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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Bugging out over cicadas

The thought of billions of cicadas emerging this spring is leaving communities overwhelmed.

Entomophobia is the persistent fear of spiders, mites and bugs. 

Mike Hogan, an extension educator and associate professor with OSU Agriculture and Natural Resources, has seen several cases of entomophobia walk into his office. 

People who have a fear of bugs often come in to have a certain insect inspected or are looking for some help in combating their fears.

While the cicadas can look frightening with their red eyes and larger than normal bodies, they do not bite or sting. 

“More than 90% of all the insects on the planet are beneficial to the planet” Hogan said. 

They are known to help the ecosystem by naturally pruning trees, aerate the soil, and add nitrogen for growing trees.

Credit: Dr. Gene Kritsky

Within the next week, we could start to see the cicadas emerging in parts of central Ohio. They will emerge from mud tunnels underground where they will take refuge in our trees. 

Not all trees are at risk, young saplings and fruit trees are the most popular for the species to lay their eggs and cause any damage.

Cicadas are no threat to livestock or pets. 

“There is absolutely no harmful effects of the cicadas. I think sometimes it’s a great opportunity to use them to teach kids about nature and insects”, Hogan said.