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How long do they last? Current time and map – NBC Chicago

According to experts, cicadas are still hatching in the Chicago and Illinois metropolitan areas, and the hatching process could continue for several more days.

While large numbers of cicadas have been spotted in parts of the region, some suburbs have seen few or no cicadas.

But whether it will continue like this remains to be seen.

Dr. Gene Kritsky, dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, who has tracked the emergence across the U.S. and especially in Illinois, said it takes about two weeks for the cicadas to fully hatch.

“Parts of Chicago have had three large swarms in the past week,” Kritsky said. “There could be another 10 days of cicadas showing up.”

Kritsky noted that the number of cicadas emerging from the ground will decrease over the next five days, but that does not mean the noise or sightings will stop, as the cicadas must continue to live out their life cycle above ground.

“The adult birds continue to sing loudly until mid-June, then their numbers decline towards the end of June,” said Kritsky.

So where were they seen most often? And where were they seen least often?

A cicada map that tracks sightings across the U.S. shows that some of the highest sightings have been reported in suburbs west of Chicago, particularly near the Downers Grove area. The Oak Park area also saw higher numbers of sightings, as well as some southern suburbs around the Palos Park and Park Forest areas, and northern suburbs such as Lake Forest and Highland Park.

Cicadas emerging from Northfield, Illinois, photographed on May 19, 2024.

The map from Cicada Safari, an app developed by Dr. Gene Kritsky at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati to track cicadas, allows residents and experts to submit photos of cicada sightings in their area. Once those images are reviewed by experts, the sighting is marked on the map.

But while an influx of cicadas is being reported in several suburbs, there are few reports of cicada swarms in some parts of the region, particularly the northwest suburbs.

A large gap in the map shows that there are no reports for areas like Elgin, Barrington, Huntley, Hoffman Estates and more. Some northern locations like Grayslake and Round Lake Beach also have no reported sightings.

Why did some see more than others?

Experts have long predicted that development would be patchy.

“You have to remember that they only come out from under trees,” Kritsky told NBC Chicago in February. “So if you're in a forested area and they've already laid eggs there, the forest can actually be quite dense. But in many cases, we find that these cicadas are relatively patchy. Clearing forests for agriculture, clearing forests for urban development – all of that reduces the cicadas' egg-laying sites.”

Chicago had previously warned that the spread would be most noticeable in neighborhoods with older houses.

“New construction and excavation destroy the cicada larvae and several 17-year cycles are required for them to re-establish themselves. Therefore, communities with older houses may have more cicadas because the soil containing the insect larvae has remained largely undisturbed,” said a warning from the Department of Streets, Sanitation and Forestry in April.

Cicadas in McHenry County. Photo credit: Lizz D.

The historic emergence in 2024 will see two broods of cicadas hatch simultaneously—Brood XIII and Brood XIX. These two broods of 13-year and 17-year cicadas have not emerged together in more than 220 years.

“This is the year for Illinois,” cicada expert Catherine Dana, a member of the Illinois Natural History Survey, told NBC Chicago. “Cicadas will be showing up all over the state.”

While much of Illinois will have at least one brood hatch, a narrow swath of central Illinois could have both broods. But you can't know for sure just by looking at the cicadas, Kritsky said. The only way to find out is to check the area in 13 and 17 years to see if cicadas hatch from each brood.

Anna Harden

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