We were invaded last night… the little creeps!

We were invaded last night… you can see the holes in the ground where they came up from and today there are thousands of them in our yard!


What am I talking about? Cicada insects or Locusts as we call them. They are these awful, creepy looking winged bugs that normally are just a nuisance, but in 13 and 17 year cycles “broods” hatch out and it’s no small matter. They like to nibble on trees and shrubs and with as many as thousands in your yard, they can do some serious damage.


The 17 year broods will be found in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. The 13 year broods can be found in Arkansa, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Fortunately when they get above ground their lives are short lived…usually about 4-6 weeks. Their sole purpose in life is to mate and lay eggs! The bad thing about the female is she likes to make slits in trees where she deposits her eggs, which can be up to 600!!! ICK! Most of their time is spent underground until it is time to emerge! Last night happened to be “their” time I guess.

The pictures you see here are of them in the “molt” where they are shedding their skins and coming out of their “shells” so to speak. They come out whitish yellow and are very soft and fragile but as the day goes on they turn into the bugs you see on my holly bushes…




There are all these “crispy” shells in our yard and it’s icky to say to least to walk in the yard. They stick to your shoe laces and even hang onto the bottom of your pants.



There’s a lot more I could say about them…like how deafening it is when they all get to making their “mating” calls to the females, or how you can actually find recipes for cooking with Cicada’s! Another ICK needs to go here!!!

Anyway, it doesn’t happen that often so I thought I’d share this “big” happening in Southern Illinois. Yet another potential hazard for our poor garden this year!

I know this has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with dolls, but I thougth I’d throw in an “educational” post at least once every 6 months or so! :o)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh Jeanne, don’t get me started on those things!! Yes, we have had them, and they are the worst! However, I read in our paper that St. Louis will be spared the cicadas this year, and I am sooooo glad! I’m not sure why they aren’t making an appearance here, but it is perfectly fine with me! So sorry for you!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Linda,
      There are more out there today than there was yesterday. The shells and some of the ones just emerging are all over the side of the house, all over the tires on Rebecca’s car, and everywhere in the yard. I don’t think you could step anywhere and not hear one crunch! Again…ICK!
      St. Louis is very fortunate to have missed them. We went to an estate sale just down the road from us and they didn’t have any of them. The lady didn’t know what I was talking about until I pulled a picture of them up on my blog post. She said, “Oh, I remember seeing those things before…” They all must be living under our yard!
      I’m all set to head to St. Louis tomorrow night for the ball game!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Oh, my! Those things are pretty gross with their red eyes! I’ve never paid much attention to them, but I know we have them up here too. Since we’ve been slower to warm up, they are probably not out yet. Can’t wait for our turn! LOL I’ve heard about people eating them too. I think I’d be sick. Try to enjoy your weekend amongst the cicadas. Yes, thank goodness they will be gone soon.
    Adding another ICK for good measure!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Cindy,
      Yes, ICK is the best word to describe them. They are just so creepy looking to me. A June bug is bad enough, but these things are just detestable! I hope your areas misses out on them.
      Thanks Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I am so thankful that we don’t have to deal with these. ICKKKKKK for sure!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Christine,
      I”m ready to just buy about 20 cans of Raid and spray everything down. Of course, all those shells would still be around… they are almost creepier than the live bugs to me.
      Thanks Christine,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Jane Miller says:

    I hope they spare your garden!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jane,
      I hope they spare it too. I haven’t been out to look at the garden…I’m almost afraid to! There’s more today than yesterday… It feels like I’m in The Twilight Zone…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    I so agree on the ICK and I’ll add a few !!!!!! to that !!!!!!
    Is there any type of spray for those “creeps” ???
    I feel like I am the spray queen to keep the invaders out of my yard. Right now it is June Bugs and soon we will have these giant dabbers to contend with. I wonder if we will have a massive problem with mosquitos this year due to our excessive rain. After several years of drought we have rain and more rain. I am thankful for the blessing of The Lord because this has filled our lakes to the point there are opening the dams so the excess can run into the dike system. Along with this system has come some violent weather in the form of tornados which has cost a few their lives and of course taken many homes to the ground. This certainly is a strange year for weather occurrences. The east with so much snow and now this trough that is hanging over the mid-section of the country.
    I am wondering if these were the critters that wiped out crops during the depression.
    I hope you and your husband can manage the creeps and save your garden, shrubs, flowers and other leafy vegetation.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jeannie,
      I’m not sure what my hubby is going to use for them. Right now, he’s spraying them off the holly bushes with the hose…but they probably just crawl back up on them, (when he turns his head!)
      I know you Texans have to be very thankful for the rain you’ve gotten lately. It took a while to get to you, but now it’s nice that you are in the normal zone again!
      I don’t know about the 1930’s and the locusts, but they certainly have done damage here in Southern Illinois before!
      Thanks Jeannie,
      blessings, Jeanne

