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After 17 years underground, cicadas are returning to swarm parts of the U.S. this year

Cicadas like this live underground, but every 13 to 17 years, they return to the surface.

People in parts of Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia are already reporting seeing cicadas, according to multiple reports.

They are awakening in the region after spending 17 years underground, according to CBS NEWS.

Cicadas typically emerge at different times in different parts of the country, but usually show up only every 13 or 17 years. This means you may only see them a few times in your life.

According to CBS, the 2020 "invasion" will be from Brood IX, which has not swarmed the region since 2003-2004, Virginia Tech's Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Science said in a press release.

Cicadas like this live underground, but every 13 to 17 years, they return to the surface. 

"Communities and farms with large numbers of cicadas emerging at once may have a substantial noise issue," said Eric Day, an entomologist in Virginia Tech's Department of Entomology said. "Hopefully, any annoyance at the disturbance is tempered by just how infrequent — and amazing — this event is."

"The 13- or 17-year timing of this process is "one of the great mysteries of the insect world," a press release reads. "Research and mathematical modeling suggest that the length of these brood cycles could be attributed to predatory avoidance."

Read more at CBS here

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