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STATEWIDE — They only come out once every seventeen years, and it’s only a matter of weeks before they make their grand return.

They’re called Brood X cicadas. They have black bodies with bright red eyes, and they only have one job while they’re hanging out in our backyards.

“So as the adults, the only function that they have is to mate and then die,” says State Entomologist Megan Abraham.

The sound you’ll hear coming from Brood X cicadas are males calling out to any nearby females, letting them know it’s time to mate. It’s the same thing they do every 17 years. It’s unclear why Brood X cicadas have settled on the number 17, but many believe it’s a survival strategy.

Abraham tells WIBC ,“these guys have adapted to all emerge at the same time, to try and make so many copies of themselves that it would be impossible for predators to eat them all and remove them all.”

Abraham says this strategy essentially makes it impossible for Brood X cicadas to go extinct. There’s simply too many for predators to handle.

But just how many cicadas should you expect to see?

“There’s actually going to be upwards of a million of these insects per acre in certain areas, depending on where you are,” says Abraham.

Those areas include southern Indiana, which should see the majority of the cicadas. But don’t worry, the cicadas will be all over Indiana, especially around mature trees that were around 17 years ago.

Abraham says Brood X cicadas are harmless, and only interested in each other. They won’t bother you or your pets, but because there are literally millions of cicadas flying around for 6 weeks, they may be something to keep an eye on when you’re out.

“They’re a little bit awkward, and there’s an awful lot of them,” Abraham tells WIBC, “so we might be doing things like running into them with our car or if you go out and ride your bicycle in the wrong area, you may end up with them around you.”

Now even though predators can’t kill all the cicadas, that doesn’t mean they won’t try. Another insect that rises during this time are cicada killer wasps. The wasps are about 2 inches long, and look very similar to murder hornets. But don’t worry, they’re only interested in cicadas.