Summer is upon us, and in many parts of the country, summer brings out a large, grasshopper-like insect called a cicada. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are known for the loud, distinctive noise they make. While their noise can be disruptive, they are not known to harm humans – they don’t bite or sting like other insects.
In general, these insects are not known to harm cats and dogs, either, unless they are ingested in large quantities. In 1987, several veterinarians in Cincinnati had to treat cases in which a pet had consumed so many cicadas, simultaneously, that the skins (which are non-digestible) had blocked a portion of the pet’s digestive track. And recently, veterinarians in Greenwood County, South Carolina, saw an increase in dogs coming into the clinic with upset stomachs because of cicada ingestion.
Pets who ingest too many of these insects usually experience upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme case where the skins create a mass in the digestive track, the pet must be treated for a foreign body ingestion, which could lead to surgery.
If you live in an area known for cicadas, and especially if you have a pet known for eating insects or foreign objects, it is important to keep an eye on him or her and keep them from ingesting too many. While eating a small amount of the insect does not seem to cause any issues, ingestion of large quantities has proven to be harmful.
Do you live in an area where there are cicadas? What has your experience been?