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Billions of cicadas to ascend in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania

Video includes clips from Brandon Baker / CC BY 3.0, The BBC and Rich4098 / CC BY 3.0 and images from Natalia Wilson / CC BY SA 2.0, Nick Harris / CC BY ND 2.0, Gramody / CC BY SA 2.0 and Meredith Harris / CC BY ND 2.0.

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Next month, parts of the U.S. can expect to see and hear lots of 17-year-old cicadas, which will rise from the ground to mate.

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The insects, which have spent the rest of their lives underground, only live above ground for about six weeks. The adults, the ones that make all the noise, only ascend above ground to reproduce.

Males use the harsh sound to look for females so they can mate in that brief time. The sound can reach over 90 decibels in some instances; that's about the same volume as a lawn mower.

The female cicadas will lay eggs in a tree, and after the eggs hatch, the newborn cicadas -- called nymphs -- will bury themselves in the ground, where they'll develop for 17 years. 

According to The Washington Post, female cicadas can lay up to 400 eggs each, across 40 to 50 sites.

During the upcoming mating season, there could be as many as 1.5 million cicadas per acre in some places.

The noise, which is mostly a daytime phenomenon, will probably last until mid- to late June, by which time most of the cicadas will probably die, according to Gaye Williams, a Maryland Department of Agriculture entomologist. Williams said predicting exactly when the emergence will end is tough because it depends on many variables, including temperature, moisture and humidity. 

The good news is that cicadas can’t chew, so they don’t devour plants and trees. Plus, they don’t bite or sting.

But if you live in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and other neighboring states, now might be the time to invest in some ear plugs.

Read more here.

Home allegedly stalked by eerie 'Watcher' back on market for $1.25M

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Six bedrooms. Four bathrooms. One stalker.

A colonial-style Westfield, New Jersey, home that made headlines after the current owners claimed someone who identified himself as "The Watcher" sent them creepy, anonymous letters is back on the market for $1.25 million, NJ.com reports.

According to USA Today, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the house for $1.3 million in 2014, but the couple and their three children never moved in after supposedly receiving threatening letters from the so-called "Watcher."

>> See the Zillow listing for the home

"My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time," one letter read, according to NBC News.

The writer also said, "Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will draw them to me," NJ.com reports.

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The Broadduses tried to sell the house but failed. Last summer, the couple sued the previous owners, John and Andrea Woods, claiming that they knew about the stalker but kept quiet, according to The Associated Press and NJ.com. The Woodses denied the accusations, saying they did receive an anonymous letter but that it wasn't disturbing. They have filed a counterclaim against the Broadduses for causing them emotional distress.

Learn more here.

>> Take a video tour of the home

Spring cleaners, beware: Brown recluse spiders could be lurking in the shadows

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As if you needed another excuse not to clean your house.

According to KFVS, brown recluse spiders become more active as the weather warms up – just in time for spring cleaning.

Here's what you need to know to identify – and avoid – the unwelcome arachnids:

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1. What do they look like? The nocturnal spiders can be as large as a half-dollar and usually have violin-shaped markings on their upper body. 

>> PHOTOS: Top 10 terrifying spiders

2. Where are they found? According to Live Science, brown recluses live in the southern and central U.S., including the following states:

  • Alabama 
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

They like "dark, secluded places," such as in closets or under garbage cans, Live Science reports. They might be lurking in boxes, shoes or clothes in your garage or basement, Holly Schwarting, who works for Kansas State University's Department of Entomology, told KFVS.

>> PHOTOS: 25 ways Florida could kill you

3. Are brown recluses dangerous? While fatalities are rare, you definitely don't want to get bitten by one.

"The brown recluse spider's bite can be kind of a nasty one," Schwarting told KFVS. "Their venom contains a material that causes our tissue to break down, so it can create a lesion and a slow-healing wound."

The bite may have a red or purple circle around it, according to MedlinePlus. Bite victims may experience discomfort, chills, itching, nausea, fever and sweating, the site says. Rarely, the bites can cause jaundice, kidney failure, blood in urine, seizures and comas. 

You should go to the nearest hospital, call 911 or contact the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you think you've been bitten, according to MedlinePlus.

4. How can I protect myself while cleaning? 

Schwarting offered the following tips to KFVS:

  • Wear leather gloves
  • Shake out shoes and coats
  • Set up glue traps
  • Pay attention to your surroundings

Read more here.

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This treehouse is Airbnb's most desired rental property in the world

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Treehouses. People want to stay in treehouses.

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Airbnb, the online home rental site, recently released its top wish-listed destinations and properties, and treehouses were at the top.

As Airbnb put it: "A penchant for fantasy is evident when examining the most Wish-Listed properties by type. The adventure of an outdoor treehouse is by far the most popular type of property on Wish Lists."

At the top of those desired treehouses is one in Atlanta, based on the frequency that active listings appear on people's wish lists.

Hidden away in the affluent uptown district of Buckhead, there are three connected treehouse rooms that rent for $350-$400 a night, with a two-night minimum.

The living room, bedroom and deck are connected by rope bridges. The bathroom is a 30-second walk to the main house.

As of mid-January, the first vacancy, according to the Airbnb listing, is in March.

Other desired treehouse locations include one in Italy and one with a pool, in Bali.

Maybe treehouses aren't your thing. In that case, check out the Seashell House in Mexico or the Pirates of the Caribbean getaway in California.

Airbnb's top destination on its wish list is also in Georgia.

Savannah is the top U.S. destination and No. 3 worldwide among "markets with highest percent of listings that have appeared on at least one wishlist with at least 200 currently active listings."

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