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Ask the White House: Cicadas, Life, Death, Whatever

From the "Ask the White House" with Mike Leavitt, head of the EPA:


Sick, from Maryland writes:

My yard is full of hundreds of dead and dying cicadas. They are really starting to stink, especially with all the rain we've been getting. I would like to know if they pose any kind of environmental danger or threat to humans or animals.

Mike Leavitt:

Are those things ugly or what? It's actually been a fascinating phenomenon. Like most people I've been reading articles on it. These flying insects spend most of their life underground and during the spring of the 13th or 17th year, depending on the species, emerge from the ground. They are not poisonous and will soon be gone. I’m told that their decomposition is part of a natural cycle and poses no threats to human or animal health. Isn't nature remarkable?

That is beautiful. Perhaps Leavitt could help the rest of the administration accept decomposition as part of the "circle of life;" they're going to have to let go of Reagan's moldering corpse at some point.

Ask the White House: Mike Leavitt [WhiteHouse.gov]

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