Ten Insect Dishes You Must Try

Spicy herb fried insect wings in food dish and blue fork.

Entomophagists are people who include bugs in their diet. While consuming insects is not for the faint of heart, there are some interesting recipes out there from various cultures which regularly incorporate bugs in their diet. Below is a list of ten unique insect dishes that you might want to try if you’re ever feeling adventurous or are simply looking for an additional source of protein.

1. BBQ Silkworm Chrysalises 

 

Fried silk worms

These hard shelled pupa are a byproduct of the silk industry and are canned or sold by street vendors throughout Asia. They can be enjoyed deep-fried or barbecued. This Asian delicacy can be eaten whole or you can just enjoy the yellow meat inside, which smells like raw meat and tastes like tofu.

2. Mosquito Eggs and Tortillas

 

Culex quinquefasciatus Ovipositing 

This Mexican delicacy involves drying and then roasting mosquito eggs prior to being served on a tortilla with a squeeze of lemon or lime. A small bottle of mosquito eggs is comparable to caviar at $50 a pop.

3. Katydid Texas & Thai Fusion 

 

notorious bug eating of asia

This dish combines Texas katydids with coconut oil, green onions, and Thai seasonings, with the concoction stuffed into mushroom caps to complete the exotic meal. Many people recommend removing the katydids’ legs, as they can be tough.

4. Cockroach Sushi 

 

Eggs, (cooked) bacon and hashbrown potatoes, s... 

Cockroaches can be clean and completely edible as long as they’re fed fruit and veggies before being toasted. These common household pests can be toasted, sautéed, or boiled, but must not be eaten raw. One dish you can incorporate cockroaches into is sushi – these critters go great with rice. It is said that large, hissing cockroaches taste like and have a similar texture to greasy chicken.

5. Centipede or Millipede on a Stick 

 

Centipedes on a stick

This snack is commonly sold by street vendors in China. While centipedes taste better, millipedes are more commonly used. Centipedes have to have their heads removed before cooking, since they use their pincers to bite, but the millipedes can be cooked with their heads intact. Millipedes on a stick are known to have a bland flavor, similar to a dry spaghetti noodle.

6. Waterbug Noodle Soup

 

Mang Da Na -- Giant Waterbugs
Mang Da Na — Giant Waterbugs (Photo credit: oschene) 

Waterbugs and udon noodle soup is a popular dish in Taiwan, taking precedence over the traditional chicken noodle soup we enjoy in the U.S. Apparently waterbugs taste like a mixture of clams and potatoes. Who knew?

7. Chocolate Cricket Chip Cookies

 

"Chocolate chirp cookies" with crickets
“Chocolate chirp cookies” with crickets (Photo credit: Mills Baker)

This unique spin on chocolate chip cookies adds in crickets for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Crickets are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are known to have a roasted nut flavor, which makes them the perfect addition to chocolate chip cookies.

8. Fried Hornworms

 

fried worms

Tomato and tobacco worms, also known as hornworms, have the distinct flavor of shrimp, crab, and green tomatoes when fried in oil. Although they must be put on a starvation diet for a few days prior to being eaten, since the plants they live off of are toxic for people to eat.

9. Tofu Grasshopper

 

Grasshopper special

Grasshoppers are a delicacy popular in Japan, Uganda, and Mexico, and are especially tasty when paired with tofu. Not all grasshoppers are edible, however – only solid colored ones can be eaten.

10. Chocolate Covered Scorpions

 

Chocolate-covered Scorpion 

It’s hard to resist any treat that’s been dipped in chocolate – even scorpions. The toxins from these pests are rendered harmless once the creatures have been stir-fried or just plain fried in hot oil. It is said that scorpions taste like shrimp, and are extra tasty when dipped in chocolate.

It takes someone with a lot of courage to try these dishes, but if you have an adventurous spirit you may just discover that you love them!

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a el paso pest control company. He hasn’t tried eating insects yet, other than the occasional fly from a too-wide yawn, but he’d really like to try. Especially chocolate covered ones.

Published by Thomas Ballantyne

Top 10 Edible Bugs

Most people agree that insects are unappetizing, but did you know that some people actually enjoy munching on them? It’s true- people who consume insects are practicing entomophagy, which is actually more common that you would think. Many insects are actually a good (and cheap) source of protein, and while most people eat bugs out of necessity, nowadays they are also considered a delicacy.

Below you will find a list of the top 10 edible insects, based on taste and popularity.

10. Weaver Ants Eggs 

 

Ant eggs for salad - Market outside Chiang Mai

Weaver ants eggs are used as a tasty dip or topping for salad and tortilla chips in Thailand. However, they can only be collected one month out of the year, which is a very tedious and painful process. Weaver ants’ eggs are squishy and must be fully cooked before being enjoyed.

