What Insect is Making all the Noise

Who is this Noisy Insect?

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What is that Loud Insect?

It's a miserably hot and humid day here in Minnesota. When you walk outside you feel like you could cut the humidity with a knife. The local news just affirmed it for me, as the temperature is 93 degrees with a heat index of 103.

The news anchor must have read my mind . He said that lately, on these hot days, he is hearing a very loud noise. He asked his co-worker if she remembered the name of the insect that makes that really high-pitched noise that sounds like a saw. Neither one of them could remember the name of this intriguing insect so I decided to find out for myself. Hope this will fill in the blanks for you on this intriguing sound.



What Insects make Noise

There are a few insects that make beautiful music for us in the summer months. Crickets, Katydid's and Cicada's . Crickets songs differ from the Katydid and Cicada. The Cricket is easy to hear with the human ear because their carrier frequencies are low and pure. Katydid's and Cicada's musical sound is raspy, buzzy and whiney because their carrier frequencies are less pure and higher than crickets.

Dave Dahl at channel five news, if you are still curious as to the insect that sounds like a distant buzz saw, it's "the Cicada." The Cicada is approximately 1-2" long with a stout body. It has large,transparent wings that are well-veined. The insect has large eyes that are spread far apart on it's head. The Cicada is said to be the "dog days of summer" insect as it becomes very vocal from early July to September. You notice the insect making the loudest noises on the hottest summer days. The reason for this is that both the Cicada and Katydid are cold-blooded insects. The hot weather warms up their little instrument which is their body.

The Katydid differs from the Cicada in that they call out during the nighttime hours. They can be found in most outdoor locations unlike the Cicada that likes woody areas. The Katydid looks similar to a large green grasshopper. Past pioneers named the insect Katydid because they thought its' call sounded like, "Katy-did."

Cicada and Katydid

Cicada I Found in my Yard
Cicada I Found in my Yard | Source
Katydid on my House
Katydid on my House | Source

Have you ever heard this high pitch sound during the hot summer months

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© 2010 Linda Rogers

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Comments 48 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I can't stand the sound of the Cicada and the Cicada killer scares the hell out of me!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Are you kidding. I think I like the sound because it brings back memories of my childhood. It can be annoying when it gets super loud, I must admit. What is the cicada killer???? I have no clue.


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

The trees where I live are full of them. I just moved and my cats aren't used to the sound so they won't even go on the patio when they are chirping. Thank goodness the stop the racket sometime in late fall.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I love the sound of insects. Thank you for this informative article. I did not know that the loud bugs at night were Katydids. I learned something from you!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

2besure-Oh, that's kinda sad. They don't know what all that noise is. The Cicada's can be hard on the ears with that buzz saw noise. Thanks for reading my hub.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

I love their sounds too and that's why I wanted to write this hub. So glad you learned something new, that's what I want.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Well I learned something too, I thought Locusts made those never ending noises. Polly


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

I'm sure they do too but it's probably the Cicada's and Katydid's you normally hear. Locusts-It sends a shiver down my spine. Yuck.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I hear katydids at night when i sit on my patio, but i must admit, since hubpages, i,m not outside much. lol

Love and Peace


lifegate profile image

lifegate 6 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Thanks for a lot of good information. I never really thought much about it, but now I can be more knowledgeable in what I hear.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

always exploring-I had to laugh reading your comment about not being outside much since hubpages. It is totally addicting, isn't it. Anyway, thanks so much for reading my hub and commenting. It is always a nice feeling to know people are reading your stuff and getting something out of it. Take care friend.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Lifegate-I very much appreciate your nice comment and that you took time out to read my hub. I have always been intrigued by sounds of insects. Have a beautiful day.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I read a lot of books that mention these and I never have seen them - thanks for enlightening me!


Loves To Read profile image

Loves To Read 6 years ago

I like you Minnetonka Twin, love the sound of cicadas as it takes me back to my childhood also. Here in Oz they are only in the hotter climates so sadly we do not have them here where i married and settled. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

Love and Blessings


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Akirchner-You are so welcome. It always feels good when someone gets something from a hub. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Loves To Read-Fistly, thank you for the lovely comment, that was so nice. secondly, I wish I could figure out how to get the sound of the Cicada's on the hub. I am still trying to figure it out. In that case, you could listen to them and feel like your back in your childhood. I like you too, Loves To Read. Blessings to you.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Love this hub. I remember visiting Tennessee in 1997 and Canadian Airlines refused to land there because it kept raining Cicadas. They got into luggage and it was something to see. Never saw so many big bugs in my life.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Bobbi-Thanks for sharing that story. That is an awful and frightening story about Cicada's. You should write a hub about this incident. I can't imagine what it would look like, raining Cicada's. Thanks for visiting me Bobbi.


belliott profile image

belliott 6 years ago

I have had more contact than I care to with Cicada's in the past year. My little grandson loves to collect the Cicada shells he finds and delights in showing them to me. Nasty looking things but he loves them. I had all girls so we didn't go through all that when they were young. Kinda funny.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

belliott-Sorry to hear about your cicada experience with the grandson. They are kinda growse looking and not something I would want in my face or my house. Thank you for reading my hub and stopping by to comment. I appreciate it.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

I knew there had to be some wyle critter bustin' out the tunes all of these years. Thank you for clearing up the question. They are very beautiful at times and at other times the insects that make all of that noise, are just that! Love the info in this hub!

K9


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks K9keystrokes for reading my insect hub. I know this time of year many people wonder where all the noise is coming from. I just stepped on a cicada shell yesterday. YUCK! I appreciate you taking time out to stop by for a visit. Have a great day.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice hub. Enjoyed the photographs and learned something. God Bless You.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi stars439. Thank you for taking time to read my hub on the noisy insects. I think nature is such an amazing gift. Have a great evening friend.


