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Don't Bug Out About Cicadas: University of Md. Expert Answers Questions

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- When Beverly Wright had questions about the Brood X Cicadas about to emerge, she knew who to turn to: WJZ.

And I knew who to turn to: Michael Raupp, one of the top entomologists at the University of Maryland to try to ease her fears.

Wright had one word for Raupp: "They're kinda 'yuck' for me."

But Raupp told her: "Oh, no, Beverly. They're wonderful. They're not 'yuck'."

"Are they harmful in any way?" Wright asked.

"No, they're not. They're not going to bite or sting. They're not going to carry away small children or dogs like the monkeys in The Wizard of Oz," Raupp replied as Wright laughed.

Wright then asked if the cicadas were more active at certain times of the day.

"The Cicadapalooza in the treetops is going to take place on bright, sunny days, usually on the warmest part of the day," Raupp assured her. "On the way up to the treetops, they might land on you for a second or run into somebody. They're pretty clumsy flyers."

"Wonderful. I'll go out on rainy days!" Wright said.

"Well, no you need to go out on sunny days, Beverly, to enjoy the cicadas," Raupp assured her.

Wright's fear of cicadas getting in the house in unfounded, he said.

"You might see some on the side of the house, but they're only there to shed their skin and then they're going to fly away to the treetops," he told her.

Wright wanted to know when Brood X was leaving.

"By the Fourth of July, I think we'll be all done with cicadas here," Raupp said.

"Well, that's good. I think I'll just remain in the house until they leave," she said.

Wright then asked if she could enjoy her cookouts and if the bugs are "reactive to certain types of smells?"

"They suck plant sap. They're not interested in burgers or hot dogs, so--" he said as she laughed.

And finally, Wright can go Ocean City without worry, Raupp said.

"Nope, no cicadas in Ocean City. They're only going to be west of the Chesapeake for the most part," he told her.

When asked if she still felt the same about the cicadas, Wright had one word to say: "Yes!"

Among her other questions answered: cicadas don't react to colorful clothing and she doesn't need to use insect repellent.

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