July 15, 2009

Cicadas causing Texas-sized racket

Bug experts in central Texas say giant cicadas have been churning out their distinctive and annoying noise around the clock.

Entomologists said the population boom may have its origin in the heavy rains of 2007, but whatever the reason, it has been impressive, the San Antonio News-Express reported Monday.

They usually don't sing all day long or all night long unless there are a whole lot of them, said David Huffman, a Texas State University biology professor. By far and away, in terms of geography, in terms of number of reports, this is the most we've seen.

Giant cicadas measure about 2 inches long and create a king-sized racket used for mating purposes.

Scientists told the News-Express knowledge of the cicada is relatively scarce because it is considered to be neither an agricultural or urban pest, so research is limited.