Tusitala Tom profile image

Tusitala Tom 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I'm told that in some parts of China special types of cricket are kept in tiny bamboo cages just so that their owners can listen to their beautiful trill. Seems a bit cruel to me; the lack of freedom, I mean.

Here in Australia the cricket is a sound that one hears everywhere for most of the year. The cicadas burst forth around midsummer and are gone again within a couple of months. My younger son, now in his forties, used to know the common names of all the cicadas species, brown baker, green grocer, black knight, etc..


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Tusitala Tom-What an interesting tidbit about China and keepijg crickets. It is sad they do that as the crickets are made to be free. I think it's neat that your son was so knowledgable about cicadas. He must have been intrigued by them as I am. Thanks for taking time out to read this hub, it is much appreciated.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Tusitala Tom-What an interesting tidbit about China and keeping crickets. It is sad they do that as the crickets are made to be free. I think it's neat that your son was so knowledgable about cicadas. He must have been intrigued by them as I am. Thanks for taking time out to read this hub, it is much appreciated.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 6 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

MT, I also love the sound of cadydids. It makes me feel safe when at times as a kid I was not


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Isn't it amazing how certain sounds smells or places bring us back to certain memories or certain times. Thanks for stopping in HT.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

We've had a bit more instance of them here in Wisconsin this year. I always remember them quite often when I lived in Illinois...

Or maybe I just notice them more now? Either way. Yes. They can be rather annoying at times.


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 6 years ago from Washington MI

What a great lesson, I live in a rural area, my apartment faces the woods, so i hear all kinds of insect noises and now I know the diference. I have to agree i kind of enjoy the noise. It brings back my childhood. ORRR...I am so used to the buzzing it just doesn't bother me. Either way I throughly enjoyed this hub.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Springboard and thanks for checking out my hub. Someone wrote me that this was supposed to be a big year for Cicada's. I guess the number of them depends on the cycle. He wasn't sure but thought this was a big cycle year for them. Have a nice evening.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi CrazyBeanRider-Isn't it funny how people either love the sounds or can't stand them. I think you being used to their noise is so true. I have a train that is in the backwoods behind our house and I am use to it now. I can even have my bedroom window open and sleep like a baby. Thank you for visiting me, it means a lot.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

lol...oh the crickets sing to me every night outside my window. They all live under my deck....like, every cricket in the city is under there I swear! Fabulous hub!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

You are one lucky woman. I think besides the sound of rain on the window there is no better sound than crickets to fall asleep to. Thanks so much for visiting me here. Sleep well with the cricket lullabye.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

Uck! Your weather sounds just like Oklahoma summer! But I like the raucous sound of cicadas and they've been quite loud the last few weeks! Your pix and info were interesting in identifying the 'bugs'. Glad to join your club!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi frogyfish-Thanks so much for your nice comment. I am learning that not everyone likes this sound. I find it relaxing as it brings me back to childhood.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

I miss those sounds. Here in Cali all you hear is planes flying overhead.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

OH, that's not good. I especially like the sounds of the crickets and frogs in the spring. Thanks for popping by:)


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

Great hub.I experienced cicadas for the first time in Greece.It was irritating at first but after a few days i got used to it and now I miss the sound of them.Funny thing is, they would start promptly every morning and stop at evening time


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Ya, you do get use to it eventually. It brings me back to childhood days :-)


Jesscamp6984 5 years ago

I never even realized that the noise I heard on summer evenings was abnormal until I was working for a guy who had transferred from Oregon to Tennessee and he was puzzled and asking a few of us what the noise was. I guess since I grew up with it I just always thought it was loud like that everywhere on summer nights. It is comforting to me and I think without the noise I wouldn't feel at home, but he said it drove him crazy because it was never quite outside at on summer nights. Crazy how we become accustomed to things that others find abnormal.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hey Jesscamp-I do think it is about what you get use to. I love the noise and it actually relaxes me and makes me think of good times in summers past.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 3 years ago from Sunny Spain

It seems like every science fiction movie of the 1950s would have a scene where in the background you would here these insect noises.

Having grown up in a working class district of a large city, with no garden, just a brick and concrete back yard, I was unused to hearing these sounds anywhere other than on the movies.

As a consequence even today when I hear these sounds it still reminds me of science fiction movies even though I now know what is making the noise and living in Spain I hear the Cicada often when they are about.

Like some have said the sound takes me right back to my childhood, and the sort of movies that I loved to watch.

Thank you for the introduction to the Katydid :D

I enjoyed the hub and I will be voting up and hitting the relevant buttons on my way out.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 3 years ago from Sunny Spain

I have lots of photographs Linda especially insect ones, lots of which I have posted on RedGage many of which you have seen :D

If ever you see one that that you would like to use for any reason, please contact me and I will be delighted to send you a copy to use.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Maggs-I see you came to check out my Cicada and Katydid hub and I soo appreciate it. You and I sure see the magic in these insects. I think you've probably seen a couple of my Cicada pics on RedGage. I just find them fascinating. It brings me back to my childhood too as in the hot summer days you could hear them and the Katydid's. Thanks so much for offering up a picture I may need in the future-your such a sweetie. Have a great day my friend.


Michaela Osiecki profile image

Michaela Osiecki 10 months ago from USA

Cicadas are awesome! I love how different breeds of cicada have different mating calls too.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 10 months ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks for coming by Michaela-I agree-there is something so unique and magical about Cicada's. Appreciate your feedback :)

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