Cicadas in Georgia's Union County are emerging from a 17-year hibernation, and some residents are calling 911 to report "alarm" noises in the area that they say are as loud as a lawnmower.
The county's Fire/Rescue and EMA crews alerted residents on social media that the noises are likely from the bug that emerges every 17 years. They also said the species is one of the loudest insects and that directly locating where the sound is coming from can be difficult.
"More than likely these “alarms” are not alarms at all but a bug, Brood X. That brood of cicadas emerges every 17 years and is endemic in most of the eastern United States," they wrote on Facebook. "It is often difficult to pinpoint where the sound is coming from and can sound like a vehicle or home alarm system."
The hum from the half-inch bugs can resemble loud machinery, like a lawnmower, and is largely unfamiliar to people due to their long periods of disappearance as they hibernate underground. This year, many states up and down the East Coast – from Georgia to New Jersey – will hear millions of cicadas as they awake for the first time in nearly two decades.
"So, if you think you hear an alarm ensure that it is an alarm and determine the location before contacting authorities," the county officials," also said.