How to eliminate cicadas

How to Eliminate Cicadas?

The best way to eliminate cicadas is by spraying insecticide. However, this will only get rid of cicadas that are few in number or infesting an open space. There are other methods to get rid of cicadas in different situations. 

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Cicadas are generally considered to be a nuisance. They produce an annoying dirge-like sound that can go on for hours on end. You can easily get rid of cicadas that arrive annually. However, hordes of cicadas can break through the ground and usually plague vast swathes of the country every 13 or 17 years. These periodic cicadas are called broods. 

Eliminating a small number of cicadas is easy. However, battling swarms of these bugs requires more than simple pesticide spraying. 

Let’s learn a little more about cicadas and see the best ways to eliminate cicadas from your property.

What is a Cicada?

Adult cicadas can vary in size, depending on the species. Cicadas are usually 2 to 3 inches long and have large, clear and veiny wings. Their eyes are either black or bright reddish. 

Cicadas are divided into two basic groups, the ones that come every year (annual) and the ones that come every 13 to 17 years. Both types of cicadas tend to rise up from the ground in warm months. The sole reason for cicadas to come out of the ground is to feed and mate. Though scientists are able to accurately predict the regions where cicadas can invade in large numbers to cause havoc, these invasions can often times get delayed by an year or more. 

Where do Cicadas infest?

More cicada infestations occur outdoors so it is important to search outside your house. You should begin by checking the shrubs and ornaments before checking taller trees on your property. Though cicadas can infest almost anywhere, they are mostly found infesting places that are undisturbed, surrounded by woods where their nymphs can grow underground and feed on roots. 

Cicadas are not difficult to spot. You can find cicadas usually perching on trees and droning noisily to attract other cicadas. These bugs are well-camouflaged so make sure to check the tree bark carefully. The best way to identify cicada hordes is to simply follow their droning noise. This should lead you straight to the tree or part of your property where the cicada infestation is the largest. 

Using Insecticide to Eliminate Cicadas

If the constant drone of cicadas is becoming intolerable, then you can use several products to get rid of them. You can choose to buy an insecticide in a dust, concentrate or ready to spray bottles. You simply need to attach the garden spray to a hose and spray the perimeter of your garden or yard. If you are using the dust or spray insecticide then make sure to apply them directly to the trees. There are also other products you can buy from the local garden supply store that help to kill as well as repel cicadas effectively.

Remember, the live cicadas are not always the sole cause of problems. Adult cicadas tend to die shortly after the mating period. This means that you may have millions of dead, rotting bugs littering your yard or garden. To get rid of these, you can either bury them, or burn them or even add them to the compost pile. 

There is no concrete way to prevent cicadas from returning but you can effectively restrict the amount of damage that they can cause by:

  • Buying ear-plugs or noise-canceling headphone to protect your hearing.
  • Covering all hot tubs and pools to prevent clogged drains. 
  • Completing lawn chores in the early morning or dusk as cicadas are less active during these hours.
  • Wearing a hat when working under trees in the yard to avoid cicada-pee. 

Predicting and Preventing Cicadas

As we know that cicadas tend to return once after every 17 years, you can pre-treat the yard and limit the damage they can cause. To do this, you can choose DIY methods, such as spraying a repellent or hiring expert pest control professionals, such as Eden. These techniques require spraying insecticide in the yard or garden right before the expected arrival of the cicadas. However, you need to make sure to use insecticides that are not harmful to beneficent bugs, such as wasps which usually feed on cicadas. 

You can also choose preventive measure to avoid cicadas from infesting your lawn or yard. To do this, you should begin by pruning and trimming trees and shrubs to restrict the places that cicadas can lay their eggs. Avoid planting young trees in the years that a cicada invasion in expected. Older, stronger trees can withstand the onslaught of millions of cicadas but young trees are unable to do so. However, it is still advised to buy good-quality noise-canceling headphones before the cicadas return. 

Protecting Trees against Cicadas

Cicadas can weaken and damage even the strongest trees at times. You can protect trees from cicadas by spraying the trees with a powerful garden hose. You can also wrap young and small trees with landscape netting. For grapevines and other climbing plants, you will need to pluck the bugs one by one with your hands. You can make this task easier by letting kids assist you. 

Some of the common trees that are vulnerable against a cicada invasion include:

  • Ash 
  • Cherry
  • Apple 
  • Chestnut 
  • Elm
  • Dogwood
  • Oak
  • Maple 
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Hickory 

Young cicadas do not eat the leaves of trees but they are extremely attracted to the roots of trees as this is where they suck out the tree sap from. The female cicadas are able to cut into tree barks in the branches to lay their eggs. Though older trees are stronger and can survive these attacks, the younger and smaller trees are more vulnerable to damage from a cicada invasion. 


The best way to eliminate cicadas is to use insecticide on plants, shrubs and trees on your property. You can buy cicada insecticide in dust, spray or concentrate forms at the local garden supply store. However, if the cicada invasion is extensive, it is strongly recommended to hire professional pest control experts, such as Eden for effectively eliminating cicadas from your property. 

Enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn with our timely yard work services that care for your yard according to the season. Call us today!

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