Farmers Prepare For Return Of Cicadas

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We’re about a week or two away from a pesty phenomenon which only comes around every 17 years. Cicadas will be creeping out of the ground and swarming certain areas of Connecticut, and some farmers are on alert.

Tree farmers are the ones who should be most concerned, including those who harvest apples, like Lyman Orchards in Middlefield.

John Lyman has witnessed four generations of the bugs on his farm.

“I was in college and now I’m married and have three kids and kids in college, so it’s amazing what 17 years can do,” he said.

Lyman has also seen the damage that the insects can cause to apple trees.

“They would slit into the young branches and that would eventually, they would snap off, they would die because of that incision,” he said.

With 100 acres of apple trees at Lyman Orchards it would be impossible to pick the cicadas off by hand. So, if necessary, Lyman said he will spray the trees.

“It’s that approach we take with all our insects, it’s called integrated pest management where we’re scouting and not treating unless we see issues, and so we’re going to take the same approach with the cicadas,” Lyman said.

Lyman said the cicada problem wasn’t as bad in 1996 as it was in 1979. He believes the spraying at the orchard has helped to knock down the insect population.

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