Embracing Nature: Chalet’s Guidance to Navigating the 2024 Cicada Emergence

You may have heard some news or seen reports about the impending cicada emergence. To ease any concerns, a group of our horticultural experts have put together some helpful tips regarding this highly anticipated natural phenomenon.

First and foremost, we want to assure you that this event is a beautiful and natural occurrence, and there's no need to worry about your garden and landscape. While cicada activity will be widespread, it's important to note that their impact is primarily cosmetic and any plant damage will be minimal and short-term and should not affect the health of your landscape. Cicadas also do not bite or sting, posing no threat to humans or pets. They primarily feed on plant sap and have no interest in causing any harm. What’s more, their discarded exoskeletons actually enrich the soil, contributing to healthier plant growth. 

Below are some frequently asked questions that will help you navigate this season with the health of your landscape and garden top of mind.

Should I hold off on buying/planting new plants while cicadas are active? 

There is no need to hold off on purchasing new plants while cicadas are active. It’s inevitable, that they will be active in landscapes, gardens and in nurseries across the Midwest. Cicadas, with their fascinating life cycle, mainly target woody plant material like trees and shrubs, and do not affect annuals, herbaceous perennials, and vegetable plants. 

Any damage that is incurred on woody plants should be insignificant and easily rectified with pruning of affected limbs. Control measures against cicadas are typically unnecessary, as their impact can be managed through regular maintenance and pruning. With that being said, our team at Chalet is here to address any concerns or questions you may have.

You can visit our retail store to discuss with our staff members any questions specific to your garden or advice on how to care your plants. Also, our landscape team are highly trained to handle damages like this and provide appropriate pruning services.  

When it comes to lawn care, what should I do with all the dead cicadas on my lawn? Should the lawn be mowed more frequently than once a week? Are they harmful to the lawn mower?

Simply for aesthetic reasons, our best suggestion is to rake them up and dispose or compost them. Your lawn will not need to be mowed more frequently and they are definitely not harmful to your lawn or lawn mower. If you choose to leave them, they will naturally decompose over time which will actually enrich the soil, contributing to the health of your lawn.

Do Cicadas interact with sun plants vs. shade plants differently? Anything should I be doing?

While Cicadas do not interact with the sun plants and shade plants differently, you may notice them more concentrated in the sunny areas compared to shady areas. Cicadas are attracted to the sunlight for mating.

Do you have any specific advice or care tips for Furniture and fountain protection?

Fountains may need to be cleaned out more often than normal as well as furniture. Having a broom or brush handy will be helpful in sweeping off chairs or tables.

In regards to watering, is there anything we should be doing differently from the our usual watering routine?

We suggest you stay on your regular watering schedule and as usual keep an eye on your new plantings.

Anything else that I should be doing other than taking a deep breath?

The emergence, spanning approximately four weeks in May-June, is triggered by soil temperatures reaching around 65 degrees. So, keep an eye on our soil temperature update on our website. This synchronized emergence is a spectacle of nature and serves as an essential part of the ecosystem's cycle.

If you have any questions or concerns about how the cicada emergence may affect your garden or outdoor activities, please don't hesitate to reach out to us or your landscape representative. You can also make an appointment with our members at the store for shopping assistance, or with our Plant Clinic to address your specific plant health questions.