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Tracking the cicada invasion

CINCINNATI (Scott Dimmich) -- After years of peace and quiet, cicadas are back and making noise.

Local 12 viewer Olivia Flaugher posted pictures of a pile of cicadas on the Local 12 Facebook page at her grandmother's home in Falmouth, Kentucky.  Local 12's Scott Dimmich shows how you can help advance cicada science by taking pictures just like Olivia with your smartphone.

Dr. Gene Kritsky of the College of Mount Saint Joseph said, "It's very important, the more boots we have on the ground on this, the better our data will become."
   
Cicadas have made a return to the tri-state.  And while you may be avoiding them, Dr. Gene Kritsky wants to know exactly where they are.

He said, "When I first started studying cicadas in 1976, I was driving around in a Buick, just stopping and listening for a call and recording it on a map and an intersection.  By 1987, when broods had emerged here in Cincinnati, I was using a telephone answering machine.  People would call the answering machine and tell me what neighborhood they were in."

It's now easier than ever to report cicadas where you live.  All you have to do is take a picture and send that picture to the College of Mt. St. Joseph.  Within that picture file is metadata or the information about where you took the picture and puts you on the map.

"The sophistication of smartphone technology is allowing us to be more precise with the distribution. We used to be able to put a dot on the map and that was the same size as a county. Now we are actually looking at neighborhoods, bunches of trees and so on," Dr. Kritsky said.
   
Knowing where and when these insects are allows Doctor Kritsky to survey their habitat.  It also allows him to see how cicadas spread and migrate over time.

Kritsky continues, "As we start fine-tuning the data of the future, are they getting smaller, and we'll have a better handle on the environmental conditions and the natural history of the area."
   
For information on how to send your cicada photos from your smartphone to Doctor Kristky, CLICK HERE.

Click HERE to watch

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