My Dog Ate a Cicada Bug: What Should I Do?

Four Minutes
Apr 29, 2024

While different types of cicadas emerge in the U.S. all the time, 2024 is likely to be a special year. In May or early June, large broods of periodical cicadas — potentially numbering in the trillions — are slated to appear across at least 17 states.1,2 This “cicadapocalyspe” marks the first time since 1803 that these two broods will co-emerge.2

The emergence of so many cicadas may mean dog parents need to be a little more vigilant in case their pup tries to gobble up these bugs. Eating too many cicadas could land a dog at the emergency vet with gastrointestinal challenges or other issues.3

MetLife Pet Insurance can help cover emergency vet costs if your dog eats too many cicadas. And with 0-day waiting periods on accidents, your coverage can start almost immediately.4 Get your free policy quote.

What’s This “Cicadapocalypse?”

Periodical cicadas fall into two groups — 13-year cicadas (emerging at 13-year intervals) and 17-year cicadas (emerging at 17-year intervals).1,2 The two broods emerging in 2024 will likely affect the following states:1


Cicada Group








13-year and 17-year (Cicada-geddon!)


13-year and 17-year (Cicada-geddon!)













North Carolina




South Carolina








Can Dogs Eat Cicadas?

On one hand, if your dog eats a cicada or two, it may not be a big cause for concern. On the other hand, if your dog begins to eat large amounts of these bugs, they may develop various problems.3

It’s usually difficult for dogs to digest a cicada’s hard exoskeleton — a protective shell that cicadas shed as they grow. As a result, they may experience severe ​​gastrointestinal (GI) problems like upset stomachs, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Beyond the GI threat, they may also choke on the cicada’s exoskeleton or wings, suffer allergic reactions, and ingest dangerous amounts of insecticides.3

Does Your Dog Eat Things They Shouldn’t?

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What To Do if Your Dog Eats Cicadas

Generally, pet owners shouldn’t panic right away if their buddies happen to scarf down a couple of cicadas.3 Still, if your dog begins to exhibit signs of GI distress after eating these critters, it may be a good idea to seek emergency veterinary care.

Treatment for GI Emergencies

When diagnosing a dog for potential GI issues, a vet may take blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and urine tests.5 For treatment, they may recommend intravenous (IV) fluids, pain medications, anti-nausea drugs, and gastroprotectants — drugs used to treat stomach issues.3,6 Some dogs with vomiting and diarrhea may require hospitalization.7

On average, emergency vet bills for dogs can cost $150 – $5,000, depending on whether hospitalization is needed. If you have dog insurance from MetLife Pet, your policy may help cover these vet bills. Consider how pet insurance helped Nutmeg.

How MetLife Pet helped cover Nutmeg’s GI vet bills

Nutmeg, a Weimaraner from Kansas, presented with gastroenteritis that required hospitalization. The total cost of her care was $1,600, but her MetLife Pet policy was able to pay $1,500 back to her parents. Her parents only had to cover the remaining $100 required to meet Nutmeg’s policy deductible.8

MetLife Pet Can Help if Your Dog Eats Cicadas

If you need to seek veterinary care after your dog eats cicadas, having pet insurance may prove helpful. MetLife Pet’s policies can help cover the costs of emergency care, as well as regular injury and illness vet visits. Our Preventive Care add-on may help cover your dog’s more routine veterinary costs, including yearly vaccines, dental cleanings, and flea and tick prevention.9

With features like short waiting periods and an app with 24/7 vet chat,10 MetLife Pet Insurance can be a great way to protect your pup in case of emergencies or everyday needs. Don’t wait, get your free policy quote to see your personalized rates.

Help Your Pet Feel Better 


**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.


1 “Broods,” University of Connecticut

2 “The 2024 Periodical Cicada Emergence,” University of Connecticut

3 “Dogs Eating Cicadas: Tasty Treat or Trouble?” American Kennel Club,

4 Accident and optional Preventive Care coverage begins on midnight EST of the effective day of your policy compared to a wait time of 2 to 15 days for many competitors; Illness coverage begins 14 days from the effective day of your policy compared to 14 to 30 days for many competitors. Based on a March 2024 review of publicly available summary information. Competitors did not furnish copies of their policies for review. If you have questions about a particular competitor's policy or coverage, please contact them or their representative directly.

5 “Gastroenteritis in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

6 “Effects of gastroprotectant drugs for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer disease and its complications: a meta-analysis of randomised trials,” National Institutes of Health

7 “Pet Emergency Statistics and Veterinary Costs,” Preventive Vet

8 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife Pet internal claims data from June 2023 – October 2023. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

9 For IAIC policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is based on a Schedule of Benefits. For MetGen policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is included in the annual limit.

10 Virtual veterinary services are available through the MetLife Pet App and are provided entirely by AskVet, a third-party partner; MetLife Pet is not responsible for any pet guidance or advice provided or taken. Veterinarians providing virtual veterinary services cannot prescribe medication or answer questions about the pet policy.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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