AR-News: Eastern pet owners warned of insect mating season
wolfcrest at hotmail.com
Mon May 3 20:47:34 EDT 2004
Eastern pet owners warned of insect mating season
HAGERSTOWN, Md. _ When millions of cicadas emerge across the eastern United
States for a rare mating season, they will appear as tasty morsels to pets
who could get sick from eating the insects, officials warned.
The insects are protein-rich, but their hard outer shells can cause vomiting
and constipation in cats and dogs, said Randall Lockwood, vice president for
the Humane Society of the United States.
"Imagine a yard full of chicken nuggets -- that's sort of what it's going t
o be like" for dogs and cats, Lockwood said Tuesday.
Millions of the large, red-eyed insects will soon emerge from the ground for
a once-every-17-years mating dance lasting well into June.
Experts say the insects will climb into trees and shed their shells to
reveal their wings. Males will attract mates through a loud buzzing sound.
The approximately 11/2 inch-long bugs "combine all the stuff that
particularly dogs like to chase," Lockwood said. "They're kind of flying pet
toys: They are loud, slow-moving, often low-flying."
The Washington-based Humane Society advises keeping pets indoors, securing
screens and holding tight to dog leashes outdoors.
On the Net:
Humane Society of the United States: www.hsus.org./ace/352
"One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or
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