Dog-Day Cicada vs. Periodical Cicada in Tennessee

The Bug Man brings clarity in this year of cicada confusion by tackling the issue of periodical cicadas versus dog-day cicadas.As Tennesseans gear up for football season (Go Blue Raiders!), the days are getting cooler and the brisk air of autumn is gradually blowing in. The familiar sound of cicadas singing in unison signals that the day is ending and night is about to fall.

How peaceful…

Hold up! Hold on! Wait…

Here ends the serenity and begins the confusion.

Cicadas? I thought they were locusts. Didn’t we just get rid of the cicadas? Don’t I hear some bug singing every summer? What is going on?

Many Middle Tennesseans are still reeling from the 2011 cicada invasion. Memories of bug attacks and mass open cicada graves are still burned into our minds.

Suddenly that peaceful twilight scene described above is full of fear and annoyance.

Here’s the deal. What we went through earlier this summer was a rare occurrence. A once-in-every-thirteen-years occurrence. Those periodical cicadas had black bodies and red eyes. They came out by the millions to terrorize innocent humans. Please read our blog entitled The 13-Year Cicadas Set to Invade Middle Tennessee for more info on what happened.

What we’re experiencing right now is “normal.” It happens every year. These cicadas have green bodies and black eyes. Their population is much smaller. And you most likely will not see them swarming around all over the place.

You or someone you know may have called these bugs locusts. However, they are not. Locusts are a type of grasshopper. Cicadas are leafhoppers/froghoppers. Maybe we should just call them hoppers. That way everybody wins. 🙂

Posted in Blog, Cicadas