Cicadas to emerge early due to weather conditions

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Every 17 years, insects known as cicadas come out of hiding.

Here in Kentucky, we aren't supposed to be seeing or hearing them for a few more years. But experts say millions are coming out this spring and summer because of the weather conditions.

University of Kentucky entomologist Lee Townsend says, "a group of them are coming out early - four years early, in fact."

Some people have already noticed an increase in cicadas this spring and, unfortunately, it's not going to get any better.

Townsend says northern Kentucky is the main area for this early emergence, but this is small compared to what we will see in four years.

"The prediction is a few million cicadas with this brood - the early emergence - and a billion in the on-time immergence. So, the scale is really going to be the difference with it," he explained.

While cicadas can be a nuisance to some trees and other plants, scientists tell people to just leave them alone and let them run their course.

Officials say the next large emergence of cicadas, called Brood 10, is expected to occur in 2021.