Cicadas are often erroneously called locusts, usually make an appearance in July and August in many localities in the desert southwest. They usually emerge from the ground during the night, leaving finger-size holes under trees and shrubs First visual evidence is their exoskeletons that they’ve left clinging to the trunks and lower limbs of trees and shrubs, as well as the foundations and walls of buildings. Later, adult males screech their shrill love songs and the females prick open saw-tooth cuts in the tender bark of twigs, into which they lay their eggs.
Upon hatching, the young drop to the ground where they burrow in to spend the next couple years feeding on roots. Leaf drop, and sometimes bleeding of sap and twig die-back, occurs if egg laying wounds are severe. Control attempts of either adult cicadas or their root feeding nymphs have not been effective nor practical, in most cases. However, net covering to protect young succulent-bark trees from egg laying injury is advisable.