While just a few have shown up so far, billions of the locust-like bugs will emerge -- butt-end first -- by June from North Carolina to Connecticut, NBC News reports. They make up what is called Brood II, a variety of cicadas that which show up every 17 years.
"It's fair to say it's starting, but it's still in the very early stages," John Cooley of the University of Connecticut, told NBC News. "It certainly isn't going all crazy. ... When it really happens, it's not going to be like this. It's going to be shovel loads of cicadas."
While it's expected the cicadas will first appear en masse in the South, Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said she has confirmed a cicada sighting in New Jersey.
While the insects tend to swarm in rural or suburban areas, cities may not escape unscathed, with places like New York City's Central Park or the Bronx Zoo holding the potential to draw some, NBC News said.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Cornell University entomologist Cole Gilbert. "I think it's pretty cool."
People interested in following the outbreak as it builds to a humming crescendo can log onto Magicicada.org. or use the Cicada Tracker (http://project.wnyc.org/cicadas/) produced by public radio station WYNC's "RadioLab" program.
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints
Ray Liotta sues skin care company over use of likeness