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Oak Pests - A Guide to Major Insects, Diseases, Air Pollution and Chemical Injury

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Magicicada septendecim

Importance. -- Cicadas (locusts) attack oaks as well as other species and are widely distributed in the East. Young, transplanted trees, and branches of large trees may be severely damaged by the egg-laying punctures of adult cicadas.

Identifying the Insect (figure 38a). -- Adults are heavy bodied, and 1.6 inches (40 mm) long. Their wings are transparent with prominent veins. The female is completely black on top, while the male has four or five orange-brown abdominal segments.

Identifying the Injury (figure 38b). -- Females puncture the twig in straight rows to lay eggs and often damage twigs so severely that their terminal portions die. Large numbers of molted skins of the nymphs may be found attached to trees trunks.

Biology. -- The adult female cuts the bark of twigs and lays 24 to 28 eggs. Newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground, burrow into the soil, and feed on the roots for 13 to 17 years.

Control. -- Protect small trees with netting. Properly timed insecticidal treatment may be necessary.


Figure 38a

Figure 38b

Figure 38. -- (a) Periodical cicada; (b) branches with egg-laying puncture injuries caused by periodical cicada.
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