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How Cicadas Affect Landscaping

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Cicadas are both good and bad for landscaping, but in totally unexpected ways!

You’ve probably witnessed some pretty strange things happening around central Maryland over the last few weeks: huge orange and black bugs flying everywhere, a rather irritating and loud humming noise, and maybe even some of your pets have been sneaking out to grab a once in a lifetime snack! (Yuck!) This is all thanks to the 17-year cicada. Now, the cicadas are reaching the end of their lifespans and are starting to die off in mass quantities. The Brood X cicadas may be on their way out for the next 17 years, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t affected the landscaping of your home. Here are some ways that Brood-X cicadas have affected your landscaping, both good and bad. 

Great for Mulch

If you take frequent walks or jogs out and about, you’ll probably notice that there are a LOT of deceased cicadas lying around on the ground on the outdoor landscaping. It might be kind of a gross sight to see, but actually, it’s best to leave the dead cicadas alone, especially if they are on top of a garden or grassy area. This is because cicadas can actually be a valuable source of nutrients for plants, essentially becoming a free layer of nutrient-rich mulch. Cicadas are large insects. Therefore they are a great source of food for the soil after they have been decomposed by other landscaping-friendly critters like earthworms. If you see dead cicadas in your garden, don’t be afraid! Let nature do its work, and who knows, you might have especially healthy plants in the upcoming months. 

Tree Damage

Unfortunately, cicadas have their downsides to landscaping as well. This is because cicadas can actually damage trees when they lay their eggs. Before the larvae hatch and live underground for the next 17 years, an adult cicada lays her eggs inside the twigs or branches of a tree. The affected area will then crack on its own and die, causing the branch to fall from the tree. Then the cicada larvae will hatch on the ground and burrow underneath once born. Normally, for a large and old tree, this will have little to no effect on the tree’s health. The main threat is to very young trees that don’t have very many branches yet. If you have completed a landscaping project involving baby trees in the last few years, it might be a good idea to look for cicada damage. If you notice your landscaping baby tree is missing a lot of branches, make sure it receives a lot of extra care in the coming months to keep it healthy. If it’s damaged beyond repair, it’s wise to call a tree removal service. 

All of Your Landscaping Needs from Atlantic Maintenance Group

Atlantic Maintenance Group is a full-service landscaping company, providing maintenance, design, and construction, as well as snow removal, and asphalt and concrete services. We are your source for complete landscape and facility maintenance for commercial and residential properties throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. We are a self-performing landscaping company, meaning we don’t hire subcontractors, and senior management is involved with every project. Our highly trained team of professionals receives constant, ongoing education on the latest industry trends, updates, and safety measures. This ensures we can deliver outstanding customer service and results to our clients, regardless of the size of your job.

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Atlantic Maintenance Group
6710-F Ritchie Highway, Unit 470 Glen Burnie, Maryland 21060
Phone: (410) 768-4720 URL of Map