You've planned the perfect wedding. Everything is exactly how you dreamed it will be. Then you get word that you have unexpected guests that might be arriving. Welcome to the emergence of the cicadas....
Like most insects, cicadas have many different species and each has a distinct cycle. There are the ones that come out every year but most people are more familiar with periodical ones that come out every 13 or 17 years.
They typically are seen emerging in May or June and this year expected to have dense concentrations in parts of Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Tennessee. They mate and lay hundreds of eggs on trees so having a venue that has trees can be a factor in seeing them. Overall they are harmless.
When planning an outdoor wedding during the summer, when they are expected to appear, it can add an additional stressor as they can make an extremely loud buzzing sounds which can be disturbing to some guests. They also will shed their skin which leaves hundreds of exoskeletons laying on the ground for your guest to step on.
You can expect to see them starting in May in the years they are expected to appear going through the end of Summer. It's only a two month window but is during the popular outdoor wedding months.
Tyler Lowe with McNeely Pest Control suggests, “you may want to have a pretty good PA system so that the guests can hear what the couple is saying to each other. Otherwise, the couple may be drowned out by all of the clicking noise that the cicadas make. Besides the noise, cicadas will be nothing to worry about.”
If you are still worried about having the unwanted guests join your wedding, then here are some additional tips to try to be proactive in dealing with them.
Have your venue use a hose to wash them out of the trees the morning of your wedding.
Plan your ceremony and reception in an area that doesn't have trees or minimal ones.
If you are in charge of your venue, wait till the fall to plant any shrubs or trees till after the cicada swarm subsides.
Have a tent or an indoor area for the ceremony/reception to keep them from hitting your guests.
Make sure you have the food in an area that isn't accessible to the outside so you don't have your guests fishing cicada skeletons out of their food.
Most importantly, what we tell our couples when we are concerned that they might have cicadas appear at their wedding, is that you have an opportunity to have some great photos that most people aren't able to get. Laugh and enjoy it.
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