Skip to main content

What Insect Is Making All the Noise

Linda's been passionate about writing poetry and other genre's since she was a young girl writing in her journal.It is her healing elixir.

Who is this Noisy Insect?


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

Katydid on my House

Katydid on my House

  • The Music Of Nature
    Nature is musical. It has tempo, beat, harmony, melody and rhythm. It has patterns and creates atmosphere. Taking the time to really listen to the music of nature is worthwhile. The sounds of the forest, the...

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Linda Rogers


Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on January 24, 2016:

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

Michaela from USA on January 18, 2016:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on January 29, 2013:

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.

Scroll to Continue

maggs224 from Sunny Spain on January 29, 2013:

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.

maggs224 from Sunny Spain on January 29, 2013:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on July 04, 2011:

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.

Jesscamp6984 on July 02, 2011:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on June 30, 2011:

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

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on June 29, 2011:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on February 26, 2011:

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

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on February 25, 2011:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on September 12, 2010:

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.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on September 08, 2010:

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!

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on September 07, 2010:

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.

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on September 07, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on September 03, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on September 03, 2010:

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.

Boo McCourt from Washington MI on September 02, 2010:

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.

Springboard from Wisconsin on September 01, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 23, 2010:

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

Laura Arne from Minnetonka, MN on August 21, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 21, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 21, 2010:

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.

Tom Ware from Sydney, Australia on August 21, 2010:

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..

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 20, 2010:

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.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on August 20, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 19, 2010:

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.

India Arnold from Northern, California on August 19, 2010:

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!


Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 18, 2010:

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.

belliott on August 18, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 15, 2010:

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.

BobbiRant from New York on August 15, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 13, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 13, 2010:

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

Loves To Read on August 13, 2010:

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

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on August 12, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 12, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 12, 2010:

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.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on August 12, 2010:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 12, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 11, 2010:

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.

Pollyannalana from US on August 11, 2010:

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

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 11, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 11, 2010:

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.

James A Watkins from Chicago on August 11, 2010:

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!

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 11, 2010:

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.

Linda Rogers (author) from Minnesota on August 11, 2010:

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.

breakfastpop on August 11, 2010:

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

Related Articles