7.13.23 2

Jar Flies

About a week ago, I noticed a symphony of jar flies coming from the trees around the backyard. It made me smile. I missed the sound of their high-pitched buzz; it soothes my soul.

Of course, not everyone feels that way – Axl is one of them. Their songs seem to grate his nerves. He’s been running around the backyard like a lunatic since they reappeared.

He darts toward one end of the yard; the jar flies go silent. Then they start up on the other, and he runs off in that direction to silence them. It goes on that way until he runs himself ragged, and I bring him back inside.

Jar flies live all across North Carolina. Depending on where you live, you might know them as cicadas.

13 species of dog day cicadas emerge in the Old North State every year. The males start singing in mid-to-late summer to attract mates. Choruses can reach 100 decibels in volume. That’s about the same as a jackhammer.

We have periodical cicadas, too. One brood emerges every 13 years; another appears every 17. They show up earlier in the year and are every bit as loud as the annual variety.

If you’re not a fan of insects, you’ll be happy to know that you’re more likely to see their shells than the actual bug. Cicadas prefer to be heard rather than seen. I’m okay with that. I find the white noise pleasant.

I feel sorry for Axl, though. He’s in for a rough time for the rest of the summer if he doesn’t get used to them soon. Luckily for him, by fall, the cicadas will be gone.

Are you like me? Do you enjoy the jar flies too? Or are you like Axl and can’t stand all the racket?

Leave a Comment


  1. Jeff Amos wrote:

    The sound at night takes me back to when I was a child and we always had our windows open at night. Listening to them was so smoothing and it always put me to sleep. I was raised in Southeast Tennessee. I am 70 years old now and I still hear that sound at night. My wife is certainly not fond of the sound.

    Published 8.24.23
    • Cassie wrote:

      I’m with you. They bring me joy.

      Published 7.2.24