How much does it cost to exterminate cicadas?

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Updated: August 18, 2022

Reviewed by Irene Pomares remodeling expert. Written by

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Cicadas are mostly known for their song. The chorus of cicadas fills summer evenings with their music, although many people just call it noise. Cicadas are interesting creatures that spend most of their lives under the ground. In general, the cicadas only emerge for a few weeks of the year to mate and are not a bother. However, in some situations, homeowners find it is necessary to seek pest control.

The average cost for cicada extermination ranges from $500 to $900. The average homeowner pays $700 for a cicada inspection, netting installation, barrier tape placement on 15 vulnerable trees and shrubs, and a chemical spray in and around a medium-sized yard. On the low-end, the homeowner will pay $200 for a similar project, including an inspection and a chemical spray for a small yard. For $1,500, the homeowner will get an inspection, netting and barrier tape placement on 20 vulnerable trees and shrubs, and a chemical spray in and around a large yard.

Cicada Extermination Cost

Cicada Control Cost
National average cost$700
Average range$500-$900

Cicada Extermination Cost by Treatment

The most effective extermination treatment for cicadas is spraying chemicals over the yard or the affected areas where most cicadas live. However, some other methods might also work for cicada control and keep them away from your house:

Cicada Extermination Cost

Barrier Tape and Netting$50 - $350
Chemical Treatment$50 - $1,500

Barrier Tape and Netting Installation

In addition to chemicals, you can also wrap trees or bushes with barrier tape to keep cicadas from climbing up to feed or lay eggs. Netting is also helpful for protecting young or valuable plants when the cicadas are out. Expect to pay between $50 and $350 to have a company come out to evaluate and set up netting and/or barrier tape.

Cicada Chemical Treatment

The most common and effective treatment is to spray a combination of chemicals to kill cicadas and repel them. The chemical treatment works best when applied throughout the landscape of your property before the cicadas emerge. Chemical treatments applied by a pest control company will range from $50 to $1,500, depending on the size of your property and the number of plants that need to be protected.

Cicada Control by Type

There are many different types of cicadas. These types fall into two main categories: periodical cicadas and annual or dog-day cicadas. In many cases, cicadas can be left alone for their short journey to the surface, but if you find yourself dealing with a huge brood that is damaging your yard, call in a professional pest control company to help. Treatment options should be the same, whether dealing with periodical or annual cicadas. The extent of treatment will depend on the scale of the infestation.

Dog-Day Cicada

The annual or dog-day cicada is found all over the world. These cicadas only spend two to five years in the ground and hatch when the ground reaches 63 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Each state in the U.S. has at least four species of cicadas. There are more than 80 species in California alone.

Periodical Cicada

Periodical cicadas only live east of the Mississippi River in North America. The periodical cicadas that live in the north will live for 17 years underground before emerging. These are also known as seventeen-year cicadas. Those that live in the south have a 13-year life cycle. The good news is that these patterns are consistent, so their emergence is not a surprise.

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Labor Cost to Get Rid of Cicadas

Whenever dealing with chemicals, it is best to bring in professionals. A pest control company knows which chemicals to use, how to dilute them if needed, and how much to use. Professionals also know the best places to apply the chemicals. Professionals can also efficiently set up netting and apply barrier tape. Labor costs range from $40 to $60 per hour. The cost varies depending on the location and is generally higher in areas with a higher cost of living. If you are concerned about cicadas emerging on your property, schedule an inspection with a local pest control company. This inspection allows the technician to investigate the situation and recommend a course of treatment. A cicada inspection generally costs about $100.

For an entire project to get rid of a cicada infestation, expect to pay about $700. This includes an inspection, setting up netting and barrier tape on 15 vulnerable trees and shrubs, and a chemical spray in and around a medium-sized yard.

All About Cicadas

Cicadas are little bugs known for the noise they make. This sound is either the male cicada sending out a mating call to lure in a female or to express alarm. After adult cicadas mate, the females cut small slits in branches and twigs in the host plant. They then insert their eggs into these small slits. A female cicada lays up to 400 eggs and spreads them across many sites. This practice can damage young plants. Cicadas prefer deciduous trees and plants over coniferous. Adults only live for three to four weeks above the ground before dying.

One curious fact about the cicada species found in the U.S. is that their ancestor comes from a related species in Australia and Southeast Asia. Several species of cicadas live in South America, too. One would expect them to be related to those in the U.S., but apparently, they aren’t.

Cicada in nature

What Does a Cicada Look Like?

Cicadas are invertebrates. Adults have stout bodies, large, reddish or black eyes located on the sides of their heads, clear-membraned wings, and broad heads. They range in size from 0.75 inches to 2.25 inches long. Young nymphs living under the ground look more like termites with six legs and antennae. Cicadas can often be confused with crickets or katydids in appearance and sound. All three belong to the order Orthoptera. Katydids are all green and look like leaves. Crickets are black and brown and have much smaller wings than a cicada.

Where Do Cicadas Nest?

