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Return of the cicadas | How Brood X will impact your yard, ears and life this spring

They're back, baby. Seventeen years in the making, Brood X cicadas will start their emergence across East Tennessee this month

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — You've heard the warnings for weeks now. Months. Maybe since last year.

But the time has come.

The cicadas are making a comeback.

Yes, we get cicadas every year. You know their sound. Always humming, singing in the dusk. So loud you forget what a quiet evening sounds like.

If you think that's annoying, prepare for things to get kicked up a notch, because Brood X is back, baby.

Differences between annual and periodical cicadas

Brood X and regular annual cicadas differ in a few ways in both size and color, according to Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association.

Your average summertime cicada is green and black and white, a bit bigger than your thumb.

Brood X is slightly smaller, about the size of peanut with the shell still on.

Both types of cicadas are winged, plus they can't and won't sting or bite you.

The most noticeable difference will be the noise.

"Individually, they're comparable. But in the case of these periodical cicadas, there is a much. much greater density of singing males at any one time," said Fredericks.