Big, Strange Bugs to Invade Virginia

(Washington-AP) -- Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a cicada.

Bug experts expect millions of periodical cicadas to tunnel out of the ground in mid-May in the nation's capital and parts of Virginia and Maryland.

The last time this variety of cicada dropped in on the region was 17 years ago. Back then, they covered roadways and sidewalks. Residents pulled them out of their hair. And the bugs drove some outdoor events indoors.

In about two months, wingless nymphs will dig out of the soil, crawl onto trees, and break out of their hard shells. Their wings will dry, and they'll fly off looking for a mate. After breeding, the females lay eggs in tree branches. The nymphs hatch, drop to the soil and burrow. Experts say their visit will last less than four weeks.


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