washington Post has a story about this swarm, named “Brood X” as if they’re the stars of a 1950s B-movie. Comprised of three different species of cicadas, the Brood has lived underground for 17 years, waiting for the earth to warm up enough for them to emerge across the Eastern US, and get busy getting busy.

University Of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp tells the Post there should be “about 1.5 million [cicadas] per acre” in various regions during the end of May and mentions that the swarm will provide an “orgy of eating” for animals like squirrels, snakes, raccoons, frogs, and even your dogs. There will also be an orgy of a different kind when Brood X gets down to the business of banging out a new generation of cicadas, singing their extremely loud bug love songs in the process.

The different species of male cicadas make three unique sounds “that reach up to 100 decibels,” which is roughly equivalent to “the sound of a chainsaw, a lawn mower, [or] a jet overhead.” University Of Connecticut ecology and evolutionary biology professor Christine Simon tells the paper that one of the three species “sounds like a flying saucer landing from a 1950s science fiction move,” another “like someone took water and threw it into hot oil,” and the last “like an angry squirrel.” They’ll make these noises before wriggling around in hot bug coitus “in trees, on your patio, your porch, your yard, your roof, and your car.”

The only ones not invited to this upcoming insect gangbang are males infected with a fungus that causes their little bug dicks to fall off—which is sad but, we suppose, a fair enough restriction.

Still, there will be a huge number of cicadas to spot or, more likely, hear, in 15 states across the country. If you’re into that sort of thing, you nasty bug pervert, the Post article has more information on where Brood X will be most active and helpfully informs us that there’s another chance to watch this happen again in 2024, when Brood XIX arrives.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.