CINCINNATI – They're big and ugly and loud and they'll fly right into you.
BEWARE: THE CICADAS ARE BACK!
Before you lock yourself in your house or apartment for the next few weeks, there's good news:
This summer's Invasion of the Body Crashers is more of a scientific discovery than a plague and not the full-scale assault of billions of the insects we typically see in the Tri-State every 17 years.
Cincinnati's Doctor Cicada himself, Dr. Gene Kritsky, says he and another researcher, Roy Troutman, have discovered what could be the only brood of 13-year cicadas in Ohio – to go along with the state's four 17-year broods.
"I've seen these emerge now in 1988, in 2001 - 13 years apart - and here they are again another 13 years apart," said Kritsky, a biology professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph who has been studying the red-eyed monsters for three decades.
Kritsky says the 13-year variety started popping out of the ground in yards, fields and parks this week along the Ohio River in Clermont, Brown, and extreme eastern Hamilton County. There are also pockets of the bug in Northern Kentucky
They will come out in bigger numbers in two or three weeks, as it warms up, and stick around - singing, screaming and dive bombing us - through mid- to late June.
Kritsky says he could use your help tracking the migration of this cicada population. He is asking anyone who spots a cicada to snap a photo with a GPS-enabled smart phone and send it to him via the College of Mount St. Joseph's cicada website. (Read Kritsky's message there first).
Kritsky and Troutman are trying to determine if a relationship exists between the new group and another brood seen in southern states.
The cicadas will be shown at the Crooked Run Nature Preserve and the Chilo Lock 34 Park in Clermont County during the first two weeks of June.
"It's always gratifying to know there are some fundamental new things we can learn about nature we can discover right here in Southwest Ohio," said Kritsky, who may be the only Tri-Stater happy to see cicadas.
The next mass invasion of 17-year cicadas is due in 2021.
Then we can hide in our homes for the summer.
WCPO's Cierra Johnson and Holly Pennebaker contributed to this story.