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They’re Back! 17-Year Cicadas Begin Rare Invasion Of NYC Neighborhoods

Insects Emerge From The Ground To Mate And Die -- And More Are Coming

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They are back and crawling out of the ground near you. Brood II cicadas are making their return to New York, popping up all over trees, power poles, and mailboxes.

The periodical bugs, known to be the longest living insects, have been maturing underground for 17 years.

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“I was just playing here, and I lifted up the mat and I saw a bunch of holes. And then I looked inside of one and saw an orange thing with little red eyes, and then my mom told me it was a cicada,” 10-year-old Will Gonzalez of Eltingville told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez on Thursday.

The Gonzalez family was shocked to find a massive cicada colony on their Wilson Avenue property; and while the numbers may seem high now, the cicadas won’t reach their peak numbers for another week or two.

The thought of millions of bugs growing wings and filling the air with their mating call is enough to give some New Yorkers nightmares.

“I kept imagining that there were cicadas all over me and in my mouth because I saw them, I kept imagining them,” 9-year-old Sophia Componccia said.

Once the cicadas lay their eggs, their lives end and another 17-year wait begins.

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