The Atlantic explains one rough part of being a 17-year brood: developers often turn forests into cities in far less time.
This year's Brood II cicadas are currently appearing on the East Coast (although not quite with the drama we initially expected). But John Cooley, a cicada researcher in Connecticut, has seen evidence of extinction elsewhere, in the sprawling subdivisions around Champaign-Urbana in Central Illinois.
"When they go out and build these things around Champaign-Urbana, they cut the trees down, they bring in the bulldozers, they pull up the top soil, and they stick the houses down," Cooley says. "None of the cicadas in the ground there would have survived that. None of anything in the ground would have survived that."
I've been patiently waiting for the arrival of our noisy overlords, and have thus far been disappointed at the events. Readers, have you encountered Brood 2? And if so, how did it go?