Brood X, a classification of the trillions of periodical cicadas that have descended in states across the eastern and southern U.S., has emerged after a 17-year hiatus — and already closed one restaurant.
The District of Columbia and the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia are cicada ground zero, reporting sightings earlier than most other states.
More of the red-eyed, singing insects will appear as ground temperatures warm to 64 degrees and experts say that the bugs come in peace.
However, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Washington, D.C., announced this week that it was temporarily closing on May 10 in order to “combat” the bugs.
“We have decided to pause service at Little Pearl for 4 weeks starting May 10th in preparation for ‘Cicada Season,’” Capitol Hill’s Little Pearl wrote in an email to customers, according to The Washington Post. “As we tried to get as creative as possible to combat them this year, we know in good faith that a single 100 decibel cicada will ruin anyone’s dinner experience, a ‘tsunami’ of them will be impossible to control.”
Washingtonian noted that the restaurant offered to reschedule, refund bookings or move diners’ reservations to their sister restaurant Rose’s Luxury.
Rose’s Restaurant Group owner and chef Aaron Silverman told the local magazine that Little Pearl’s closing is also “to renovate, clean, reorganize, up-train, and get all our affairs in order as the pandemic caused so many disruptions.”
In addition, he said that because around 80% of the restaurant’s seating is outdoors in a “heavily vegetative area,” it “seemed like the best window to take advantage of.”
Many businesses have decided to embrace the arrival of Brood X, selling coffee mugs and “Choco-cadas.”
Nevertheless, while the cicadas aren’t dangerous, their presence can be disruptive.
Furthermore, although cicadas do not bite and are harmless to humans and property, Michigan State University entomologist Gary Parsons notes that their abundance can be a “nuisance” and that — while edible — eating too many could make pets sick.
While cicadas do not intentionally enter homes like ants and spiders, cicada eggs laid in stems and twigs of trees and shrubs often kill twigs and branches.
Experts advise against using insecticide, as the chemicals will kill other bugs in the process.
The Baltimore Sun reported last week that an effective way to prevent damage on young trees is to enclose them with half-inch mesh netting, though the University of Maryland’s professor emeritus Michael Raupp advises planting next fall.
Raupp told Fox News in March that people who might be afraid of cicadas should try to learn as much about them as they can.
“Hey, this is a chance to go out in your backyard and have a National Geographic special happening right there,” he said. “It’s going to be birth. It’s going to be death. It’s going to be predation. It’s going to be competition. It’s going to be better than an episode of ‘Outlander.’ There’s going to be romance in the treetops when the big boy band cranks it up.”