WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Pretty soon, scientists say millions of the Brood X cicadas will come to the surface for the first time since 2004.
We know how loud they can be and we know they don't hurt humans, but for those of you who have pets who like to eat everything, are they dangerous? Is it safe for your dog or cat to eat cicadas?
Sarah Hammond spoke to Warner Robins Veterinarian Dr. Vernard Hodges and checked the Pet Poison Helpline website to verify.
According to them, your pet will be fine if they have a cicada or two as a snack.
"Some pets may have an allergy to them, but as far as poisonous or sting or a bite, or just being sick from any kind of venom or anything, your pets are perfectly safe," says Hodges, but he says if your pet does start munching on the bugs, they run the risk of choking or developing digestive problems.
"Cicadas do have an exoskeleton system, so it's like a hard backbone, so that's one thing. You could possibly have some GI issues if the exoskeleton goes through. If it's a smaller dog and the smaller intestines can't quite pass it through, or if they eat it whole, that can be a problem."
The Pet Poison Helpline says the same thing on their website.
Cicadas aren't toxic, but if your animal eats too many of them, it may upset their stomach, since the bug's hard shell is difficult to digest.
"If that happens, you definitely want to go visit your veterinarian," says Hodges.
So we can verify that no, it's not dangerous for your pet to eat a cicada as an afternoon treat, but make sure they don't eat too many because it could cause digestion problems or pose a choking risk.