Imagine spending most of your entire life underground, waiting to feel the rays of the sun and taste the air, only to emerge after 13 or 17 years to find that you have an STD that will result in your reproductive organs falling off and spending your remaining days in a zombie-like state. That is how 5% of the trillions of cicadas will spend their lives above ground when the ground reaches 64 degrees sometime in mid-May.

Related: Cicada in Michigan: Real Impact of the Double Brood 'Invasion'

Regardless of which brood they emerge from, XIX or XIII, there will be a small portion of the hatch that is already infected with a fungus called Massospora cicadina, which has a similar effect on cicadas as magic mushrooms have on humans. This infection also results in the cicada's reproductive organs falling off and being replaced with a fungal growth.

The Impact 'Zombie Cicadas' Will Have on Michigan

Zombie Cicadas: STD Infected, Sex Crazed Bugs Coming to Michigan
Verify via YouTube / Canva

Having their genitalia fall off and losing control of their will isn't where it ends for Zombie cicadas. They continue to live their normal life cycle; only the part of their bodies that has fallen off is replaced by fungal growth. This growth is then spread to as many of the swarm as possible through sexual relations.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

I know what you're thinking, "How do they spread the fungus through reproduction IF all of their reproductive organs have been replaced?". Despite this fact, the healthy members of the swarm can't recognize this and will continue to mate with the infected, even though they lack the 'equipment' to get the job done.

Zombie Cicadas: STD Infected, Sex Crazed Bugs Coming to Michigan
Verify via YouTube / Canva

The fungal infection even goes as far as influencing the males to act as if they were females and allow other male cicadas to 'mate' with them, continuing the spread of the infection.

Related: Michigan Bed Bugs: 3 Cities CRAWLING on US 50 Most Infested

Up to a third of the cicada's body can be replaced by Massospora cicadina, leaving the insect to fly and crawl like any other species but with a bit more energy. Scientists feel this extra boost is part of the infection's way of ensuring the spread. Scientists urge you not to kill, eat, or handle infected bugs and to take pictures instead.

Cicadas Will Pee on You

America's 50 Most Bed Bug Infested Cities For 2024

The pest control experts have crunched the data from 2023, to determine which is 2024's Most Bed Bug Infested in America. Using residential and commercial call volumes as a benchmark, let's countdown to the itchiest city in the USA.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

More From 99.1 WFMK