Can you hear the constant humming sound in the late afternoon?

The constant buzzing and zitzing of bugs may seem a little annoying, but the sound and motion create the aura of the summer evening. And while preventative pest control can keep noise at a minimum, some bugs and noises are just a natural part of the PA outdoors. 

If you’re from Northeastern PA, you’ve probably recognized these sounds from a few local bugs. 

From seasonal cicadas to regular crickets and grasshoppers, here are some of Northeastern PA’s notorious noisy bugs of summer. 

Noisy Bugs in Northeastern PA 


Cicadas are the loudest noise maker, and they make it impossible to sit outside while you’re enjoying the evening night. They are so noisy that they could affect your hearing as well. According to one source, their noises are so loud (120 decibels) that they can harm your hearing.

Sounds shocking. Right?

Fortunately, the chances of hearing damage from a cicada are pretty low since you would need a full-on infestation to reach noise levels that high. 

In addition, Brood X, one of the loudest species, only appears every 17 years in Pennsylvania

You’ll be able to spot them pretty easily too. Cicadas are green and brown with black markings on their body and are 1 to 1.5 inches long. They include four fly wings folded on their back most of the time.

How and why Cicadas make noises.

Male cicadas are the primary noise makers, and they do it for a mating call or to send a distress call to others while keeping off other males. Their noises are primarily heard in the daytime, but they don’t make noises in the dark.

While bugs rub their body each other to make noises, cicadas make noises with an organ called the tymbals, located on their abdomen. In addition, every male cicada includes the round ridged membrane on its back, and the side surface of the abdominal section produces the clicking sound.


Crickets are similar to grasshoppers, and they also produce high-pitched sounds. They are being found all over the world except in the cold regions, especially in NEPA. 

Crickets are nocturnal, and they love to fly in warm weather, which makes them come out during the summer. While loud, they are usually pretty unnoticeable unless you’re dealing with a heavy infestation, which would make it difficult for you to sleep at night.

How and why Crickets make noises.

Crickets are the nighttime songsters. They produce high-pitched sounds for mating, and they rub their wings on each other to generate sound. This high-pitched sound is called stridulation

produce high-pitched sounds for mating


Grasshoppers are the most common insect all over the world. Although Grasshoppers are not that loud of noise makers, you can probably spot their loud-pitched chirps at night if you listen closely enough. They mainly hatch in the spring and early summer, and the adult ones are the grasshoppers in PA seen in the summer.

How and why Grasshoppers make noises.

Grasshoppers make noises to attract females and to get rid of other males.

Their hind legs include different pegs inside, and they rub those against wings to create their signature chirp. Some species also make noises using only their hind wings.


Katydids, otherwise known as bush crickets or long-horned grasshoppers, have a green and leaf-like appearance, large hind legs, and long antennae. With over 8000 species, these delicate bugs are known for their purring or buzzing sound, which is actually quite rhythmic and soothing. 

How and why Katydids make noises.

The male katydids make unique mating noises, ranging from loud and striking to low and buzzing. 

The sound of Katydids is similar to the crickets; they also stridulate the sound. Sometimes they strike buzzing, drawn-out and softer notes as well. 


There are over 437 species of bees in Pennsylvania, including ground bees, and they are pretty recognizable for their buzzing sound that is mostly audible at a close range. Bees are important for pollination and agriculture and should never be swatted, killed, or sprayed with a pesticide. 

How and why Bees make noises.

Bees become noisy bugs in the summer to attract their mates. Bees have different reasons for buzzing, as some might buzz around flowers when pollen gets attached to their bodies.

Bees generate noise through the vibration of their wings and rapid beating.

Large bees also produce low-pitched sounds because of their large body and wings.

Despite the summer invasion and noise they make, these bugs are harmless and help the ecological environment of Pennsylvania thrive. Besides,  it’s these sounds that make NEPA feel like home.