Cicadas emerge from 17-year slumber in parts of New Jersey

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) -- Cicadas have emerged from their lairs after living underground for 17 years, and in parts of New Jersey, residents say it resembles an alien invasion.

For many towns in the region, the sound of cicadas will be the background music from nature for about the next six weeks.

The cicadas have emerged.

"So we have an emergence of what we call 17-year cicadas, they essentially come out here every 17 years in mass, and we're seeing a stretch from the mid-Atlantic area right through Hunterdon County of large broods emerging all at once, that's why we're hearing them all at once," Tadhgh Rainey.

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Tadhgh Rainey, Head of Hunterdon County Division of Mosquito and Vector Control, seems to know everything about every insects on Earth, and cicada season.

He loves it -- but one thing he wants us to understand is that these insects are not pests.

"Largely they are beneficial, they serve as a food source for all kinds of things, both vertebrae and non-vertebrae animals once they emerge," Rainey said.

In fact, several counties help residents track the rise and movements of the insects.

Hunterdon County's website has a special section dedicated to our visitors.

"It's very important because we can have residents tell us where they are emerging, it's very important for us to track every 17 years if development matters, when you build a house or build a driveway and put a road in, it disrupts their life cycle so we need to know that," said Susan Soloway, the Director of the Board of Hunterdon County Commissioners.

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