Americans are about to see a lot of this mistake

Uh, uh, there's more uh. The 2016 cicada mating season is approaching, and it is reported that the number of cicadas this year will reach billions. Fortunately, cicadas are not as destructive as the OG insect invader, the locust. Unlike their biblical cousins, adult cicadas don't actually eat anything, and damage to plants usually occurs when they lay their eggs. In fact, they don't even bite or sting. Bee swarms are notoriously noisy, but they're harmless—unless you count the psychological damage caused by their deafening buzz, which the Washington Post once perfectly described as "vaguely... threatening". (If you've been lucky enough to avoid cicada swarms in the past, you can check out what they sound like in this video.)

If you think this all sounds familiar, you're probably right. Periodic cicadas (not to be confused with annual cicadas whose life cycles last only one year) have life cycles of 13 or 17 years, and their development is staggered so new cicadas emerge from the ground and mate. Almost every year there is a different region. In fact, the USDA notes that some areas may even experience it more than once every 17 years. Basically, a new colony of cicadas is produced almost every spring.

This year's cicada, dubbed "Brood V," was last seen in 1999 and consists of three different species: Magicicada septendecim, M. cassini and M. septendecula. According to Cicada Mania, all three species are expected to occur in areas of New York, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It's impossible to predict exactly when they will appear, but it will likely be next month. While factors like rainfall can affect when cicadas emerge, AccuWeather reports that most importantly, cicadas take cues from soil temperature — typically, they emerge when ground temperatures reach around 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

So what happens when they finally reach the ground? According to the USDA, cicadas remain "nymphs" while underground. Once they emerge, they develop into adults, leaving the old skin behind. The male cicada then starts calling for his mate - hence the buzzing sound. Adult worms typically live four to six weeks, during which time they reproduce and eventually die. Meanwhile, their offspring eventually hatch and burrow back underground. Seventeen years later, lo and behold! They're back, scaring us again with their discarded shells and annoying whistles. Yes, nature?

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Giphy