The 17-year wait is finally over for one of the noisiest bugs in the world. Billions of cicadas are making their spring arrival along the East Coast in time for mating season.

And unlike a swarm of locusts, these insects aren't a pestilence. In fact, they're a great source of high protein and low carbs that you could snack on this summer.

Cicadas have already emerged in New Jersey and North Carolina. With the buzzy, snapping sounds of their wings and abdomens, they're hard to miss.

"When there's a lot of them together, it's like this hovering noise. It sounds exactly like flying saucers from a 1950s movie," Chris Simon, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, told Reuters.

And as they begin to surface, you will see them "on the sides of the trees, on the sides of the house, on the shrubbery-even on the car tires," he added.

Scientists from Connecticut are expecting a mass of periodical cicadas from Brood II, considered one of the largest litters in eastern North America. Experts have tracked these broods since 1843, the latest recordings being in 1979 and 1996.

One species of Brood II, the Magicicada, are particularly dense, spanning tens of thousands to 1.5 million per acre. Researchers believe that the abundance of cicadas make it harder for birds, predators, and other insects to splurge.

But they're not the only ones who've tried these creatures. Some humans are not shy about tasting or feasting on the insect species. Bug eaters describe these critters as nutty and crunchy, while others call the babies succulent. However, cicadas are not for everybody, as they're in the same family as shellfish, which means those with allergies should stay away.

The cicadas are expected to arrive above ground between late April and early June, exfoliate as juveniles, and climb or fly to trees and buildings in search of mates.

The cicada season could open up a lot of doors to new recipes, but it's up to you to take the nutritious plunge and try it out. Cicada experts say the nymphs, or juveniles, are safe enough to eat raw after they surface and exfoliate. The older cicadas need boiling to remove all bacteria, while dead cicadas should be avoided because they're in decay.

A popular way to enjoy these is as sweet chocolate-covered cicadas. The University of Maryland also created a variety of recipes with cicadas, including dumplings and a stir fry, for those who enjoy a little experiment.