Do Cicadas Bite?

Can Cicadas Bite?

Adult cicadas do not bite humans unless they are allowed to remain on someone long enough to mistake a part of the human body for a part of a plant.

There are some situations reported in cicada literature that describe a cicada biting someone after being allowed to stay on the person’s finger for a long enough period of time that the cicada confused the person’s finger for a part of a plant.

The person who reported this occurrence indicated the cicada would not have bitten him if he’d only removed the cicada from his finger rather than allowed it to linger.

Will Cicadas Bite?

Mouthparts

So, do cicadas bite? Cicada adults will use their piercing/sucking mouthparts to penetrate and suck up juices from plant roots, leaves and stems of a tree or woody shrub.

It is likely that the vast majority of people who think they got bitten overlooked the fact that cicadas have many sharp, pointed portions on their body parts that might make someone think they’ve been bitten.

Bites

Unlike mosquitoes, the rare bite of a cicada does not contain components of its saliva that function to prevent coagulation of blood; therefore, there is no irritation such as itching and redness that is likely to occur.

Do Cicadas Bite Pets?

Cicadas do not bite pets, but a dog or cat could get sick from eating cicadas they find laying around.

Sick Pets

While veterinarians report that your pet is unlikely to get sick from eating a few cicadas, it is possible the pet could experience symptoms similar to what it would experience from eating large quantities of food that it was not used to.

Should I Worry About Cicadas?

In summary, it could be said that cicadas, not us, have more to worry about when it comes to bites since cicadas today make up an important part of the diet of some cultures throughout the world.

Resources

Dig Deeper on Cicadas

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