Cicadas are coming! Track their whereabouts with this WNYC map

And by "track their whereabouts," we obviously mean AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS.

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Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Does the above photo terrify you as much as it does us? Well, then we've got some unsettling news: That's a Magicicada septendecim, better known as a 17-year cicada, and the winged creatures make their return to the Northeast this year. And if you don't think that sounds so bad—they're just bugs, right?—then consider this: Each 17-year cycle can produce up to 1.5 million cicadas per acre. We're going to build a bunker to hide in for the next few months, because that is terrifying.


But if the thought of dealing with flying, bug-eyed, noisy insects doesn't make you want to scream, then you've got a few ways to get a peek at the cicadas. The Staten Island Museum's latest ongoing exhibition, "They're Baaack! Return of the 17-Year Cicadas," is devoted to the rare critters. It features cicada art, preserved specimens and more information than you probably ever needed to know about the insects.


Another way to keep tabs on this year's crop is to bookmark WNYC's Cicada Tracker map, produced by the folks at Radiolab. Users can add their own cicada sightings, and see where other people have spotted the bugs. We'll obviously be using it as a tool to figure out what parts of the tristate area to avoid for the foreseeable future.



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