9. Giant Water Beetles 

 

Fried Giant Water Beetles

Also a popular delicacy in Thailand are Giant Water Beetles. These huge beetles are deshelled and then roasted or fried. Supposedly they taste like scallops.

8. Larvets Worm Snacks 

 

Larvets Worm Snax

These worms are baked so they have a crunchy texture. They come in a variety of flavors such as BBQ, cheese and Mexican spice.

7. Witchetty Grubs 

 

Witchetty Grub

These large, fleshy, white wood eating moths or beetle larvae are a principal source of protein in the Australian Aboriginal diets. They can either be eaten raw or lightly baked (typically over fire coals.)

6. Crickets 

 

Fried Crickets

Crickets (along with grasshoppers) are a pretty common bug to be eaten. The general consensus seems to be that they have a nutty flavor, although you can buy them seasoned (such as Crick-ettes brand Cricket snacks, which come in three flavors: Salt and Vinegar, Bacon and Cheese, and Sour Cream and Onion.) In the Northeast area of Thailand, egg-laden crickets (in other words, “pregnant” crickets) are considered a popular and tasty snack.

5. Oven Baked Tarantula 

 

Oven Baked

Despite the fact that tarantula’s are arachnids, not insects, they are being included on this list simply because they are so closely related and commonly confused as being part of the insect family. At any rate, oven roasted tarantula is a popular menu item in Cambodia. The fangs must be removed before consuming; simply warm and enjoy. (Or not.)

4. Casu Marzu 

 

Casu Marzu, a type of cheese. This image was m...

Casu Marzu is a type of cheese made from sheep’s milk that is crawling with insect larvae, which is popular in Sardinia, Italy. The soft cheese has been fermented to the point of decomposition, inviting insect larvae to develop. Some people choose to pick off the translucent little worms crawling on the cheese surface, while others enjoy the maggots.

3. Termites

 

Deep Fried Bugs

Eating termites is a way of life in Africa and some parts of Indonesia. They’re commonly collected at the beginning of the rainy season (when other protein sources are scarce.) Termites taste best after being slightly roasted.

2. Chocolate Covered Giant Ants 

 

Chocolate Covered Insects

Ants are another commonly consumed insect, although they taste best encased in decadent Belgian chocolate. Giant Queen Leafcutter ants bathed in chocolate are said to have a nutty flavor, boost the immune system and give the consumer extra energy.

1. Bug Suckers

 

Bug Suckers

We’ve all (probably) seen the suckers housing insects at one time or another. These are a common treat sold across America in shopping malls and candy stores. Examples of insects which you can find encased in hard candy include scorpions (ok, these are arachnids,) worms, grasshoppers and crickets.

While eating insects is pretty much a novelty in our culture, in some places throughout the world it is a necessity. Just about any insect can be eaten, as long as it’s given a good, long boiling first. Although calling an exterminator is still recommended when you discover an outbreak of bugs in your house- technically you “go green” and eat them.

 

About the author: Chris is writer for a New Jersey pest control company.

 

Published By Thomas Ballantyne

Why Are Bats Dying?

English: Little brown bat with white-nose synd...

Creepy!

Sinister!

Blood-sucking devil birds!

Winged spawn of Satan!

These are just a few words some of us might mistakenly use to describe the bat; but despite this fictitious reputation, bats are vital to the ecosystem. They are pest control agents; eating disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes, and feeding on crop-damaging caterpillars and worms. They also aid in the pollinating of certain plants.

It’s because of their vital ecological importance, bat-lovers and scientists alike are in panic mode over massive loss of these flying mammals. Bats are dying off at an alarming rate.

Just how big of a bat loss are we talking?

Last year, NASA reported the North American bat’s death toll surpassed the 7 Million mark. A year later, it is feared that the death toll may be reaching 10 Million. United States Fish & Wildlife Services fear that “half the bat species in the United States could be wiped out if something is not done.”

What exactly is killing off all of these bats?

White-Nose Syndrome Killing Off Bats

Despite some bat’s white-nosed appearance, they have not been out partying with Lindsay Lohan. The white substance appearing on affected bats is a white fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans). This symptom is called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). A deadly white fungus will grow on bat’s noses, bodies, and wings as they hibernate in caves for the winter. The fungus causes the hibernating bats to wake during the winter months. When awake, the bats will burn up all of their energy reserves that are usually saved when they hibernate. Due to lack of energy and nutrition, the affected bats ultimately die of starvation. The fungus is also deadly when it spreads to a bat’s wings. Healthy wing membranes are vital to bats, as they help regulate body temperature, blood pressure, water balance and gas exchange—not to mention the ability to fly and to feed.

The White-Nose Syndrome fungus was first discovered back in 2006, in the caves of New York. It has since spread to some 28 U.S. States. It’s believed that the fungus was brought over from Europe, where WNS didn’t seem to have the same affect as it has on the 26 different species of hibernating North American bats.

