Periodical cicada

Insect

Periodical cicada

Magicicada septendecim (L.)

Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadidae

Distribution: Most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America; not in ME, NH, or VT. Highly cyclic; local adult populations emerge every 17 years.


Adults are wedge-shaped, nearly black, with red eyes and red-orange wing veins. The clear wings are held tent-like over the body (A). Mature nymphs resemble small crayfish, and are sometimes seen clinging to vertical tree surfaces with their grasping front legs just before adult emergence.

  • Crops Affected: Apples, Cherries, Peaches, Pears, Plums

    Damage

    Attacks apple and most other deciduous fruit trees. Ovipositing females create roughened punctures in the twigs and small branches of trees, usually from 25–100 mm in length. The bark is pushed from the wood and the wood is cut and raised, with small bundles of splinters protruding from the surface (B). Adults may also feed through bark, causing oozing of sap (C). Oviposition damage may also result in terminal wilting and dieback.

    Management

    Young trees may be covered with mosquito netting or other cloth when the adults are on the wing. Tree trunks can be banded with stickem-covered cardboard bands and the trapped insects removed each morning. Insecticide sprays applied at intervals during egg laying will reduce tree damage.