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Remember Cicadas? The loud, annoying insects that invaded Michigan by the millions in 2004? Experts say to be prepared for their return this year, as the critters typically have a 17-year life cycle.

Gary Parsons, an entomologist with Michigan State University, certain species -- or broods -- of cicadas appear in different regions of the country every 13 or 17 years. He says the 'Brood X (10) is the largest and most widespread brood in the US and is the only brood that can be found in Michigan.

Parsons says that while cicadas are incredibly annoying, they're harmless to humans because they don't bite and don't cause property damage.

"They may amass in millions in parks, woods, neighborhoods and can seemingly be everywhere," Parsons said. "When they are this abundant, they fly, land, and crawl everywhere, including occasionally landing on humans."

Your dog may feast on the critters, but Parsons says cicadas aren't poisonous to animals. Other wildlife like fish, birds, and squirrels will likely devour them as well.

“With millions of adult cicadas emerging at once, predators tend to have a feast on them. Sometimes dogs or pets will gorge on so many of them it will make them sick, but they are not toxic or otherwise harmful.”

According to Mental Floss, cicadas have just one job:  To make baby cicadas. That's why the males emit a buzzing sound to attract the females. The loud mating call of hundreds or even thousands of the critters can sometimes sound to humans like a high pitched scream.

“Yes, the males of all species of cicadas sing to attract the females, and most people are familiar with their buzzing songs in the summer."


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