A new report from The Washington Post highlighted the issue of frequent cicada “urination,” particularly on warmer days when it falls from cicadas on tree branches “like a gentle rain shower” of “watery tree sap.”
An adult cicada in Washington, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Trillions of cicadas are about to emerge from 15 states in the U.S. East. The cicadas of Brood X, trillions of red-eyed bugs singing loud sci-fi-sounding songs, can seem downright creepy. Especially since they come out from underground only every 17 years. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Fortunately, the excretion is not a danger, much like the cicadas themselves.
A common name for the fluid is “honeydew,” as it contains sucrose, WLWT reported.
The University of Maryland Department of Entomology’s associate professor Daniel Gruner told the Post on Tuesday that adult cicadas are the most active on the hottest days because they have the ability to “tap into the dilute, watery xylem fluid of deciduous trees.”
According to Encyclopedia Brittanica, xylem sap found in trees carries nutrients from the root system to the leaves.
Gruner said an excess of fluids causes the insects to “pee liberally,” though colleague Paula Shrewsbury noted the sensation would just feel like a “small drop or two.”
The university’s professor emeritus Michael Raupp told Fox News via email on Wednesday that Shrewsbury was “exactly correct.”