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‘I wouldn’t cancel a graduation party’ – Shaw Local

Art Peterson of Spring Grove saw some crickets on wild violets while he was mowing the lawn Sunday, he said.

“They did not respond to my presence or the sound of the riding mower. They were quiet,” Peterson said. He added that he went back outside an hour later and only saw the cicada shells. He hasn’t seen the bugs since.

The crickets are starting to pop up all over McHenry County and will continue to do so for the next few weeks.

In Northern Illinois, only one brood is expected to emerge this year after remaining underground since 2007. Further out in the state, two broods emerge at the same time, which hasn’t happened in nearly 200 years.

The crickets won’t be here much longer.

“It’s only for (about) six weeks,” said Brenda Dahlfors, Master Naturalist program coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension. She added that there is a two-week start-up and cool-down period.

People don’t have to worry too much about the crickets, Dahlfors said. People should cover their very young trees and leash their dogs outside so they don’t eat too many crickets. However, Dahlfors said people still have some time to cover their trees.

“The biggest concern is the trunk,” Dahlfors said.

First sighting of a cicada in Art Peterson's courtyard in Spring Grove on Sunday afternoon, May 19, 2024.

Dahlfors added that people should not spray the crickets, and that nothing is specifically designed to kill the insects. Trying to spray them is “wasting your money and your time,” Dahlfors said. “They don’t bite, they don’t sting.”

She encourages parents and adults to be excited rather than afraid of crickets.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” Dahlfors said.

John Fiorina of the Crystal Lake Park District said the crickets “won’t be a nuisance if you are tolerant of insects.

“I wouldn’t cancel a graduation party because of it.” he said.

The crickets are starting to show up at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake, and he said he’s seen some birds enjoying the party.

“They definitely ate well,” Fiorina said.

The park district’s nature center at Veteran Acres Park plans to reopen June 1 after the installation of new exhibits. The center has a monthly drop-in where people can come by and make something. June’s craft? The cicada.

Luckily for the squeamish, the craft will be made from craft supplies and not real crickets. Fiorina said he and his colleagues saved a few crickets from last time and plan to save a few shells from this time.

For the cicada enthusiasts, the McHenry County Conservation District plans to host a cicada party on June 2 at Fox Bluff Conservation Area in Cary. The event is free and open to everyone.

Cicadas appear at the Harrison Benwell Conservation Area in Wonder Lake on May 20, 2024.

The Conservation District plans to host a Cicada Sounds event on June 6 for children between the ages of 2 and 7. The cicada event, which will be held at the Boone Creek Conservation Area in Bull Valley, is nearly sold out as of Monday afternoon.

The Conservation District also has a cicada map where people can share their cicada sightings. The submission form can be found at MCCD.me/CicadaData and a cicada map can be found at MCCD.me/CicadaMap.

Caitlynn Martinez-McWhorter, the conservation district’s marketing manager, said one of the activities of the conservation district’s Find your Wild summer scavenger hunt is recording a cicada sighting on the map.

“It’s a good time to get out and look for bugs,” Fiorina said.

Northwest Herald reporter Amanda Marrazzo contributed.