We’ve got some pretty disappointing news today for New Yorkers who were expecting to see a swarm of cicadas overtake the city – they’re probably not coming. Apparently, the noisy bugs RSVPed to the party but aside from making an appearance in Staten Island, scientists say they won’t be showing up in other areas of NYC. It seems we’ve only got ourselves to blame though as researchers think that overuse of land and lack of trees are to blame for the insects’ no-show.
“The decline in cicadas in New York is likely the result of land use,” said Gene Kritsky, a cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio told the Intelligencer. “If trees were removed from areas where cicadas had emerged in the past and they are not within a mile of other cicadas, then the population would not replenish itself. This has resulted in a very sporadic distribution of the cicadas in more urban areas.”
Kritsky also notes that 90 percent of the cicadas would have already emerged by now. Their disappearing act from the city isn’t peculiar at all considering that cicada populations have been on the decline in the Northeast since the last emergence.
The dense urban design of the city makes it difficult for cicadas to thrive. Mike Raupp, Professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland College Park also explained to New York Magazine that it is rare for cicadas to re-appear in the same place in the next brood.