The Q&A Archives: How do we combat cicadas aka 17 year locust?

Question: This is the year the cicadas will emerge in Beaver County, Pa. The current date is May 25, 1999. The larvae are about 3/4 inch long, about 4 to 6 inches deep in the top soil and they are becoming very active when dug out of the ground.

Are there any preventive chemicals or actions that I can take?

We remember when they emerged about 17 years ago and it was miserable.

Answer: Although it may seem hard to believe, in most cases established trees will not be harmed in the long run. The most at risk are newly planted or young plants. Suggested methods of protection and control include creating a barrier of netting around younger plants and trimming off the branch tips where the eggs have been deposited within three weeks, and finally, spraying the adults before they lay their eggs with Sevin according to the label instructions. You might also wish to contact your County Extension (774-3003) for the most up to date measures recommended for your area, particularly since your county is on target this year.

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