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17-year Cicadas Emerging in Iowa Woodlands

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The 17-year cicadas have been emerging in some parts of Polk County and other Iowa woodlands and have been loudly searching for mates.

Polk County Conservation naturalist Heidi Anderson told The Des Moines Register that “the woods are alive with cicadas.”

Experts say up to 40,000 of the winged, black-and-orange bugs often can be found in one tree, and about 1.5 million can be found on just one acre.

Adult cicadas can live up to six weeks after emerging from the ground where they lived as nymphs for 17 years, feeding on the sap of roots. The females will lay eggs after mating, and then both males and females in the 2014 brood will die.