In Virginia, Cicadas Make Noise And Damage Trees | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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In Virginia, Cicadas Make Noise And Damage Trees

This year's noisy crop of cicadas is now busy laying eggs, and that's causing widespread damage to trees in Virginia.

Virginia forestry officials say the damage is the result of cicada females laying eggs in the thin-barked outer branches of trees and shrubs. The females slice into the branch, then deposit up to 80 eggs.

Forest health specialist Chris Asaro says a single female can create about 30 nests, laying as many as 600 eggs. The nesting can cause structural damage known as "flagging," which is visible across much of the state's Piedmont and coastal plain.

The department says the good news is that most medium to large trees won't suffer any serious long-term damage. And better yet, the next cicada outbreak won't occur for 17 years.

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