What you need to know about cicadas and your pets

Many pets love to hunt bugs, and cicadas are a tempting snack – big, loud and relatively easy to catch. What happens if your pet eats some?

This year, the Brood X cicada will emerge from a 17-year hibernation in at least 15 states and the District of Columbia.1 Billions of these insects will emerge and in some places there may be as many as 25-30 per square foot.2 As more appear, pet parents are beginning to worry about their pets – with good reason! Here’s what you need to know about these pesky pests and the risk they may pose to your precious pets.

The good news

  • Cicadas are not poisonous
  • They don’t bite or sting
  • They taste bitter, which is off-putting to many pets

The bad news

  • They can be a choking hazard because of their hard exoskeleton
  • They can cause stomach upset – or even a blockage if eaten in large numbers
  • They could cause an allergic reaction in some pets

What do I do if my pet eats a cicada?

If your pet eats one of these insects, don’t panic. But don’t let them eat more! Monitor them closely for 24 hours and contact an emergency vet if any strange symptoms appear.

To deter your pets away from cicadas, keep them close and focused on activity – walking, running, playing fetch – while outside this summer!

*Information provided by MetLife Pet Insurance.

1https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/18/cicadas-showing-up-your-yard-if-so-heres-what-do/5143899001/

2https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/04/01/cicadas-come-out-2021-brood-x/