TIMELINE: When will the cicada swarms emerge across the Tri-State?

Will Monday's rain be the final push they need?
Billions Of Cicadas Will Emerge This Year In Several States
Posted at 4:26 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 18:15:00-04

When Colerain Township resident Alicia Taylor was driving home from the store Sunday afternoon, she had pulled over to the side of the road for a moment so she could adjust the music in her car.

When she looked up, she said she got her first glimpse of what Tri-Staters have either been awaiting eagerly or dreading for the last several weeks.

"When I pulled over, I was looking down on my phone, messing around, and I looked up and I was like, 'What is that?' And I was like, 'Oh, it's the cicadas.'"

"I guess they were emerging from the ground as I was recording and they were flying like in a swarm at that point," Taylor said.

She admitted her video is a bit difficult to decipher, but Michael George, a senior naturalist with the Cincinnati Parks Board, said there's a strong possibility these are some of the first cicadas from this generation of Brood X to emerge this round of their 17-year cycle.

MORE: Cicadas spotted across the Tri-State

George also said Monday's soggy weather might be just the push the emerging insects need to crawl their way to the surface.

"You've probably witnessed this phenomenon before where we get a heavy rain and the earthworms come up out of the saturated soil and you find them on the sidewalks," George told WCPO. "The same will be true for the cicadas. All of that penetrating rain makes its way into the soil, floods their tunnels and drives them up to the surface."

On top of that, he said the warmer temperatures forecast to follow Monday's rain will only quicken the pace of their arrival.

"You'll go to bed (Monday night) and everything seems perfectly normal, and then you wake up in the morning and you step out of your backyard and they may be on your trees. They may be on your fence post. They may be on the side of your house," he said.

For most of the region, George said Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is when the cicadas will start emerging en masse.

"Definitely by Thursday evening," he said.

For Taylor, living through a pandemic over the last year has softened her worrying about a Brood X summer.

"I'm just going to embrace it," she said. "I mean after the last year we had and just everything going on in life I'm like I'm not letting the cicadas ruin this summer. I'm just going to bring it on."