Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Update: We've added Allison Crawford's conversation with University of Kentucky Entomologist Doug Johnson, which aired on Sounds Good May 28, 2015  

Cicada song is strong across the region this year as a brood of cicadas emerges after 13 years of sucking sap from tree roots.

Louder than a chainsaw, the cicada produces a noise reaching 120 decibels, making it the loudest known insect. The cacophony produced by the annual swarm of these insects is well known for being the sound of late summer. Timothy Judd, professor and entomologist of Southeast Missouri State University, explains how this small bug makes such an uproar.

“Insects have a cuticle which is what the hard part is. And this is another special part inside that they scrape, that scraping sound you’re hearing.