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Allergic to seafood? Don’t eat swarming cicadas, US warns

CALIFORNIA (AFP): Multiple recipes featuring cicadas have surfaced in the United States as billions of the bugs emerge from 17 years underground, prompting authorities to warn the hungry and curious to think twice before taking a bite.

“Yep! We have to say it! Don’t eat #cicadas if you’re allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters,” said a tweet Wednesday from Food and Drug Administration regulators.

Billions of cicada nymphs that have been living underground since 2004 have begun bursting out of the soil to shed their skin, mate, lay eggs and then die, all against the backdrop of the deafening noise that males make to attract females.

US states including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana and Tennessee have all seen the translucent-winged, red-eyed insects.

Their arrival, on a regular cycle every 17 years, has been delayed and spotty this year due to cold temperatures and heavy downpours in some areas.

But the craze for the cicadas has not dimmed — especially among peckish birds, dogs and the occasional human.

Bun Lai, a chef and advocate for the sustainable food movement, invited locals for an insect hunt in a Washington park followed by a taste of his fried cicada sushi.

“Free cicada hunt and cookout,” Bun tweeted. “Bring ingredients to cook with and join me in getting creative or just eat!”