Are cicadas dangerous? Busting myths on the harmfulness of the noisy pests.

This summer, Americans will see trillions of cicadas – a small insect with a striking sound.

Expect to see far more cicadas this year than in 2021, when Brood X appeared in the Midwest and eastern states. In 2024, two separate broods will emerge together for the first time since 1803, making for a "Cicadageddon." Brood XIII and Brood XIX won't come above ground again at the same time until 2245.

Whether you're excited for the rare event, anxious about the noise or just plain grossed out, here's your guide to the impact these cicadas will have on your life and yard.

Are cicadas dangerous?

Cicadas are not dangerous. They do not sting or bite because they don't have the appropriate mouthparts. They're also not harmful to pets, crops or gardens. Cicadas won't eat leaves, flowers, fruits or vegetables, although they may eat some sap from trees and shrubs, the EPA says.

Cicadas can be dangerous to young trees, though. When female cicadas lay their eggs in small tree branches, their saw-like appendages sometimes damage branches. Cover your saplings in mesh or netting to keep the insects out.

The EPA does not recommend using pesticides to keep cicadas away – they are ineffective and can actually ward off the animals that eat cicadas.

Are cicadas dangerous to pets?

Cicadas are neither poisonous nor venomous to pets. It's okay if your dog or cat eats cicadas in small amounts, though a large amount may cause an upset stomach or vomiting, the EPA says.

What are cicadas?

Cicadas are small insects that make a noticeable buzzing sound, which, when they are in a group, can reach 100 decibels, about as loud as a lawnmower.

There are over 3,000 species, according to National Geographic. Some of the species found in the U.S. are periodical and spend most of their lives underground. Brood XIII and Brood XIX, for example, only emerge every 17 and 13 years, respectively.

The insects are between one and 1.5 inches with a wingspan twice as long, the EPA says. They have black bodies, red-brown eyes and orange-veined wings. Male cicadas synchronize with other cicadas to court their female counterparts and establish territory, according to Britannica.

How long do cicadas live? How long these pesky insects live above ground

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Are cicadas dangerous? Harmfulness to humans and plants, explained.