Iowa will see cicadas, but not the rare double emergence

CORALVILLE — This spring will be the first time in about two centuries that the U.S. will see the emergence of two different broods of cicadas. One brood of insects emerges from the ground every 17 years and the other every 13 years, and they now are synced up

University of Iowa biology professor Andrew Forbes recently stood in a forested area near Coralville and told KCRG TV that the cicadas will emerge sometime within the next month. “They’ll be swarming up all of the trees, and eventually making an amazing noise. Really, really loud. It’ll be hard to talk where we’re standing right now,” he said. Forbes says Iowa is only going to see one brood emerge and Illinois is about the only place in the Midwest that will see both at the same time. Forbes is still excited, even without the double emergence in eastern Iowa. “For biologists like me, this is my eclipse,” he said.

Forbes said it’s unlikely you’ll see too many cicadas in a suburban area. They’re mainly going to be in places that have been a forest and stayed a forest. “Even if a forest was removed and then replanted, the cicadas aren’t there because they went with the trees,” Forbes explained. You will have to travel a bit if you want to hear the full effect of the double emergence. Forbes tells KCRG TV it’ll be worth it. “I recommend people do go and see them because it is an amazing natural phenomenon that happens only in the eastern part of the United States and nowhere else in the world,” he said.

The Cedar Rapids area will see those 17-year cicadas. The very far southeastern part of the state will see the ones that emerge every 13 years. The last time both cicada broods emerged at the same time was in 1803 when Thomas Jefferson was President.