TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Federal health officials had to issue an interesting warning on Wednesday amid a surge of cicadas in parts of the country.
In a tweet, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Americans not to eat cicadas if they’re allergic to seafood.
“Yep! We have to say it!” the agency wrote in the tweet.
According to the FDA, cicadas share a “family relation” to shrimp and lobsters, meaning those with seafood allergies could have a reaction from eating a cicada.
Billions of cicadas started emerging from underground in states across the East Coast and Midwest last month. According to NBC News, the cicadas that are emerging this year include a group known as Brood X, made up of three species of insects that live on 17-year cycles.
Since the insects have started to emerge, some businesses are taking advantage of the hype over the critters. A candy shop in Maryland started selling chocolate-covered cicadas last month.
“NOT A JOKE – these are REAL Brood X cicadas – currently gathered from Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Potomac MD,” the shop’s website reads. “We gather the cicadas as they shed from their exoskeletons, and emerge as young adults.”
Due to popular demand, the shop has since added a recipe video online lettings customers know how to make them at home.