Depending on where you are in the country, the 17-year cicadas may have already come and gone, or you may still be seeing and hearing the effects of their short-lived lives. Property managers, especially those with sensitive landscaping, have asked us whether cicadas will have any ill effects on their properties. Fortunately, the answer is no.
Because adult cicadas rarely eat during the four-to-six weeks after emergence from the ground, there is no concern about cicadas attacking your landscaping like a plague of locusts. However, younger trees and saplings can suffer from the egg-laying females who make tiny slits in the branches to lay their eggs. While a single cicada won’t do much harm, heavy infestations can cause young branches to bend over.
Damage to mature trees is rarely serious but you can protect younger trees and saplings with 1/4-inch mosquito netting. Generally, avoid planting new trees during the spring of a known cicada brood emergence.