By Nicole Baker

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They’re big, they’re loud and they’re coming.

The natural phenomenon is called Brood X.

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Cicadas last crawled from Maryland’s soil in 2004, and this summer, they’re back to continue the cycle of life.

Summer’s soundtrack is normally abuzz with barbeques and beaches.

“Maryland is what is said to be the epicenter of the Brood X or the Brood 10 emergence. In some places, they’ll be as many as 1.5 million per-acre,” Michael Raupp, Professor of Entomology, said.

But this year, it’s the crunchy call of cicadas.

“For 17 years, they’ve been living underground, sucking on the sap of trees,” Raupp said. “It’s been an abysmal existence.”

Now, they’re buzzing to break free and have a little fun.

“It’s going to be all about romance,” Raupp said. “They’re gonna woo their mates up there.”

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From the last two weeks of May into the second week of June, you’ll hear the hum of mating.

“They’ve been recorded anywhere from about 80 to 100 decibels. Hey, that’s the sound of a lawnmower engineer or a jet aircraft going overhead, so they’re really gonna noisy,” Raupp said.

Noisy, but not dangerous.

“They don’t really pose any particular threat to humans or pets, they’re not going to bite your dogs and cats, they’re not going to carry away small children,” Raupp said.

“I will say, they do have what we call piercing mouthparts. They don’t bite, but if you’re holding a cicada and it’s a little bit thirsty, it might give you a little poke” he added.

Whether you bake a cicada pie or terrify your co-workers, the cicadas are coming, but they won’t be everywhere.

“We are not going to have cicadas on the Eastern Shore. we’re also not going to have cicadas in Southern Maryland down in St. Mary’s and some of the southern counties there,” Raupp said. “So if cicadas are really freaking you out, and you have to get out of town, hey, plan a trip to Ocean City.”

Raupp added if you’ve planted a tree in the last two years, by mid-April you should get a mesh netting to protect your smaller branches from cicada egg-laying. He said don’t use pesticides.

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