Do Rabbits Eat Cicadas? (All You Need To Know)

Rabbits are known to be herbivorous animals, meaning they primarily feed on plants such as grasses and vegetables. However, in certain parts of the world, mainly where cicadas are abundant, there is speculation about whether rabbits consume these insects. So, the question is, do rabbits eat cicadas? Is it safe for them to eat? Can they eat other insects and bugs? How to prevent it? Find all of the answers in this article.

Rabbits can accidentally eat cicadas by exploring the environment or protecting their young ones. Eating cicadas in small amounts is considered safe. However, consuming large quantities could cause severe health issues. Consider providing a balanced diet and keeping their area clean to prevent bugs.

This article will briefly discuss whether rabbits eat cicadas, what to consider if they eat a cicada, what other insects or bugs could rabbit eat, how to protect them, and many more. So, let’s jump into this article.

Can my rabbit eat cicadas?

Rabbits are pure herbivores and prey animals, meaning they do not eat meat or other insects, such as cicadas, as these are not typically part of a rabbit’s diet.

However, it can be possible that a rabbit can eat a cicada accidentally or by exploring, which doesn’t harm your rabbit.

Cicadas are a particular insect widespread worldwide, including in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America. 

Their powerful, buzzing mating sounds, audible from a distance, are well recognized. 

In addition to their big size and striking look, cicada species can vary in colouration on their wings and bodies.

Even though they are predominantly herbivores, rabbits occasionally consume insects, including cicadas, mainly if found in their habitat.

Cicadas are not considered toxic to rabbits, but they are not a natural part of their diet, and consuming too many of them may cause digestive problems.

It is unlikely to be harmful if your rabbit unintentionally eats a cicada as long as it only happens once. 

However, eating cicadas frequently by your rabbit may result in stomach problems, including diarrhoea, bloating, or discomfort.

In addition, if the cicadas have been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals, they could be toxic to rabbits.

So, it is vital always to supervise your rabbit when they are allowed to roam freely in your garden or backyard.

Is it safe for a rabbit to eat cicadas and its skin?

Rabbits eat cicadas, including their skin, and it is generally safe to do so in small amounts. 

Cicadas are a common part of the natural diet of many wild rabbits and are also a good protein source.

If you have a garden where cicadas are present, and your rabbit likes to explore and graze there, they may accidentally eat some cicadas and their skins. 

It is safe, as long as the cicadas are not exposed to harmful chemicals or pesticides, it should not cause any harm to your rabbit.

However, monitoring your rabbit’s intake of cicadas and other insects is essential to ensure they are not consuming large quantities that could cause digestive upset.

Your rabbit may have digestive issues, such as diarrhoea or stomach discomfort if they unintentionally ingest a lot of cicadas. 

Additionally, your rabbit may display more severe signs like lethargy, loss of appetite, or seizures if the cicadas were exposed to pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.

It’s advisable to call a veterinarian as soon as you can if you think your rabbit may have swallowed a lot of cicadas or been exposed to pesticides or other toxins. 

To ensure your rabbit’s safety and well-being, your vet can evaluate their health and administer necessary treatments.

Can rabbits eat bugs and insects?

Rabbits are primarily herbivores, but they may consume insects as part of their diet if they come across them in the wild or accidentally ingest them.

However, they do not actively seek insects as a food source and may not enjoy their taste.

In the wild, rabbits may come across insects while foraging for food. 

They may accidentally ingest small insects that are crawling on leaves or other vegetation that they are consuming. 

Additionally, some commercially available hay may contain small insects, which rabbits may consume without realizing.

As for territorial behaviour, rabbits may become aggressive towards insects or other small animals that they perceive as a threat to their territory. 

This behaviour is more commonly seen in unneutered rabbits due to the influence of hormones on their behaviour.

In addition, a pregnant rabbit or mother rabbit may also try to eat or kill the insects with its sharp teeth to protect babies.

However, if your rabbit has eaten insects or bugs in large amounts and is showing health issues like bloating, diarrhoea or loss in appetite, you must seek your near vet as soon as possible.

Some insects contain toxic chemicals that could make your rabbit ill and even causes life-threatening issues.

Although eating a single bug accidentally or by exploring causes no harm, eating it regularly as a habit could lead to health issues that must be prevented.

What insects can rabbits eat?

Rabbits are pure herbivorous and do not rely on insects as their primary food source. 

However, they may accidentally ingest insects while foraging or exploring their environment. 

If eaten accidentally or by exploring, some insects are considered safe for your rabbit to eat in small amounts.

However, it’s generally best to prevent rabbits from eating insects as much as possible to avoid potential health risks.

