LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Cicada Mania Hits in the Midwest

17-year cicada (Photo credit: Tennessee Farm Bureau)

After living under the earth for nearly two decades, a certain species of insect is starting to emerge across the Midwest. The 17-year cicada will soon be singing its unique song in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas. KPR's J. Schafer reports.

It's a sound most of us haven't heard for 17 years. If you're 17-years-old or younger... you've never heard this noise before.  

     (SFX: 17-year cicadas chirping....)

It's the unique -- some say ANNOYING -- sound of the 17-year cicada. These insects have been living under the ground, sucking on tree sap for most of their lives. But every 17 years -- in late May and early June -- they burrow out of the ground, gathering by the millions in wooded areas... where they sing their mating song. Love it or hate it, these cicadas won't be here very long. And when they're gone, we won't hear this exact cicada song again until the year 2032. Until then, we'll have to make do with the summer sounds of the ANNUAL cicada. Or perhaps the other species of the insect. There's a 3-year, 5-year, 7-year and 13-year version. All odd numbers for one of nature's oddest - and noisiest -- insects. I'm J. Schafer.

Cicada Mania Hits in the Midwest, Like it Does Every 17 Years


Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)