The answer is surprisingly simple: it’s because a cicada thinks that people strongly resemble trees. What’s with trees anyway? Cicadas land on them to mate, lay eggs, and do other life-related tasks. Since cicadas prefer to perch on trees, they tend to go right towards any dark upright object - or in this case - a person. Mashable has more details:
That's why if you're standing on a flat runway, like President Biden, a cicada may be keen to find you. "You might be the tallest structure out there," mused Day.
The sheer number of cicadas that emerge over a short time in spring also likely plays a role in the cicada landings, noted George Hamilton, the chair of the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University. With potentially millions of bugs around, a structure-seeking insect is more likely to find you.
Cicadas are indeed cacophonous as males vigorously vibrate their abdomens to attract mates. But they are no threat to people. And the cicadas' short-lived emergence is a great boon to wildlife.
Image credit: Jason Weingardt