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Understanding Cicada Threats: Are They Harmful to Your Beloved Pets?

Cicada Emergence (Credits: The Humane League)

This spring, a rare phenomenon known as “cicada-geddon” is expected to occur, with trillions of cicadas from two separate broods emerging simultaneously for the first time in over 200 years.

While the cicadas pose minimal risk to humans, pet owners may be concerned about the potential dangers to their dogs and cats. According to veterinarians, cicadas are not toxic and do not sting, but their exoskeletons can be difficult for pets to digest, potentially causing stomach upset. If your pet interacts with a cicada and you have concerns, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Cicadas and Pets (Credits: People)

However, it’s worth noting that approximately 10% of the emerging cicadas will be infected with a zombie-like fungus, which can cause a gruesome outcome for the affected insects.

The fungus grows inside the cicada until it erupts out of the abdomen, leaving behind a clump of spores. While the infected cicadas may be referred to as “zombies,” they are simply under the control of the fungus.

Cicadas (Credits: Top Dog Tips)

Additionally, the fungus contains chemicals similar to those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, but it would require consuming a large quantity of infected cicadas to feel any effects. As with any potentially infected substance, it’s recommended to avoid consuming them altogether.

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