Cicadas Double as Mulch for Property Landscaping

June 10, 2013
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Cicadas are an interesting type of bug. They can have peculiar life cycles — this year, for instance, marks a Brood II wave, a year in which the species of cicada with a 17-year breeding cycle spawns, mates, and lays eggs before simply dying off.

Cicadas are not dangerous, they’re simply a nuisance. By and large, they cause very little damage. They rarely eat, so you won’t see them chew on your landscaping. They avoid buildings and they don’t even bite.

In fact, cicadas are sometimes known as “land shrimp” which some people consider a delicacy. Pets are also known for shamelessly snacking on these crunchy treats, but don’t let them eat too much — the chitin that makes up their shells can cause digestive upset if eaten in large quantities.

In fact, the only problem cicadas cause (aside from a disgusting crunch underfoot) is that they lay their eggs in young trees. Even that, by itself causes little to no damage, but the sheer number of eggs being laid can cause the young branches to bow. This can be easily prevented by draping young trees with mosquito netting. Problem solved.

The best part about cicadas is that once they die off in the late summer, their chitinous shells litter the ground and can be raked up and used as a mulch. They absorb water surprisingly well, and as they decompose, they make good fertilizer. Sooner you’ll be looking forward to the proliferation of these weird-looking bug-eyed monsters, use them in addition to your regular mulch for a healthy lawn this summer!