Tips for Moving During Cicada Season

Can cicadas interfere with moving plans?

It’s a late spring afternoon, and you’re packing for an upcoming move. Despite being well prepared to make the journey, something is still bugging you. After opening a window for some fresh air, you hear them. Cicadas. Hundreds of them are outside, and they’re loud enough to drown out your packing playlist. 

Will these pesky bugs get in the way of moving? Is there anything you can do to prevent issues? Keep reading to learn about the insects and how to move while they’re around without any added stress. 

A cicada resting on a leaf.


Facts about cicadas

Cicadas are fascinating insects, but they’re also subject to misconceptions. Here are some facts about the winged bugs: 

  • Cicadas are not an invasive species like spongy moths (formerly known as gypsy moths) or spotted lanternflies
  • Often confused with locusts, which can destroy crops, cicadas feed on tree sap and do not harm plants.   
  • Cicadas do not typically harm mature trees when they lay their eggs in the branches. Saplings or small potted trees could be vulnerable and can be protected with netting. 
  • The insects do not bite or sting and are not poisonous to pets. However, some dogs and cats may experience stomach upset after consuming the discarded exoskeleton, which contains non-digestible material. 
  • Multiple broods emerge only once every 13 or 17 years, but some types emerge annually. 
  • In 2024, trillions of cicadas will emerge across 17 states during late May and early June: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia. 
  • Above ground, the lifespan of most cicadas is 4 to 6 weeks. 
  • Cicada calls (or songs) can measure around 100 decibels (about as loud as a lawnmower), and they typically only sing during the day. 

Tips for avoiding cicadas during a move

While it might feel like the media-coined term “cicada-geddon” outside, it’s possible to minimize the effects an insect swarm might have on a move.  

Try one or more of these tips: 

1. Consider the timing

If lots of bugs give you the creeps, you’re not alone. Cicadas typically emerge from May until June. If possible, relocate before the insects emerge or wait until the season ends (4 to 6 weeks later).  

If you must move during the season, consider traveling during the early mornings or evenings when creatures are less likely to be active. You can also check local news to see when the insects are expected. 

2. Protect yourself and pets 

While cicadas don’t bite or sting, they can be loud, and repeated exposure to loud noises can damage hearing. Wearing ear protection is essential, especially if you'll be outside loading or unloading moving equipment while the bugs are active.  

Consider keeping pets inside during the day so they’re less likely to eat cicadas or be startled by them. 

3. Keep the bugs out

Make sure moving boxes and containers are sealed before loading to avoid unpacking a stowaway insect at the new home. 

Keep car windows and doors closed when not in use to keep creatures from hitching a ride inside and causing a nuisance during the trip. 

4. Inspect and cover things outside

If you’re moving houseplants, inspect them for signs of insects. Once the plants are clear, net or cover them to prevent cicadas from laying eggs or hiding in the pots.  

When relocating outdoor furniture or toys, check for bugs or eggs before loading. 

Protect vehicles, equipment or stacked boxes from droppings by covering them with tarps. 

5. Clean your surroundings 

Cicadas are harmless, but they’re not exactly clean bugs. They leave behind crunchy exoskeletons and droppings, which can make a mess around your property.  

Allow extra time to sweep or rake the debris to keep it out of your home and away from pets and small children. 

6. Drive safely

Whether driving a rental truck or a personal vehicle, practice safe driving habits while traveling to the new home. Obey all traffic laws and keep the windshield free of obstructions. 

It’s rare for cicadas to swarm a vehicle, but when driving through areas with high insect activity, it’s important to have cleaning supplies on hand. Window wipes are available at most automotive parts stores and will help deal with any messes from bugs the vehicle’s wipers can’t clear away. 

Move easier during any season with U-Pack

No matter what season it is or what insects might be buzzing around, you can move long distance easier with U-Pack®.  We’re a self-moving service where you handle packing, loading and unloading, and then we transport your things.  

That means you won’t have to drive an unfamiliar rental truck around swarms of bugs. Request a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. If you have questions about how U-Pack works or moving during cicada season, let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help!