Cicadas are insects known for their distinctive appearance and their periodic emergence. After spending most of their life underground, they appear in large numbers almost simultaneously and emerge every 13 or 17 years to mate.

While cicadas themselves are harmless, their loud mating calls can reach up to 100 decibels, comparable in volume to the sound of a motorcycle, a lawn mower, or chainsaw.

Below are five potential ways cicadas can impact condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome community associations.


1. Pest Control, Noise, and Management Issues: While cicadas are not harmful to humans and do not bite or sting, their sheer numbers can be perceived as a nuisance. The noise they create can be disruptive to residents, particularly during significant emergence events which can last several weeks. Accordingly, managing community concerns and owner expectations regarding pest control can be challenging for board members and property managers. Effective communication regarding the temporary nature of increased cicada activity and remediation steps can be crucial.


2. Landscaping, Tree Damage, and Clean-up: Cicadas lay eggs in tree branches. This can cause significant damage to young trees and shrubs, potentially killing branches and growth. Dead cicadas and fallen branches can leave debris within association property. Along with extra cleanup initiatives, this may necessitate increased maintenance or even the replacement of damaged plants that can impact association landscaping budgets and efforts.


3. Drainage and Ventilation Issues: In areas with extremely heavy cicada activity, their bodies can accumulate and potentially block drains, irrigation systems, and ventilation systems. This can cause practical problems requiring intervention to clear these areas and ensure they function properly.


4. Impact to Local Wildlife: Cicadas can influence local ecosystems in significant ways. They can attract predators including birds, small mammals, and even fish, which could lead to a temporary ecological imbalance. This might require the community association to engage in educational efforts or environmental monitoring.


5. Impact on Outdoor Association Activities: The presence of large numbers of cicadas can affect outdoor activities planned by the association including barbecues, block parties, garage sales, picnics, pool parties, movies nights, or any other community gatherings. Along with the overwhelming sound of cicadas, some residents may be uncomfortable with bugs flying around and landing on them. If the timing of a cicada emergence is known in advance, board members and community leaders should consider rescheduling community events to avoid peak cicada activity.


While cicadas are a natural and fascinating part of nature, their periodic emergences can present various challenges for community associations including managing pest control issues, landscape damage, and potential disturbances to outdoor activities.

Addressing these issues during cicada emergences often involves a combination of proactive communication, maintenance, community engagement, and strategic planning to minimize disruption to association operations and finances.


Legal Resource

Legal questions about association vendors, contract review, or community rules? Please call 855-537-0500 or visit

Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collectionslandlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We represent thousands of clients and community associations throughout the US with offices in several states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.


Please note the material contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by your review or receipt of the information contained in this article. You should not act on the information discussed in this article without first obtaining legal advice from an attorney duly licensed to practice law in your State. While KSN has made every effort to include up-to-date information in this article, the law can change quickly. Accordingly, please understand that information discussed in this article may not yet reflect the most recent legal developments. Material is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date. KSN reserves the right to revise or update the information and statements of law discussed in the article law at any time, without notice, and disclaims any liability for your use of information or statements of law discussed on the article, or the accessibility of the article generally. This article may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under applicable law/s and/or ethical rules/regulations. © 2024 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.