Dogs, cats, squirrels, raccoons and birds will have a 4 – 6 week feast this summer as the Brood II 17-year cicadas emerge from the ground throughout the mid-Atlantic.
But the Humane Society warns that, like junk food, too much can cause tummy aches and other issues for pets.
The Humane Society warned in 2004 that cicadas’ exoskeletons are not digestible, so eating too many could cause constipation or vomiting. (2004 was when the 17-year Brood X cicadas emerged in our region.) Animals could also choke on cicadas’ legs and wings.
The Humane Society also noted that cicadas are like little flying toys to dogs and cats — they’re small (but not too small), they fly slowly and usually stay pretty low to the ground.
In addition, the exoskeletons of cicadas contain chitin, and some pets may have an allergic reaction. Chitin may affect some humans, too, according to Science Daily.
If your dog or cat vomits more than twice or seems particularly uncomfortable after gorging on cicadas, take him or her to the vet.
For humans, cicadas can be safe to eat in relatively limited quantities. See: Are Cicadas Safe to Eat? Cicada Recipes and Cooking Tips for more information.