You can build your own cicada detector and help Radiolab track the movements of a once-every-17-year cicada swarm expected to invade the US East Coast this summer.

10 Responses to “Citizen science project: Tracking cicadas on the East Coast”

  1. G3 says:

    I live around those things and have been looking for a highly toxic, non-biodegradable spray to solve that problem for years. Seriously. In this case the environmental disaster and dead zones would be worth it.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Why? They’re quite harmless.

      • Charlie B says:

        Unless you ride a motorcycle into the Patapsco area during the once-every-221 years 13-year 17-year overlap and hit several hundred of them at 65mph or so.  If you’re not wearing a full face helmet and leathers you may not survive; I swear it’s as close as I ever want to come to being hit by a machine gun.  Black bruises the size of ping pong balls all over my body and I damn near got knocked off the seat.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          They’re harmless. You, on the other hand, are hemiptericidal.

          • G3 says:

            They make so much noise and that interferes with my video gaming. Scientists estimate that around 7 billion species have gone extinct. So that means we get 1 per person. Mine will be cicadas.

        • Nick says:

           Yeah what gives. Howard County, Maryland last saw them in summer 2004. Every 17 years?

          • TripleE78 says:

             There’s multiple cycles.  In 2004, the whole DC-Baltimore area got hit with a convergence of like 2-3 cycles at once hence the feeling of apocalypse.

  2. sqyntz says:

    my 18-year old cat remembers, and spent all winter sharpening her claws for cicada-fest.

  3. GadgetGav says:

    Why does an article about a project by RadioLab, link out to a PopSci page that *then* links to RadioLab?  Why not link directly to the subject you’re talking about?

  4. Bloo says:

    Locally in Tallahassee we have detected these cicadas:
    http://youtu.be/TUdWF-cw8Yk

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