Health, Yes

May 10, 2024

Are you freaked out, apprehensive, or even mildly concerned about the impending INVASION of BILLIONS of red eyed, noisy INSECTS? Vanderbilt’s Jim Kendall has a brief cicada survival guide.

“It is important to remember,” he says, “This too shall pass.”

"How can I keep from singing?" (file photo by Mary Donaldson)

For a guy who is usually a calming presence, when Jim Kendall, LCSW, the manager of Vanderbilt’s Work/Life Connections-EAP, talks about cicadas, what he says does not sound particularly calming.

“The unrelenting noise can drive you crazy,” he says. “The sticky sensation when one touches your skin, lands on your hair, and flies in front of you can create anxiety, fear, and agitation. This can detract from our well-being as we can’t escape their persistence.”

Are you relaxed yet?

Jim Kendall, LCSW, is calmly facing the coming cicadas with a smile.

Kendall, a longtime resident of Middle Tennessee, has been through this before, and his words likely ring true for anyone who has lived through one of the periodic invasions of the red-eyed, noisemaking insects.

But, true to his calming self, Kendall pivots to his real message.

“It is important to remember,” he says, “This too shall pass.

“While they can be frightening, annoying and even somewhat revolting, cicadas will not hurt you and they don’t bite. They are a nuisance and an irritant, but not truly a threat.”

He points out that the only creatures, besides the cicadas, who are excited about this will be birds everywhere who will feast until their bellies will be full.

And while they will permeate our lives for several weeks, their existence is short lived. The invasion will be over after only a few weeks.

In the meantime, Kendall says, it may be a good time to plan for indoor activities and festivities.

“Memories will fade some until they reappear in another 13 -17 years,” he notes, “for another generation to ‘experience and enjoy.’”