Anxiety. Dread. Terror. Repulsion. The cicadas are coming for my face – soon – and I am not okay.

My friend Google and the fearless Margaret Atwood offered some advice this week. Here are five suggestions and strategies, in case you’re also feeling extreme Cicadaphobia as the month of emergence approaches…

1: Relocate before the first cicada emerges, so this doesn’t happen to you:

Have you heard about the “Zombie cicadas” we may encounter this year? From CBS News:

“Some of the cicadas… may have come in contact with a fungal pathogen called Massospora cicadina, which makes them hyper-sexual. The sexually transmitted fungal infection turns them into so-called “zombie cicadas,” with a chalky, white plug erupting out of their bodies and making their genitals fall off. Cicada expert Matthew Kasson says it’s not yet clear how the fungus impacts other wildlife, animals or humans.

I’ve heard Santa Fe is nice.

2: Experiment with exposure therapy.

Things I’m trying:

Ordering plastic cicadas from Amazon to hold in my hand.

Taping an extra-large image of a cicada on the refrigerator.

Changing my phone and iPad’s home screen.

3: Get curious.

I learned from to be grateful that we won’t be facing the “hairy cicadas” that emerge in some other places (“15 Baffling Cicada Facts.”)

A So-Bad-It’s-Good guide to this year’s cicadapocalypse can be found in Time’s “Animated Guide to the Rare 2024 Cicada Co-Emergence.” This article provides a helpful map of the anticipated horror zones.

“Cicadas are Delightful Weirdos You Should Learn to Love,” Smithsonian magazine alleges. I’ve been intoning these words when I see an image of a cicada or even THINK of a cicada: “You delightful little weirdo!” I try to do this with a smile on my face and even a little chuckle.

Which leads me to Strategy 4:

4. Self-Brainwash.

Imagine Yourself as a Tree.

To be featured in next week’s Bacon 💗

Apparently cicadas don’t see very well. When they see you, they think they see a tree. A tree is where they feel both safe and sexy. Dive-bombing you is a colossal error on their part, but it’s just a mistake.

I look like a tree.

You delightful little weirdo!

I am calm like a tree.

Tree of Life by Carol Robinson at

5. When all else fails, turn to poetry.

By Margaret Atwood

Finally after nine years
of snouting through darkness
he inches up scarred bark
and cuts loose the yammer of desire:

the piercing one-note of a jackhammer,
vibrating like a slow bolt of lightning
splitting the air
and leaving a smell like burnt tarpaper.

Now it says Now it says Now
clinging with six clawed legs
and close by, a she like a withered ear,
a shed leaf brown and veined,
shivers in sync and moves closer.


If Margaret Atwood can see the beauty and the joy, perhaps I can too.

From Etsy: Zocine Art Design


Available on Etsy at artprintbeauty


By Marissa Grana, on Etsy


“Cicadas and Seeds” by Andromachi Giannopoulou


“Albus the Periodical Cicada” at RachelBeeArtwork on Etsy


Post Script: Axios says this year won’t be so bad. They say 2089 is the year to fear. Here’s another good site with detailed scientific information:

Post Post Script: If you end up feeling inspired to Help the Scientists, you can send your photographs of cicadas and where you spotted them to

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