What’s That Sound? Why Insects Make The Noises They Make

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • July 18, 2018

Did you know insects make those strange noises…on purpose?!

Have you ever stepped outside late in the evening (or early in the morning) expecting to hear peace and quiet, but instead, found yourself overwhelmed by the ruckus and chatter of nearby insects? Sure, some of their sounds can be relaxing, even enjoyable to some extent, but others are just plain obnoxious!

Try it tonight. Sit outside and just listen.

You might find yourself curious as to where the sounds are coming from and why that bug makes the noises it makes. Well let us tell you, so instead of saying “what’s that sound?” you’ll be able to identify it.

Cicada

By far one of the most recognizable sounds of summer, a group of cicada bugs can be heard from more than a mile away!

Insect: Cicada

Sound: A high-pitched rattle

Why?: The rattling noise is made by the male cicada bugs as a mating call. The sound is the result of the cicada bug vibrating a part of their body called the tymbal.

Mosquito

Hearing a mosquito close-by almost always means you’re about to become a snack. Did you know mosquitoes can travel up to 14 miles for a meal?

Insect: Mosquito

Sound: A subtle whine

Why?: A mosquito’s wings beat 300 to 600 times per second which produces the whining sound you hear right before you get bitten (or after).

You’ve certainly heard a mosquito whine, but have you heard about our mosquito control program? Our mosquito control treatments will keep the pesky bugs out of your yard and away from your family all summer.

Cricket

You can get a rough estimate of the outside temperature by counting the number of cricket chirps you hear in 15 seconds and then adding 37–who knew?!

Insect: Cricket

Sound: A low chirp separated by several seconds of silence

Why?: Instead of using their wings to fly, males use their wings to create a chirping sound that attracts a mate. Cricket chirps sound pleasant to the human ear because of their pure and low frequency.

House fly

There aren’t many things more irritating than a house fly zipping around your home, garbage, food, or pets–wouldn’t you agree?

Insect: House fly

Sound: Humming

Why?: House flies beat their wings about 200 times a second which allows them to fly up to 4 ½ miles per hour. When their wings flap, they produce a humming sound almost like a mini airplane propeller!

Longhorned beetle

One of the noisiest critters, the longhorned beetle is infamous for its creepy, almost cringe-worthy sound and their big appetite for hardwood trees.

Insect: Longhorned beetle

Sound: Static-like squeaking (often compared to the sound you get from rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together)

Why?: The long horned beetle unique noise results from the scraping of the ridges on their head against their bodies.

Bumblebee

Most people are familiar with the buzzing sound a bee makes.

Insect: Bumblebee

Sound: Buzz

Why?: The buzzing sound you hear when a bumblebee zooms past you on it’s way to a flower or hive is created both by the rapid flapping of their wings against the wind and the vibrating of their bodies. A bee’s vibrations allow them to pick up pollen from one flower and shake it off in another–that’s pollination!

Interested in learning more about you’re insect and pest neighbors? Download our Pest Encyclopedia. This easy to navigate guide can help you identify, prevent, and treat and pest invasions that might come your way.    

 

 

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