They’re here. Billions of periodical cicadas have crawled out of their 17-year dormancy. Their cacophonous mating song is often deafening, becoming the soundtrack of the summer. Cicadas are showing up, in some extent, in 15 states across the nation. But Cincinnati is getting front-row seats to one of nature’s loudest symphonies. So why is Cincinnati prime real estate for cicadas? There are several reasons billions have decided to call the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area home. “The periodical cicadas are an integral part of the eastern deciduous forest,” said Dr. Gene Kritsky, one of the world’s leading cicada experts. In fact, Kritsky calls Cincinnati home – he’s dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University – in large part due to the cicadas.Kritsky said cicadas love the environment Cincinnati has to offer. “That ideal habitat, a tree in full sunlight, low vegetation — that’s your front yard,” he said. Currently, gloomy weather may be keeping cicadas from their full potential. But once the sun starts shining, it’s game on.”They’ve been held back a little bit by the cool temperature we had, by the rain that we’ve had. That holds them back a little bit,” he said.Amorous males attract mates by rapidly vibrating drum-like tymbals on the sides of their abdomen to produce sound. And that sound can be almost deafening if there’s enough of them. As many in the area can attest — there are more than enough.They’re currently at their peak, waiting for a sunny day to show off what they have. “It’s when the calls get the loudest,” Kritsky said.”Last weekend, it really hit a crescendo with places reporting in excess of 90 decibels,” he said.The noise Brood X cicadas make is loud and distinct. In large groups, the sound can reach as high as 100 decibels, which is equivalent to a motorcycle, low-flying plane or lawnmower starting.”Boy, when the sun came out and burst forth, the cacophony was great,” he said.Dr. Kritsky said soon the cicadas will start to die and thin out.You’ll notice a significant difference in the number and loudness level in about 10 days.

They’re here. Billions of periodical cicadas have crawled out of their 17-year dormancy.

Their cacophonous mating song is often deafening, becoming the soundtrack of the summer.

Cicadas are showing up, in some extent, in 15 states across the nation. But Cincinnati is getting front-row seats to one of nature’s loudest symphonies.

So why is Cincinnati prime real estate for cicadas? There are several reasons billions have decided to call the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area home.

“The periodical cicadas are an integral part of the eastern deciduous forest,” said Dr. Gene Kritsky, one of the world’s leading cicada experts.

In fact, Kritsky calls Cincinnati home – he’s dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University – in large part due to the cicadas.

Kritsky said cicadas love the environment Cincinnati has to offer.

“That ideal habitat, a tree in full sunlight, low vegetation — that’s your front yard,” he said.

Currently, gloomy weather may be keeping cicadas from their full potential. But once the sun starts shining, it’s game on.

“They’ve been held back a little bit by the cool temperature we had, by the rain that we’ve had. That holds them back a little bit,” he said.

Amorous males attract mates by rapidly vibrating drum-like tymbals on the sides of their abdomen to produce sound. And that sound can be almost deafening if there’s enough of them. As many in the area can attest — there are more than enough.

They’re currently at their peak, waiting for a sunny day to show off what they have.

“It’s when the calls get the loudest,” Kritsky said.

“Last weekend, it really hit a crescendo with places reporting in excess of 90 decibels,” he said.

The noise Brood X cicadas make is loud and distinct. In large groups, the sound can reach as high as 100 decibels, which is equivalent to a motorcycle, low-flying plane or lawnmower starting.

“Boy, when the sun came out and burst forth, the cacophony was great,” he said.

Dr. Kritsky said soon the cicadas will start to die and thin out.

You’ll notice a significant difference in the number and loudness level in about 10 days.