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    Swarm of cicadas headed for the East Coast

    5:08 AM, Apr 16, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (CNN) -- We don't know exactly when or where it will happen, but sometime soon, billions of cicadas will swarm the East Coast. These creepy crawly noisemakers will make their way from deep underground in a phenomenon only Hitchcock could appreciate.

    However you pronounce them, just don't call 'em pretty. It's like someone took a roach, slapped on some wings, and glued two orange, buggy eyes on it.

    Millions of Americans on the East Coast will soon get an up-close and-personal view. Every new generation of cicadas emerges from underground to mate. That happens every 13 or 17 years, and 2013's gonna be a big one.

    Starting in late April, swarms are expected from Connecticut to North Carolina. In some spots, enough to darken the sky!

    If their faces are those only cicada mothers could love, they've got "voices" to match. Or more accurately, organs on the abdomens of males that vibrate to attract females.

    When the guys go out on the prowl, the collective sound is like waves of screeching. This may send some humans screeching, but they're more likely to bug us than actually harm us. Unless they poke us with their beaks.

    They're not especially destructive to plants, either. They do help aerate the soil when they come out and they're a veritable buffet for birds and other animals.

    So if you see or hear them where you live, keep an eye on your pets. Some cats and dogs seeking cicada snacks can get sick to their stomachs.

    For that matter, so can we, though some enterprising chefs have gotten creative with them cooking up everything from cicada quiche to cicada ice cream!

    Not one of baskin-robbins' 31 flavors. But whether you find them annoying, or appetizing, if you find them on the East Coast, you'll hear what the buzz is all about.

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