Cicada invasion in Northern Illinois poses health risks to pets

For many people in Northern Illinois, the cicada battle is real right now. Cicadas are flying everywhere, covering our trees, gardens and sidewalks in a crunchy, winged mess.

This is what the only small tree I have in my front yard looks like now…how many cicadas can you spot in this small area?

Town Square Media

Town Square Media

In past summers I found the cicada’s song quite peaceful and relaxing, but now that I’ve had an extreme, up-close experience with these insects (and the weird clicking noises I didn’t know they made), I’m OVER .

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

Illinois dogs get sick from eating crickets

Another interesting thing I’ve learned lately is that every animal, including dogs, loves to eat crickets, and that’s not always a good thing.

Yesterday I had to clean up two small dead birds in our yard that I’m pretty sure died from cricket suffocation. I haven’t seen any of my dogs eat crickets, but I know our neighbor’s dog likes to snack on them, and it causes a smelly, messy problem.

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

some dogs will eat the insects without any problem. Others may experience stomach upset.

They may have a runny nose. They could have an uncontrollable problem in the house, and it gets a little messy.

This is the most important thing to remember so you don’t panic; crickets themselves are not poisonous or poisonous.

The biggest problems can come when dogs eat cicada exoskeletons, the hard outer shells or their stiff wings that are difficult for dogs to digest. In addition to causing stomach upset, vomiting and even diarrhea, the exoskeletons and wings can cause blockages that require surgery. So it is best to keep your dogs away from them and remove them from your yard.

If you notice your dog coughing, clawing at his mouth or having trouble breathing, take him to the vet immediately.

How to stop dogs from eating cicadas

So, how many cicada treats are too many for your dog? A curious bite here or there probably won’t hurt. But if you see that your dog is eating crickets with great enthusiasm, it is 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 subside soon.

READ MORE: This is when Illinois should be cicada-free

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Gallery credit: Andrew Vale

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