Enjoy them while you can – Brood X cicadas are on their way out.
"We are on the downhill slide," said Gene Kritsky, a leading cicada expert and entomologist at Mount St. Joseph University.
He said Greater Cincinnati's Brood X peaked on June 4, where neighborhoods across the region were seeing cicada mating calls registering at 90 decibels or higher.
Last Sunday, Kritsky said that dropped to about 80 decibels.
Now, the dip in calls is almost eerie after nearly four weeks of incessant noise. Kritsky said the coursing of male cicadas is now peaking around the low to mid-70s.
The sound is "nowhere near the intensity" that we had two weeks ago, Kritsky said. It will continue to decline in the next few days.
Shortly after the cicadas have mated, the males die "pretty quickly" and they're the ones who make all the noise. The females will die off shortly after laying eggs.
"We're right on target with the original prediction we had in April," Kritsky said.
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Some areas of Greater Cincinnati will still hear the singing, which will be the "isolated calls" of a handful of males.
In 1987, the last Brood X cicada made his call on June 30. In 2004, it was around July 2 or 3, Kritsky said.
So what's next?
People will start noticing the discoloration of leaves in their trees from females laying eggs. Then those trees will start to have some dangling branches — called flagging. It should increase in the next two to three weeks and will keep up through the summer.
The bodies of the cicadas will also start decomposing. Kritsky said while the scent is distinctive, it will dissipate pretty quickly.
"It's been exhausting but it's been a lot of fun," Kritsky said of the emergence.
His research app Cicada Safari has had 194,000 downloads and more than 550,000 picture submissions. Those pictures have tracked the emergence of Brood X and found other exciting developments.
Brood X cicadas map:Where you will find them in 2021
Brood 14 emergence
Kritsky said Brood 14, which appears in eastern Hamilton County, Clermont County and Brown County had some scattered emergence four years early (Brood 14 is slated to arrive in 2025). They also saw Brood 14 emerge in Cape Cod and were able to track periodical cicadas in South Carolina and Alabama.
"That's what we were hoping to see with Cicada Safari," Kritsky said.
As for Brood X, they won't be above ground for much longer.
The next time Greater Cincinnati will see them in force will be 2038.