Tue. May 28th, 2024

Are cicadas dangerous to your pets?

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May17,2024

NEW YORK (WPIX) – Trillions of cicadas from two separate broods are expected to emerge from underground this spring in what some are calling a “cicada-geddon” (though some states are already seeing them). It will be the first time Broods XIX and XIII emerge simultaneously in more than 200 years.

With the exception of the shrill singing hurting your ears or an unfortunate spattering of urine, the cicadas shouldn’t cause you much harm.

But what about your dog or cat, who may encounter a few cicadas while they’re outside this summer — do the emerging bugs pose any dangers to them?

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Cicadas only pose a “minimal risk” to your pet, according to veterinarians, since they are not toxic and don’t sting. Their exoskeletons may, however, be difficult for your pet to digest, which may cause an upset stomach, according to Purdue’s Department of Entomology.

If you have concerns after your pet interacts with a cicada, experts recommend speaking with your veterinarian.

Experts have warned that roughly 10% of the cicadas set to emerge will be infected with a zombie-like fungus.

Dr. Matt Kasson, an associate professor of mycology and forest pathology at WVU, explained to CNN that it will be grisly for those infected cicadas. The fungus will grow inside of them until there’s nowhere else to go and “a clump of spores erupts out of where the genitals and abdomen once were. It looks like there’s a gumdrop that’s been dropped in chalk dust, glued to the backside of these cicadas.”

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“They are only zombies in the sense that the fungus is in control of their bodies,” Kasson said in 2019 when he and a group of researchers published a study showing the fungus contains chemicals not unlike those in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Should the thought of fungus-filled cicadas entice your tastebuds for some reason, it’s worth noting that, according to researchers, you would need to eat a lot of them to feel the effects of the hallucinogenic mushroom-like chemicals. And, like most possibly-infected things, experts say you shouldn’t eat them anyway.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Are cicadas dangerous to your pets?”
  1. Cicadas don’t pose much harm, but it’s always good to keep an eye on pets when they’re outside during the emergence season.

  2. As a pet owner, I know how important it is to keep my furry friends safe. I believe that cicadas shouldn’t be a major concern for pets, as they are not toxic and won’t sting. However, their exoskeletons might cause some digestive issues for animals. It’s always best to consult with a vet if there are any concerns after encounters with cicadas.

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