Experts Warn to Think Twice Before You Eat Cicadas
"Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters," the FDA said Wednesday about the bugs.
It might come as a surprise, but you shouldn't eat cicadas –– the loud, brittle insects that are swarming the United States this summer, the Food and Drug Administration warns.
"Yep! We have to say! it," the FDA wrote in a Tweet on Wednesday. "Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters."
The first batch of cicadas known as "Brood X" arrived in May on the East Coast. The brood comes out every 17 years to breed and mate, according to the National Park Service.
Brood X is also found around Pennsylvania, northern Virginia, Indiana, and eastern Tennessee.
Cicadas feed on plant fluids both above and below ground. Common predators are birds, raccoons, foxes, mice, frogs, fish, and a fungus called massospora, the NPS wrote.
Despite their creepy appearance and screeching noises, the bugs are harmless to humans, pets and gardens.
But, anyone who might eat them, including cats or dogs might "temporarily cause an upset stomach or vomiting," the EPA said adding, "but there is no need to worry if a pet eats a small number of cicadas.
"Cicadas don't sting or bite. Cicadas are non-toxic," the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine wrote last month.
Regardless, the FDA adds that their "crunchy/crispy exoskeleton can irritate the stomach lining if eaten in large volumes and can be a potential choking hazard, especially for small dogs."
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