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May 22 sounds like the day for cicadas in Chicago area

Those planning weddings or family reunions this spring may want to watch out for May 22.

That's the date, a prominent cicada researcher is estimating, that the little red-eyed bugs will emerge in the Chicago area. Specifically, the evening of May 21 and early morning hours of May 22.

Some may emerge a few days earlier and some stragglers may crawl from the ground a bit later depending on sunshine and shade, but the May day is "the big day,'' said Gene Kritsky, an entomologist and author of several bug books, including Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle.

Cicadas spend about 17 years underground, feeding on tree roots. A few weeks before emerging, the nymphs construct exit tunnels to the surface. Some build chimney-like turrets over the holes and these small piles have already been observed in some areas around Chicago.

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