Cicadas Illinois

How long will the cicada noise last? Here's when it could get quieter

The noisy cicada sounds being heard across the Chicago area are "mating calls" made by male cicadas, experts explained.

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Cicadas can be seen - and especially heard - in communities all across the Chicago area. While some people might be longing to bid them farewell, the noisy but harmless bugs aren't going anywhere just yet.

On Friday night, "the cicada song" was as loud as a chainsaw at the Grove nature preserve in north suburban Glenview.

Decibel readings surpassed 80, which proved no match for Thursday's 103. That level, estimates show, is similar to sitting in the front row at a rock concert.

In some spots, cicadas are hard to escape. They might fly up in your face, show up in your car or even on your shoe.

But what about that noise? It's a mating call, according to experts.

Male cicadas make the loud sound as they rush to attract mates before their life cycle ends. When the bugs initially surface - they actually stay silent for a little while.

John Cooley, a University of Connecticut entomology professor affectionately known as "Doctor Cicada," stopped by the Grove to provide some expert insight. You'll likely see bugs in pairs, which means we're halfway through the cicada emergence, he explained.

"...And they’re really going," he said. "Once you see lots of these up in the trees, you know we’re at the peak."

Since cicadas have been around for several weeks now, even some bug lovers wonder when the historic cicada emergence. Pretty soon the females will start laying eggs -- then you'll see more bodies on the ground. By July 4, it could be quieter outside.

"It's gonna be like this a little while longer, depends on the weather, then fade out...start the cycle over," Cooley stated.

That means cicadas likely won't emerge for another 17 years.

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