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They’re back…

cicada_0Apparently, the recent invasion of an alien subspecies to the neighborhoods and forests of our area have even disrupted the fishing. I went the other day on a calm afternoon during the major biting period with the barometric pressure was falling – an ideal day. But I didn’t hardly get a bite. It must have been the aliens.

If you live in the area, surely you’ve heard them. They are hiding in the trees and making a terrible sound I could best describe as “whir” or a “screach” with a CD of thousands of high speed dentists’ drill bits going through steel with no lubricant playing in the background. In fact, I’ve read that this sound is around 100 decibels in some areas, which means if OSHA was involved, we’d all have to wear earplugs when we were outdoors the next two to four weeks while they are here.

These aliens take on a shape of a giant clear-winged bugs and, from news reports I’ve heard, are from the planet Cicada, a place that we country folks normally call Locust. However, because of the many leading members of the scientific community that read this blog, I must make one thing clear. Though some people confuse the two because of their colors and their singing, cicadas and locusts are distinctly different insects. Cicadas, for instance, are from the order Homoptera, which they share with plant lice and leaf hoppers. Locusts, on the other hand, are not confined to just one particular species. Rather, the word locust is a general, colloquial term for a grasshopper that has, through the release of seratonin, a chemical that creates a bond between other insects of the same species, become more hive-like in behavior and has joined a swarm. Furthermore, locusts are in the order  Orthoptera, along with crickets and katydids. Any questions, refer them to my chauffeur.

Seriously, if you haven’t been by an area where they are hatching out, just move around a bit and keep your windows rolled down ( I know, I know, you push a button now, you don’t “roll” your window down). It’s absolutely amazing. The cicadas I mean, not the windows….

I’m no scientist, but they say that after more than a dozen years underground, cicadas come out into the open and spend four to six weeks calling for mates, mating and then laying eggs for the next generation. There are cicada predators everywhere, but not enough to eat even a fraction of the buggers. They don’t cause any harm (minus the OSHA hearing loss concern) and have no impact other than to make a mess of small droppings on equipment, cars, etc, that might be parked under the wrong tree.

CicadaJumbo_052They are basically of no use either, other than to mock OSHA noise inspectors. They certainly don’t work as fish bait. I caught one and tried to catch a fish on it. No luck. In it’s defense, though, I really didn’t know where to put the hook in it.  Believe it or not, there are a dozen or so different kinds of cicada imitation baits on the market and apparently they are quite good for catching trout and other alien species of fish.

As for using them as live bait, perhaps even though we can’t hear it, they still hum, squeal, chirp or whatever that noise is even when they are even underwater. If I were a fish, I wouldn’t bite one either. Especially if there is a choice between them and a crawfish.

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