(WTAJ) — Cicadas are here and we all know they look intimidating, but are cicadas harmful?

The short answer is no. However, with millions in our backyards, we should all keep an eye on our four-legged friends.

Heidi Mullendore, an Environmental Educator at Canoe Creek State Park said they are going to be making a lot of noise. Unlike some though, Mullendore is enjoying the spectacle of the cicada’s 17 years in the making.

Before they broke through the ground, the cicada larvae live underground for either 13 or 17 years.
And then when the ground warms up enough, those little babies crawl up trees and the adults emerge from their exoskeleton.

“It’s fully winged and they crawl up into the tree canopy to mate and lay eggs,” Mullendore said.

There are about a million and a half cicadas per acre. But don’t worry.

“They are not dangerous,” Mullendore said. “These bugs don’t bite. They are going to mate, lay eggs and die and a lot of them get eaten.”

Cicadas are nontoxic, so they will not be harmful if your pet eats one. But because of their hard exoskeleton, they might be hard to digest if too many are eaten.

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