AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Maybe you’ve heard them, maybe you’ve seen them. The 17-year cicadas are back. Although we knew back in April that these Brood VIII cicadas would reappear in May and June, one Mahoning County commissioner was still surprised to find them in his backyard.
“When I confronted them it was like, ‘Oh wow, they’re here.’ It was a little startling,” said David Ditzler.
Ditzler went outside to mow the grass at his Austintown home when he found an unexpected surprise in the backyard.
“I just came out to trim around the trees when I saw the holes on the ground and all of the shells from where they came out of,” he said.
Ditzler said hundreds of cicadas were climbing the trees. A few days later, some of them were still crawling around his backyard.
At first, he was concerned about how they would affect his trees.
“Called one of the local garden houses and asked if they were going to hurt the trees or the shrubs that I put in and there wasn’t really a lot to worry about. They only last a couple of weeks each and the entire process is over within 6-8 weeks,” Ditzler said.
Experts say mature trees can sustain minor damage from cicadas, but younger trees may be hit harder. But, you can put netting around them for protection.
Although they have big, red eyes and may look kind of frightening, the cicadas do not bite or sting.