It's been more than a year since seven billion pesky cicadas invaded southern Ohio. Entomologist Gene Kritsky is here to say their visit, as an economic indicator, is starting to pay off.

And while it's hard to imagine anything positive "” or profitable "” coming from last year's plague of locust-like creatures, Kritsky says we're just now reaping the benefits. Even if we don't know it.

Cicadas are those flying nuisances who burrow out of the ground every 17 years, bulging red-eyed insects that buzz around in a two-month frenzy before finding a mate and then dying.

"Fruit growers, apple growers and such, have [had] a heavier yield of fruit this year," notes Kritsky, a biology professor at Mount St. Joe college and the acknowledged expert on cicadas.

The bug doctor attributes this to the "natural tree pruning" provided by the insects. That's not all. Flowering trees in southern Ohio bloomed better than ever this year. "My crab apple tree was incredibly lush."

Just what the local economy needs. Good buzz.