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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Holes in the Ground in July


Q. I found many holes scattered in bare ground at one of the property I maintain. They are small, perhaps the size of a penny. I have attached a photo and hope you can help me identify what could be doing this. I don’t want to hurt any pollinators.


A. It’s mid-July now and I have been hearing the buzz to attract females from male cicadas since around the first of the month. I think what you are seeing are emergence holes of cicadas. The immature cicada “grub” lives underground and feeds on tree roots such as ash.

            Most people know the 17-year, periodical cicadas but there are other cicadas which emerge every year. The cicadas are nicknamed “dog day cicadas”, or annual cicadas, because they emerge every year during the heat of summer.
             That buzzing noise is used to attract females for mating and eventual laying of eggs. The eggs of cicadas are inserted by females into slits cut into small tree branches. Sometimes the small branches die from the damage caused an egg laying combined with the heat of the summer.

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