Cicadaphobia

It's not exactly every 17 years!

About

sectional_cicadaIf, like me, in 2004 you were living anywhere on the East Coast of the United States between Virginia and New York, you’ll remember the huge, ugly black insects with red eyes that rose from the ground by the millions, much like a biblical plague. They could be seen and heard everywhere, especially in wooded, suburban areas, where they took over the normal rhythms of life from early May well into June.

Many people marvel at 17-year cicadas and see them as a “miracle of nature.” They find them interesting, or even cool. But some people (many more than you can imagine!) can barely carry on with their normal lives for the 5-6 weeks the nasty critters are around. And most people find them a nuisance anyway. Why has the US government never taken any measures to exterminate them? No inhabitants of a civilized country should be put through such an ordeal. Especially because this seems to happen more often than every 17 years…

We were lied to. In June 2004, the media and science websites told us that we wouldn’t see the cicadas again until 2021. But it’s 2013, and here we go again!

What the media and the science websites didn’t say, was that there are different broods of periodical cicadas. One of them happened to emerge in 1996, so it’s about to appear again 17 years later. It came as a total shock when I heard that on the news on March 21, 2013.

Or maybe I didn’t do my research properly. But, honestly, you would never ever expect that the ordeal of 2004 was not a one-of-a-kind event. Come on! Millions and millions of noisy, gross bugs literally everywhere, flying at you, getting tangled in your hair, dropping dead from the trees onto you, sneaking into your house from the AC vents, covering the windshield of your car, breaking your eardrums with their screechy mating calls — it had to be a one-of-a-kind event! That would also explain why no official extermination measures had ever been taken. Maybe the US government thought its citizens were tough enough to put up with this every 17 years…

But really, now this is happening a little too often for my taste.

I was born and raised in Western Europe, and I never saw anything so gross over there. The worst that ever happened to me was to find a cockroach colony at a beach rental one year and have a dragonfly fly into the bedroom of my city apartment. You would never imagine that things like these 17-year cicadas even exist, let alone plague densely populated areas with nobody doing anything to eradicate the problem once and for all. It’s simply unconceivable!

My entomophobia is really, really bad. I still have some mild PTSD from the summer of 2004, and I didn’t even go out! Yes, you read that right. I locked myself in my apartment for 4-5 weeks. No way I could have those huge bugs fly anywhere near me. Should I do that again? I have a job now, and I can’t lose it. But…

I’m sure I’m not the only person on the East Coast who suffers from entomophobia. I’m sure many more people will feel that these periodical cicada invasions are too excruciating ordeals to put up with. I’m sure many more people will hardly be able to function while Brood II takes over life anywhere from North Carolina to Connecticut in the next couple of months. This is why I created this website. I want to document the ordeal in the blog and I invite all of you cicadaphobes to participate! Please, don’t hesitate to comment or contribute to the blog yourself! Just drop me a line and I’ll set you up with an account so you can blog your experiences. Let’s make our voices heard! Hopefully some measures of some sort will be taken if someone starts to protest…

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