What 13 Year Cicadas Sound Like

I’ve been talking a lot about the scourge that is the 13-year cicada bloom in Nashville this spring. I say “scourge” because our dogs love to eat them, which because they are pure protein is like doggie crack. Also, the gastrointestinal distress that cicadas create is quite problematic: we’re talking room-clearing doggie farts, 3 a.m. doggie vomits, doggie diarrhea, you name it. There is literally no way to keep the dogs from eating them, either: the cicadas are literally everywhere.

But also, the little fuckers are deafening, and I do mean that. Here’s what my iPhone captured:


And yes, if you hadn’t guessed, this was my opportunity to figure out how to post audio files. Which I seem unable to do. When I upload the file so the player appears, it just buffers endlessly.

*Le Sigh*


Filed under Nashville

11 responses to “What 13 Year Cicadas Sound Like

  1. Sorry, but with your recording and my laptop it sounds a lot like white noise. Now the summer nights in New Jersey! That sounds like the Malay Jungle.

  2. No, white noise is EXACTLY what they sound like. You open your door to this deafening, droning white noise sound. I’m GOING INSANE!!!!

  3. That was just too funny! I haven’t heard the cicadas here this year. When they come, I like to sit on my back deck and direct them as they crescendo and decrescendo.

  4. You direct the cicadas? Isn’t that just like a Pastor! God complex, much?


    I kid! I kid because I love!

  5. Jim

    I was in Nashville this weekend for a bit. It was definitely bad. Even inside the house you could hear the droning of the locusts. I don’t remember 13 years ago if it was bad, but I do remember 26 years ago as a kid running around in my neighborhood with my friends killing locusts by the hundreds. It was like a biblical plague that year.

    • It’s worse at certain times of day, too. If you’re outside around 4 pm you literally cannot talk over the noise. And it IS a loud droning. It’s got me on edge. Can’t wait to get the hell out of town this is really making me nuts.

      As if Nashville couldn’t get any worse…

  6. Oh, so you think Cicada white noise is bad? Wait until you hear them, in their billions, with their Grasshopper Blasters turned up to 11!

  7. Andy Axel

    I measured it yesterday around 6pm with a sound pressure gauge. 92 decibels.

  8. My oldest dog won’t go outside when they are in full roar. They freak her out.