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Insect onslaught will be noisy yet harmless

April 16, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

An onslaught of insects that could number more than a million per acre are now fighting their way to the surface of yards and fields throughout the region before exploding onto the local scene in mid-May.

Three species of the magicicada, a 17-year cicada, will not be harmful to humans, but they will sing their tiny little hearts out for three to four weeks as they try to attract a mate in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, said Jack Layne, a biology professor at Slippery Rock University.

They inflict no damage on humans or plants, but the small slits the female carves into bark to lay her eggs can potentially damage very young trees.

This is an excerpt — pick up Wednesday's Butler Eagle or subscribe online for the full article.