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Dog Day Cicada

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Dog Day Cicada, is also called the annual cicada or harvestfly. Dogday cicadas are related to the periodical cicada and are usually associated with oaks, maples, and other mature well established trees.

Dog Day Cicada

Dog Day Cicada

Dog Day Cicada Adults vary in size and color according to species. All have prominent bulging eyes and semi-transparent wings held roof-like over their large bodies. The larger species are about 1-5/8 inch long and 1/2-inch wide with brown or green, black and white body markings. Nymphs resemble wingless adults, are brown and have strong front legs well developed for tunneling in the soil.


Periodical cicadas are insects with reddish-orange eyes and 4 clear wings with orange veins. Adults are black, about 1 ½ to 2 inches long. There are seven species of periodical cicadas three with a 17-year life cycle generally found in the north and 4 species with a 13-year cycle in the south. They don’t bite. They don’t sting. They don’t exactly sing. They just buzz, click, and sort of roar in a chorus. And they get in the way and underfoot – on sidewalks, on grass, on patios and balconies, and inside the house, if windows are open and unscreened. They are clumsy flyers.


Life Cycle: Dog Day Cicada males get together to call the females. They do this from the tops of trees.After mating, the female Dogday Harvestfly uses her ovipositor (pointy tube at the back of her abdomen) to cut open a twig. She then lays eggs inside it. The eggs hatch in about six weeks.This insect has a nymph stage. That means it keeps eating and growing without becoming a pupa.


Dog Day Cicada

Dog Day Cicada

Once the nymph is born, it leaves the tree and burrows into the ground.Nymphs live underground for three years, sucking juices from tree roots. They especially like pine trees, but they will feed on oaks and other trees as well. In the Summer of their third year, the nymphs will crawl out of the ground and start climbing the host tree. Partway up, the nymph will get rid of its outer skin. It is now an adult Dogday Harvestfly.Adult cicadas do not eat. After they mate they fall from the trees and die.


Damage:Periodical cicadas can damage trees from above and below ground. The most obvious damage is caused by egg laying on small twigs whereby damage results in the splitting of twigs which eventually causes death to the branch. This occurrence is referred to as “flagging,” it is especially serious on young plants


since many branches are the preferred size, ¼ to ½ inch diameter. Large, established trees can withstand considerable flagging. More than 270 plant species have been reported as hosts for egg laying.However, some of the preferred tree species include apple, ash, beech, cherry, dogwood, hawthorn, hickory, magnolia, maple, oak, peach, and pear. In addition, preferred flower, vine,and shrubs include arborvitae, black-eye Susan, grape, hollies, junipers, raspberry, rhododendron, Rose of Sharon, spirea, and viburnum.


Dog Day Cicada

Dog Day Cicada

Controls Measures:Ornamental trees and shrubs that are small enough can be protected by covering with a screening material such as mosquito netting or some other light-weight fabric. Heavily damaged twigs should be pruned out.The egg-laying slit made in the twig may cause the twig to dry and break off. This damage, too, is not harmful enough on an established tree to justify trying to control these insects. However, small transplanted trees, particularly fruit trees, commonly have a trunk diameter small enough that egg slits made in the trunk, may result in the tree snapping off.


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