Cicadas nest in various places during different parts of their life cycles. A female lays eggs on twigs and branches. Once they hatch, the cicada nymphs dig themselves into the ground. At this point, they live in underground burrows and suck the liquid from plant roots. When the time is right, the cicadas molt their shells and head up to the surface to mate and lay eggs. Watch for holes in your yard when they are getting close to emerging. They will dig tunnels to the surface. Other animals will hear them coming and also dig holes trying to get them. The adults live in the crown, trunk, and small branches of shrubs and trees. Cicadas are not able to breed indoors, so home infestations are usually not a concern. However, large numbers can accumulate in one place outdoors, causing damage to plants.

Where Do Cicadas Live?

Annual cicadas live all over the world. Periodical cicadas only live in North America east of the Mississippi. The 13-year cicadas are found in the southern states and the 17-year cicadas in the northern states. Cicadas can usually be found in tropical rainforests, temperate seasonal forests, and desert scrub. Since cicadas spend most of their life underground, they are generally not found in agricultural areas or places with new construction. They will not survive in these areas where the ground is disturbed. Although cicadas only emerge when the soil becomes warm, they can survive freezing temperatures. They are nature’s thermometers that come out when the soil is between 63 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are Cicadas Dangerous?

Cicadas are not harmful to humans or pets because they do not sting or bite, and they do not carry diseases. However, some people have reported having panic attacks at the sight of so many creatures emerging from the ground. It can be unsettling to see. The only danger is to trees and shrubs.

Many cultures around the world revere cicadas for their symbolism of rebirth because of their unique life cycles. Many people even eat cicadas as a staple food or a delicacy. Cicada cookbooks have been written. Records indicate that Native Americans, early American settlers, and Europeans enjoyed dishes made with cicadas.

Why Do Cicadas Make Noise?

Only males cicadas make noise, and this is done to attract a mate or to express alarm. The sound is made by vibrating a structure called a tymbal on their abdomen. The resulting noise is a buzzing or clicking sound. A swarm of cicadas can actually become really loud, reaching 120 decibels, which is similar to the noise level of a chainsaw. Even though most cicadas sound the same to us, each species makes a slightly different sound and uses different calls for different circumstances.

Cicadas usually only sing during the daytime and when it is warm outside. Once predators, such as birds, go to bed, it is usually much quieter. Many people think that they hear cicadas singing at night, but the sounds heard at night are usually crickets or katydids. Both male and female katydids make sounds. They get their name from the sound they make, which sounds like “ka-ty-did.” Crickets make more of a chirping sound, and cicadas sound more like a buzzing or clicking.

Cicada in the ground

Cicada Tree Damage

When the female makes slits in branches to lay her eggs, she could damage plants and shrubs. If a brood emerges in an orchard or vineyard, this could cause many problems for the crop. Mature, well-established trees can usually endure this damage, but young, fragile trees and shrubs could be in danger. Often, a tree will look unhealthy during a cicada infestation, with browning and leaf wilting. This damage will be short-lived, and the tree should bounce back. Also, be aware that the nymphs that live below the ground can also cause tree damage. Since they feed on the roots of trees, they could stunt their growth. Adult cicadas do not cause damage to trees due to feeding.

How to Prevent Cicadas

In most instances, attempting to prevent a brood of cicadas from emerging is not necessary. However, if many crops are at stake, a chemical treatment can be applied to kill cicadas still under the dirt and repel them. This treatment needs to be done just before the cicadas emerge. Most of the time, you will focus on preventing damage to your plants. When a female cicada lays her eggs in a branch, it splits and dies, causing the leaves to turn brown. By clipping off these branches and disposing of them, you prevent the eggs from hatching and lessen the number of cicadas on your property. Bug zappers can also be a way to kill cicadas and lessen their numbers. Placing netting around vulnerable trees and barrier tape on trunks can also keep cicadas off your plants.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits and licenses should not be required to treat for cicadas. However, it is important to hire a licensed pest control company, especially if you choose to apply chemicals to your property.


  • What cicadas emerged in 2020, and which cicadas are coming in 2021?

Of the 17-year cicadas, Brood IX emerged in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia in 2020. Brood X will emerge in 2021 in a large area from Georgia to Michigan north to south and Illinois to the East Coast from east to west. No 13-year cicadas are expected. Keep in mind that annual cicadas will also be emerging.

  • How long did cicadas stay in 2020, and how long will they be around in 2021?

Brood IX emerged in the spring of 2020 and was around from early May through early June. Brood X is expected to emerge during the spring in 2021 and be around for about a month.

  • How often do cicadas come around?

Annual cicadas emerge every two to five years, with different broods emerging during different years. Different localities will have cicadas emerging at various times. Periodical cicadas emerge either every 13 or 17 years and are grouped into broods. There are three broods of 13-year cicadas and 12 broods of 17-year cicadas. Each brood emerges during a different year. With all of these varying schedules, some areas could see cicadas every single year.

  • Why do cicadas come every seven years?

Because of the varying cycles, it may seem that cicadas come every seven years, but no particular species emerges every seven years.