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Cicadas arrive in Northern Virginia, but where are they hiding? Special

By Leigh Goessl     Jun 11, 2013 in Environment
Manassas - Last month several media reports noted the Brood II cicada population is expected to explode along the U.S. East Coast. While some areas saw cicadas aplenty, other areas which anticipated a large showing have seen few.
Brood II cicadas emerge from the ground every 17 years. This year it was anticipated that tens of billions of cicadas would crawl out from the ground across the Eastern shoreline from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Northern Virginia was expected to be the 'epicenter' of cicada activity, as reported earlier by Digital Journal.
And while the cicadas have emerged in Northern Virginia, some areas in the region haven't seen much, if any, activity at all. So where are they hiding?
It seems a good lot of the cicadas are hanging out in Manassas, located in Virginia's Prince William County, a suburban area of Washington, D.C. Other areas, such as Fairfax and Fauquier Counties have also reported seeing the cicadas (haven't seen any myself in Fairfax).
I was down in the Manassas area recently and noticed a flurry of cicadas flying about along the very busy Route 29. The cicadas could be observed flying across various sections of Manassas Battlefield Park and crossing over the road from one field to the next, even landing on or crashing into cars.
A quick trip into the woods on a nature trail located at Northern Virginia Community College showed evidence of cicadas, but not much flying activity like I'd seen earlier on the nearby main roads and open fields. However, you could certainly hear the cicadas up in the trees, overpowering the sounds of traffic coming from nearby Interstate 66 and Route 234.
NBC News reported last month this cicada population can "raise a din as loud as a lawnmower or jet engine (90 decibels)".
According to a recent Washington Post article, many sections of Northern Virginia haven't seen the vast population explosion because many wooded areas became pavement over the past 17 years. The region is extremely fast growing with new buildings, housing developments, parking lots and roads consistently cropping up.
The cicadas are only supposed to be around for six weeks. Once finished with the egg-laying process, the Brood II cicadas will die off and leave their bodies behind as a memento. The next sighting for this lot will be in 2030.
This video I found on YouTube was filmed probably pretty close to where I was in the woods. It gives a pretty accurate perspective of what I saw near Route 29 and what I heard in the woods at the college.
More about Cicadas, Northern Virginia, manassas, Virginia, brood II
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