County officials tell residents to stop calling 9-1-1 for cicadas

Cicada camouflaged in the middle of the forest

UNION COUNTY, GA – Union County officials are telling residents to stop calling 9-1-1 over swarms of cicadas because there’s nothing they can do about it. The cicada swarms can also be loud, but again, police can’t shoot them out of the sky and firefighters can’t shoot them with water.

The Union County 911 center said callers are confusing cicada’s songs with alarms and to be sure to make sure what you’re hearing in the distance is not alarm, but just a friendly brood of the swarming insects.

“Union County E911 is receiving multiple 911 calls for “alarms” in the neighborhood. More than likely these “alarms” are not alarms at all but a bug, Brood X. This brood of cicadas emerges every 17 years and is endemic in most of the eastern United States,” they said. “They also have a range of different sounds they can produce, making them some of the loudest of all insects. It is often difficult to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and can sound like a vehicle or home alarm system. heir song can be loud enough to cause hearing loss as they can produce sounds up to 120 db. They feed on sap and do not have a major impact on agriculture but may overwhelm small plants. They cannot sting or bite but may mistake you for a tree branch. So, if you think you hear an alarm ensure that it is an alarm and determine the location before contacting authorities.”

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