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May 2024

Bugging Out: Preventative Maintenance for Illinois Cicadas

Preventative Maintenance for Illinois Cicadas

This spring and summer, the state of Illinois is facing a unique challenge – a massive cicada emergence unlike any seen in over 200 years (since 1803, to be exact). Brood XIII of 17-year cicadas and Brood XIX of 13-year cicadas will emerge from the ground in Illinois and property managers need to be proactive to minimize disruption to their buildings.

According to NBC News, humans have no reason to fret other than an increased decibel level.

“The insects themselves are harmless to humans, but with billions of them set to emerge from underground, it can make for a noisy few weeks before the cicadas reach the end of their life cycles. Once that happens, it can also mean a lot of insect carcasses scattered on the ground.”

Source: USDA Forest Service

Hiffman National Chief Engineer Bob Casey and Director of Management Services Heather Battaglia shared their preventative maintenance tips for this once-in-200-years phenomenon.

Protecting Building Systems:
Based on his experience from the last 17-year cicada emergence, Bob Casey is having protective, removable metal screens attached to his chiller system. The purpose of these screens is to prevent the little critters from getting pulled into the cooling tower basins of his building. In the previous cicada cycle, his chillers were shut down due to lack of water flow because so many cicadas got into the system and completely clogged the pump suction strainers. This time around, the screens should prevent a situation like the summer of 2007 when Bob and his crew spent several days in the pump pit cleaning the strainers to keep the chillers running.

Safeguarding Your Landscape:
Cicadas pose a threat primarily to new plantings and young trees and shrubs. To protect them, Heather recommends placing netting around these vulnerable plants. Ensure the netting covers the entire plant and extends to the base, preventing cicadas from crawling up from the ground.

If you notice eggs on twigs or branches, you can prune those specific sections. However, AVOID WIDESPREAD INSECTISIDE USE. These chemicals can harm other organisms, including beneficial ones that might even help control the cicada population.

For more help with preventative maintenance ideas, contact:

Carrie Szarzynski
Senior Managing Director, Head of Management Services
630-317-0718
cszarzynski@hiffman.com

Erin Converse
Director of Property Management Operations
630-317-0723
econverse@hiffman.com


About Hiffman National: 

Hiffman National is one of the US’s largest independent commercial real estate property management and advisory firms, providing institutional and private clients exceptional customized solutions for property management, facility management, advisory services, accounting, lease administration, lender services, project management, marketing, and research. The firm’s comprehensive property management platform and attentive approach to service contribute to successful life-long relationships and client satisfaction. As a nationally bestowed Top Workplace, and recognized CRE award winner, Hiffman National is headquartered in suburban Chicago, with more than 250 employees nationally and an additional six hub locations and 25 satellite offices across North America.

About NAI Hiffman:  

NAI Hiffman is one of the largest independent commercial real estate services firms in the US, with a primary focus on metropolitan Chicago, and part of the NAI Global network. We provide institutional and private leasing, property management, tenant representation, capital markets, project services, research, and marketing services for owners and occupiers of commercial real estate. To meet our clients’ growing needs outside of our exclusive NAI Hiffman territory, we launched Hiffman National, our dedicated property solutions division, which provides property management, project services, and property accounting services across the country. NAI Hiffman | Hiffman National is and award winning company headquartered in suburban Chicago, with more than 250 employees strategically located throughout North America.

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