AR-News: Eastern pet owners warned of insect mating season

jim robertson wolfcrest at
Mon May 3 20:47:34 EDT 2004

Eastern pet owners warned of insect mating season

David Dishneau
Associated Press

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:

"One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or 
torture an animal and get away with it" —  Margaret Mead.

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