  6. Oh yuk, Jeanne! That’s awful! I’m so sorry you have those things. I grew up 120 miles west of Chicago and now I’ve been in NW Indiana for 30 years and I’m familiar with seeing locust skins on trees occasionally, but I’ve never seen them like that! I’ve never seen one shed it’s skin, that’s the most gross photo. Perhaps you people “down South” get all of them. Please keep them down there!

    Let’s talk about something else. I don’t mean to take over your blog, Jeanne, but you have such knowledgeable followers and I have a question. I’ve always kept my fabric in plastic tubs sorted by color. Whenever I want to make something it’s hard to find coordinating fabrics. Jeanne, I’ve seen your fabric stacked on bookshelves and I know lots of other people, especially quilters, do that. It must be a lot easier to see what you have and to find what you’re looking for, but how do you keep it from getting dusty?

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Jevne,
      I won’t talk buggy talk with you…just dolly and sewing stuff!
      I used to have my stuff in tubs and containers too but when I switched to stacking them on my bookshelves it was SO much nicer. You can see everything at a glance.

      I’m not sure about the dust issue. I’m sure the front edges of my folded fabrics probably get somewhat dusty, but it’s just surface dust and can easily be shook off. I haven’t had a problem with it so far. I don’t put my fabrics on the 2 bottom shelves as they tend to collect more dust than the upper shelves. I use those shelves for things other than fabric.
      Any one else have an opinion?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Eeww…gross! Hope they don’t ruin your garden! What an awful bug to have to deal with. Do they live long?
    I love creatures of all kind, but not so much bugs like those. I won’t kill anything but those – I guess I kind of would.
    Around the lake we get muffle-heads – thousands of them – and they flit around for almost the whole boating season and even though they are harmless, they make a mess and all the boaters spend more time washing and rinsing their boats every weekend! Gross!!!
    Hope you can get rid of them?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      The goofy bugs live for 4-6 weeks, but that doesn’t necessarily we’ll be putting up with them for that long. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this many, so hopefully it’ll be another 13 years before we have to deal with them again. It’s my hubby’s job to get them “GONE!”
      I’m staying inside and sewing!
      blessings, Jeanne

  8. Kathie Welsh says:

    OMGosh, very interesting to say the least, and I appreciated the science lesson …but no recipes for Locust Soup OK? ROFLOL

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Kathie,
      Absolutely NO recipes for Cicada Soup! I think I better get back to dolls and sewing… I lost a subscriber today! :o(
      I guess she was too grossed out!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I’ve never seen cicadas as bad as you have them. We have had them, but I have only seen the shells on trees and heard them at night. I have never seen them up close….yuck!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Regina,
      I know…aren’t they yucky? I probably shouldn’t have posted pics of them…especially on a dolly blog… sorry to those of you who didn’t like today’s post!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Carolyn says:

    I’ve honestly never seen so many cicada shells in one place before! That must have been quite an invasion. I find an occasional shell from one on a tree or on the fence and I think they’re actually pretty cool, but I don’t think I would feel that way if it was an invasion of them.

    If I can respond to Jevne’s question about storing fabric, I have a closet in my sewing room and I buy the canvas shelves that hang from the closet rods to store folded fabric. Pieces big enough for quilt backs are folded over clothes hangars which are also hung on the rods. I keep the closet doors closed and nothing seems to get dusty.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      Yes, we had quite a startle when we got up yesterday morning. If they didn’t look so creepy and weren’t so “crackly” it might not be so bad, but I don’t like their looks or how they sound when you step on their shells. I’ll be glad when they’re all gone!
      It sounds like your sewing room is all organized. I like the idea of the canvas shelves hung in the closet. You can still see them all at a glance, but they are out of sight and out of the way for dust to collect on them.
      Thanks for sharing…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Oh Ick is right!
    Thankfully they never “came up” in Wisconsin!!!! OMG they are so gross!

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