Insect common in Texoma becoming a delicacy overseas - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Insect common in Texoma becoming a delicacy overseas

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GRAYSON COUNTY -- You've probably noticed a loud buzzing sound outside or the brown shells stuck to the side of your home.

Both are coming from a bug that is frequently heard but not often seen during the summer.

But now the insects Texomans are so accustomed to hearing are being collected by the bushel then served up as a snack.

"I hear something but I don't know what it is," Denison resident Richard Patterson said.

The high-pitched hiss coming from the trees is being made by a bug called a Cicada.

Many refer to them as a locust but Chuck Jones with the Grayson County Agriculture Extension Office says the two insects are not related.

"The reason you're hearing them making the sound so much is because that's the male Cicadas and they're attracting females," Jones said. "They want to mate so this is their mating time and they've only got a few weeks to do that before they die."

In July and August, Jones says Cicadas emerge from the ground, molt, then fly into the treetops, leaving behind brown shells that often stick to the sides of homes.

"We saw one on our car this morning as we were leaving," Denison resident Cheryl Hockersmith said.

But overseas, the buzz isn't just from the bugs.

Fruit farmers in northern China are cashing in, collecting as many young Cicadas as they can then selling them to those who consider the insects a tasty treat.

"So they eat them then?" Hockersmith asked. "I don't know if I would do that."

"I'll put it on the hook," Patterson said as he cast his fishing pole into Waterloo Lake.

While people in the states may not be ready to indulge, Jones says Cicadas are completely harmless for humans to touch.

Jones says the annual Cicada season usually lasts through the end of August. But it may be twice as long next year when he says we're due for a round of a different type of Cicada that only emerges from the ground every 17 years.

"The next 17-year cycle, when they're going to emerge in our Texas area is 2015," Jones said.

If you live in a city, Jones says you may also be hearing something called a Katydid which makes a buzzing sound as well.

It's said the sound of a Cicada has been measured at 120 decibels which is comparable to a jackhammer at 50 feet or the volume of a high-powered drill.