Yes, We have No Cicadas



This was front page of yesterday's press of AC. The online archives only the front page, so the article is not in its entirety. Sorry, fingers aren't up to typing the rest...

Yes, we have no cicadas
Sandy soil, high water tables may have them taking their 17-year swarm elsewhere

Staff writer, (609) 272-7206
What was all the fuss about? Forweeks, we’ve been hearing that the
cicadas were coming, and now, well into June, there’s nary a trill in our
trees. Last week, President Bush was buzzed by one of the big bugs.
Maryland, Virginia, Washington,D.C., Pennsylvania and even New
York have seen swarms of cicadas. But, other than a few small pockets
of the cicadas scattered around thestate, it’s been quiet. Almost too
And it’s likely to stay that way. “You don’t hear them, because
you don’t have any,†said Barbara Bromley, Mercer County Horticulturist
for the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. “And you’re not going to
have any.†Bromley said Princeton University
has heard and seen its share of these 1½-inch-long, red-eyed bugs, as
have residents in Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset counties. But
the rest of the state has been spared the raucous din of the males as they
screech out love songs, trying to find mates.
Bromley believes that at least part of this is because cicadas seem to
prefer heavier, clay-based soils to the sandy soil mix common in
southern New Jersey. And, not that they’re dirty bugs,
but cicadas have an aversion to too much water. “They don’t like high
water tables,†Bromley said. The periodical cicadas that
emerged this year, known as Brood X, lived underground for 17 years,
the longest known insect lifecycle.