New Jersey's invasion of the 17-year cicada has been delayed by the recent rain and cooler temperatures, but the weather today and over the weekend may be exactly what these red-eyed critters need to make their grand entrance.

The cicadas are waiting for an average daily soil temperature of about 65 degrees.

Once that's hit, here they come. A few New Jersey towns have already spotted the insects, mostly in non-shaded areas, but their presence now is not even close to how it will be by the end of next week.

New Jersey's share of cicadas could hit the billions, as they layer trees and darken the sun, singing their incessant mating tune.

"It's going to be a huge food source for a variety of animals and other insects," said Richard Cooper with the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University.

The cicadas are no threat to humans or animals, but they are a threat to vegetation. They feed on the fluid of plants and trees, the youngest of which could die.

Infestation Could Last a Month or Two

Cooper said the infestation could last anywhere from a month-and-a-half to two months. New Jersey areas that experienced the chaos 17 years ago can expect it again this time around. New "hot zones" could pop up where the last generation laid their eggs, if they did so away from where they emerged.

If you're unsure whether your neighborhood will be a host, check for dime-sized holes on your property, particularly underneath the canopy of trees.

"People should just sit back and marvel at it because it's really a wonder of nature," Cooper added. "We get to see this once every 17 years, at least this brood."

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM