By Rachael Cardin

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Whether you love them or hate them, Brood X Cicadas are here for a little while longer. Once they die off, the annual cicada will be singing in the trees.

While Eric Schloemer was playing disc golf at a North Baltimore park, a cicada landed on him but he said they do not bother him. “Nope, not at all, I think gnats and things like that bother me more,” Schloemer said.

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Thousands of cicadas were buzzing around as Annie-Laurie McCarthy and her husband threw their frisbees. “They’re harmless, they won’t hurt anybody but when a giant bug comes at your face your reaction is ‘AH!,” said McCarthy.

“As a matter of fact, a lot of the mating has taken place so if you’re getting hit by a cicada as they’re buzzing around it’s likely females. They’re looking for a place to lay their eggs,” said Erik Dihle, Baltimore’s City Arborist.

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Millions came up from the ground this year as part of Brood X’s 17-year-cycle. “It’s estimated it can be a million per acre.” Once these large black cicadas start to die off, a green annual cicada will start buzzing around,” said Dihle. “There is that annual cicada. They’re different looking. They have a different pitch and they’ll start singing the second half of summertime.”

So whether you love them, like Schloemer: “They’re bugs that don’t bite they might stick on you and come in the house but they’re not spiders.” Or you can’t stand them, like McCarthy’s kids: “I don’t want to go outside right now because they keep getting dive-bombed.” The bugs will be around for a bit longer.

Here are some fun facts about the cicadas:

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  • They eat juices from tree roots while they are in the ground.
  • Once they emerge they do not eat anything.
  • They only have 6-8 weeks above ground to mate and lay eggs before they die off.
  • The sound in the trees is their mating call, which will subside in the next few weeks.

They are less active when it rains and is windy. They can be heard more on sunny and warm days. Cicadas are a food source for other animals and birds so they are an important part of the ecosystem this time of year.

Rachael Cardin