Cicadas and Weddings 2021: Here’s What Professionals Say It’s Possible
As more and more reports document the rise of the cicadas in the United States, some couples might be concerned if they had originally planned an outdoor wedding.
Fortunately, cicadas do not carry disease. These insects don’t bite or sting either, according to various pest control resources.
However, Mosquito Joe, Inc. entomologist and technical director David Price told FOX Business that cicadas serve as a food source for birds and other mammals that cross humans, which have the potential to transmit disease. in place.
“In recent years, when cicadas made their massive appearance, surveys of North American breeding birds revealed that there was a 63% increase in the bird population among those being watched,” he said. Price wrote in an email to FOX Business. “Birds carry many diseases, but West Nile virus is the one that can impact humans. And with more birds, there is a greater chance of the virus spreading from birds to mosquitoes. And while humans can’t get West Nile from birds, they can get it from mosquitoes. “
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While the complex food chain may sound the alarm bells for wedding planners, venues and vendors who are very cautious of public health in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Price noted that there are concrete steps people can take to try and limit interactions with guests. with the cicadas.
Three things that can be done before an outdoor event include applying a temporary insecticide to the canopy of trees at least a day before a wedding, creating physical barriers with landscaping netting or sticky taps. for capturing insects and lawn care.
“Insecticides don’t offer a long-term solution and instead spray them with a garden hose,” explains Price. “Make sure your lawn is well maintained and bare areas under trees are filled with grass, seeds or hay to prevent nymphs from burrowing into the ground and coming out later. “
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While couples may wish their marriage was cicada-free, Price notes that the few methods available are not foolproof.
“As cicadas come out of the ground near trees, there is little that can be done in terms of prevention,” he warns.
Billions of cicadas are expected to emerge this summer, according to an estimate by University of Maryland professor emeritus Michael Raupp told Fox News in March.
About 15 states will see the emergence of Brood X cicadas, according to a map compiled by researchers at the University of Connecticut.
States likely to be affected include Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
With less than two weeks to go until the official start of summer, it’s not immediately clear whether some states will be hit harder than others. As of Tuesday night, there are sizable clusters in the Washington metro area and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area, according to the UC map. Small clusters are also starting to form in parts of North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.
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Further north, cicadas are not yet so widespread. For example, in Michigan, cicadas are starting to appear but they are not a problem for wedding vendors.
Eric Neimur, director of marketing at Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center in Plymouth, Michigan, told FOX Business that cicadas haven’t been a problem in the 30 years he has worked in the wedding and events business. .
“We saw some [cicadas] there, but at this point we don’t plan to do anything as far as a major plan ahead. We’re more concerned with some of our new tree plantings and stuff like that, ”explained Neimur.“ It’s really the only concern we have for delicate plants. “
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As Fox Hills Banquet Hall monitors the situation, Neimur says the venue has received more inquiries from brides and grooms about ticks rather than cicadas, which are insects that can transmit disease to humans according to the CDC.
For the bride and groom worried about cicadas, however, a new report from WeddingWire says couples can notify their guests in advance of bugs, check indoor venue options like backup, or rent tents with windows if you are. adamant about staying outside.
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The wedding planning resource also recommends that couples verify that the sound systems that their event venue or DJ will be using are loud enough, as large swarms of cicadas are known to be loud.