Monday, May 30, 2011

Cicada Attack!

OK, OK, so it was only one little cicada that flew into my ear one Memorial Day as I was out watering my garden, but I gotta tell ya, it scared the crap out of me. Turns out that cicadi (not sure of the plural form) can produce a loud enough sound that they could actually deafen you if they do it next to your ear…which this one ended up doing! I’m not sure who was more scared, me or it (me for sure). It’s bad enough just have these guys flying around the yard this time of year making the racket they make, but those large red eyes really give me the creeps. Just now, having one barrel into my ear was a whole new experience. One that I don’t want to repeat thank you very much.

But, in hindsight, this fax pas attack got me to wondering. I recalled killer bees and how they can easily be provoked to attack and even kill on occasion. Why they exhibit this behavior is unknown although some scientists think it may be due to a gene mutation. Cicada, while appearing innocuous, sport a large penetrating proboscis that can be quite painful if it’s inserted into human skin. Now, just imagine a thousand mutant Cacadi attacking one hapless person?

Could that actually happen? Well, according to the scientists I’ve spoken with the odds are slim. Maybe as high as one in six.  There would have to be a genetic mutation that would allow for an aggressive tendency to express itself. Something that could only happen if the insects eat leaves that have pesticide residue on them…which many plants do in the Midwest. That would not be a good thing for Americans. About as bad as the tics that have been found with wings in Central America.

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