Insects such as spiders, bees, ants, wasps, and flies can harm rabbits if ingested, and they should be avoided. 

In addition, insecticides or other toxic chemicals used to control insect infestations can also harm rabbits, so it’s vital to ensure that any pest control measures used in the home are safe.

While rabbits can eat insects accidentally, providing them with a balanced diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and a limited amount of pellets is crucial to ensure they get the nutrients they need. 

If you are concerned about your rabbit’s diet or health, consulting with a vet who can provide advice and guidance is best.

How to prevent your rabbit from eating harmful insects?

Preventing rabbits from eating harmful insects is essential to ensuring their health and well-being. 

Here are some steps to prevent your rabbit from ingesting harmful insects:

1) Keep living area clean:

To maintain your rabbit’s living space free of pests, regularly clean the hutch or cage, bedding, and surrounding area. 

It can lessen the possibility of your rabbit unintentionally consuming insects.

Regularly clean your rabbit’s living area, including their hutch, litter box, and surrounding area, to remove insect debris or droppings. 

Depending on the size of your rabbit’s living space, you may need to clean it daily or every few days.

Remove any leftover food or hay from your rabbit’s living area, which can attract insects. 

Clean your rabbit’s food bowl regularly to remove any food debris.

Check your rabbit’s living area regularly for any signs of insect infestations, such as ants, flies, or spiders. 

If you notice any insect activity, promptly remove the infestation.

2) Supervise their environment: 

Keeping an eye on your rabbit’s surroundings is crucial to stop them from ingesting dangerous insects. 

Keep a tight check on your rabbit outside of its pen to stop it from consuming any insects it may come across. 

Keep an eye out for any sniffing or pawing at the ground that indicates your rabbit is interested in eating insects.

You may make a bug-free place secure for your pet by keeping your rabbit inside or in a screened-in outdoor space. 

Keeping your rabbit inside or in a safe outdoor space can also lessen their exposure to other potential dangers, such as predators or severe weather. 

Ensure that any outdoor exercise enclosure you set up is securely gated and devoid of any openings or gaps that pests could utilize to get inside. 

To ensure your rabbit’s health and happiness, give them a secure, cosy, and bug-free home.

3) Provide a balanced diet:

A balanced diet is necessary to ensure the health and well-being of your rabbit.

A rabbit should eat hay, fresh produce, and a moderate amount of pellets for a balanced diet. 

Most of your rabbit’s diet should consist of hay since it gives them the fibre they need to maintain a healthy digestive system. 

High-quality grass hay, like timothy hay or orchard grass hay, is best for rabbits, which you can easily buy from amazon. 

In addition, make sure always to have fresh hay available for your rabbit.

Also, additional vitamins and minerals that are crucial for your rabbit’s health are provided by fresh veggies. 

Dark greeny leaves like kale, collard greens, and parsley, as well as other veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers, are healthy vegetable choices for rabbits. 

In addition, don’t overfeed your rabbit vegetables that are high in calcium or sugar; instead, gradually introduce new veggies into their diet.

Ensure your rabbit gets a balanced diet that meets its nutritional needs. 

It can help to reduce their desire to eat insects, as they will be less likely to be hungry or seek additional nutrients.

4) Keep food and water sources clean:

Ensure your rabbit’s food and water sources are kept clean to avoid attracting insects. 

It includes cleaning their food and water dishes regularly and removing uneaten food.

If you notice any dirt or debris in the water bowl or bottle, clean it thoroughly before refilling.

Also, if you store your rabbit’s food in a container, ensure it is clean and dry before adding new food. 

Store the container dry cool place to prevent moisture and insect activity.

You can ensure your rabbit receives the nourishment they require without being exposed to harmful germs or other toxins by keeping their food and water sources clean and fresh.

To receive guidance and treatment, consult your veterinarian if you detect changes in your rabbit’s eating or drinking routines or if you think they may have consumed something toxic.


  1. While rabbits are primarily herbivores, they have been known to eat insects such as ants, beetles, and cicadas, especially during food scarcity, accidentally or because of their territorial behaviour.
  2. Cicadas are not a significant part of a rabbit’s diet and are unlikely to provide much nutritional value compared to their usual food sources.
  3. Eating cicadas can pose some health risks to rabbits due to the presence of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment, as well as the hard exoskeleton of the insect.
  4. Rabbits that consume cicadas may also experience digestive issues, including bloating and diarrhoea, which can harm their health.
  5. While rabbits may occasionally eat cicadas, it is not a common or recommended part of their diet. Sticking to a balanced diet of hay, fresh vegetables, and high-quality rabbit pellets is best to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Reference: NCBI, NCBI

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