For many people living in Northern Illinois, the cicada struggle is real right now. Cicadas are flying everywhere, blanketing our trees, yards and sidewalks in a crunchy, winged mess.

This is what the one, small tree that I have in my front yard looks like right many cicada can you spot in this small section?

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

In past summers I found the cicada song to be quite peaceful and relaxing, but now that I have received an extreme, up close experience with these insects, (and the weird clicking sounds I didn't know they make), I'm OVER it.

The current cicada invasion may be annoying for humans, but for dogs, it can mean a trip to the vet.

Illinois Dogs Are Getting Sick From Eating Cicadas

Another interesting thing I've learned lately is that every animal, including dogs, likes to eat cicadas, and that's not always a good thing.

Yesterday I had to clean up two small dead birds in our garden that I'm pretty sure died from choking on cicadas. I haven't seen any of my dogs eating cicadas yet, but I know our neighbor's dog enjoys snacking on them, and it's creating a stinky, messy problem.

Certified animal behavior specialist and pet expert Steve Dale recently told WGN;

some dogs will eat the insects without issue. Others can get an upset stomach.

They can have a runny stool. They can have an uncontrollable issue in the house, and that gets kind of messy.

Here's the important thing to remember so you don't panic; cicadas themselves aren't poisonous or toxic.



The biggest problems can come from dogs eating cicada exoskeletons, those hard outer shells, or their stiff wings which are tough for dogs to digest.  Besides causing an upset stomach, vomiting, and even diarrhea, the exoskeletons and wings can cause blockages that require surgery, so it's best to keep your dogs away from them and clean them out of your yard.

If you notice your dog coughing, pawing at their mouth, or having trouble breathing, get them to the vet immediately.

How to Keep Dogs From Eating Cicadas

So, how much cicada snacking is too much for your dog? A curious nibble here or there probably won't hurt. But if you see your dog chowing down on cicadas with gusto, it's best to intervene. Keep them on a leash during walks and try to distract them with a favorite toy or a game of fetch.

Good luck friends, the cicada invasion in Illinois should die off soon.

READ MORE: Here's When Illinois Should be Cicada-Free


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Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale


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