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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 11th, 2013
06:04 PM ET

Cicadas are coming

They're baaa-ack. Those giant, orange, bug-eyed, winged creatures that sing. In just a few weeks, states from Connecticut to North Carolina will be swarming with cicadas.

"There's a boat load. There could be a billion per square mile," said Michael Raupp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland.

Different types of cicadas appear every summer but this spring a group known as brood 2 will be back after 17 years. Cicadas sing a mating call, mate, lay eggs, and die in trees, all in about 4 to 6 weeks.

"It's going be about birth, romance, and love and sex. And it's going to be about death. All the wonders of nature happening in your back yard," said Raupp. "For bug geeks like myself this is our Super Bowl."

The last time we saw an infestation like this, "Oh my god it was fantasmigofical. People were going crazy. There were people that loved the cicada, there were people who feared cicada, there were people who ate the cicada!" said Raupp.

Maybe you've dined on chocolate-covered grasshoppers, but cicadas can be prepared many different ways.

"You can have boiled cicada, fried cicada, stir fried, cicada barbecue. Some times I just like to eat them raw," said Raupp.

"It's just like eating a soft shell crab. When you eat a soft shell cicada, it's got a delicate nutty flavor, a buttery texture and hints of the tannins from the oak trees they feed on for 7 years," said Raupp. "They go well with Merlot."

For the bug-fearing, no need to fear cicadas arrival. They don't sting or bite, and they won't breed inside.

"I think this is just an amazing opportunity for children, for adults to learn all about the wonders of nature," said Raupp.

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