America’s most common species of bat, the little brown bat, has been hit the hardest with some states reporting population losses as high as 90 percent. In certain specific caves in the U.S., the entire population has been wiped out.

According to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, this is “one of the fastest declines of wildlife they have ever seen.”

Current States Reporting White-Nose Syndrome

As of June 2013, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services report that 28 states have confirmed the deadly bat disease, White-Nose Syndrome. This is a drastic increase from 2007 when New York was the only state to report WNS. Current states affected include:
[column-group]
[column]

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska 

[/column]
[column]

  • New Jersey
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin 

[/column]
[/column-group]

To help out our bat friends, and combat WNS, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services has awarded grants totaling almost $1 Million to the 28 affected states.

Bat with White-nose Syndrome

Can Humans Catch White-Nose Syndrome?

It is common believe among scientists and researchers that bat-to-bat transmission is the principal aspect in the spread of White Nose Syndrome. Furthermore, research also suggests that the disease can ONLY be spread bat-to-bat. It is, however, believed that WNS fungus can be spread by humans from infected sites to clean sites through contaminated shoes, clothing, and equipment.

As for humans catching White-Nose Syndrome, it is highly unlikely. According to whitenosesyndrome.org, thousands of people have visited affected caves and mines since the disease was first observed. There have been no reported human illnesses attributable to WNS.

We are still learning about WNS, but we know of no risk to humans from contact with WNS-affected bats. However, we urge taking precautions and not exposing yourself to WNS. Biologists and researchers use protective clothing when entering caves or handling bats.

Currently, there is no known cure for White-Nose Syndrome.

How Loss Of Bats Hurts Agriculture

The economic consequences of losing up to 10 Million could be substantial. A single colony of 150 big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) has been estimated to eat nearly 1.3 million pest insects each year, possibly contributing to the disruption of population cycles of agricultural pests. That means that over 1500 metric tons of insect pests are no longer being consumed by bats in the affected areas.

It’s suggested that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 Billion a year.

What Can Be Done To Save Bats From White-Nose Syndrome

In general, fungus is spread through direct contact with fungal spores. Humans are urged to not share clothing, shoes, pillowcases, etc., stay away from stray animals, take care of personal equipment, and wear flip flops in public showers to avoid contact with fungal spores of any kind. In general, its in good taste to not touch bats while spelunking for both the bat’s health, and your own.

Unfortunately, bats cannot put on little rubber gloves and other protective clothing to avoid contact with fungal spores. On the plus side, recent research has found that the fungus may respond to typical human anti-fungal treatments. More studies are being undertaken to determine how best to use this knowledge.

 

10 April Fools Pranks Involving Bugs

It’s April Fools Day and all of us are on high alert; making sure our family, roommates, friends and coworkers don’t pull one over on us.

For all of you pranksters out there, there’s no easier prank to pull off than a classic bug prank. Whether you’re going to dump a jar of crickets on your buddy as he takes a shower, put a fake fly in somebody’s spaghetti, or put a tarantula on your boss’s desk; a creepy bug can be the cornerstone of any successful prank. Here are a just a few April Fools pranks involving bugs:

Scorpion Prank

Thumbs up for scorpions! Watch what happens when a massive Emperor Scorpion is let loose on this poor girl in the bathroom. “Get it away; it’s going to KILL ME… HE WILL KILL US ALL!!!” You may want to turn down the volume on your computer for this one.

Bug Exterminator Prank!

Note to pest control professionals everywhere… Here’s how you don’t spray for cockroaches. While technically the prank doesn’t involve any actual bugs, a bug exterminator is equally effective.

Spider Prank

Don’t get startled this April Fools Day if a spider mysteriously lands on you from the sky.

The Cockroach Prank

This cockroach prank was featured on one of our previous blogs entitled A Roach Is Not A Love Bug. It is too good to not share again. Enjoy!

Cricket Prank – Infesting Your Coworker’s Truck

I just found another definition for the word MADNESS… The sound of 2000 crickets chirping in unison inside your truck.

Drive Thru Bug Prank

As if fast food employees didn’t have it bad enough already, now they have to put up with giant cockroaches on there hands. Let’s just hope the only cockroaches found at your favorite drive thru are fake– just like the one in this prank.

Giant Hairy Spider Dropped On Boyfriend

It’s easy. It’s a classic. It’s a simple spider on a string, and this poor sap lets his girlfriend get the best of him.

Mixed Nuts and Worms Prank

One thing we know for sure, food and worms don’t mix. Watch what happens when a bag of meal-worms is placed in a unsuspecting woman’s favorite snack.

 

Roach Prank

Why haven’t I ever though of this before… A giant plastic roach tied to some fishing line. The possibilities are endless! It can definitely go a long way in making most anybody squirm.

 

Big Scary Spider Prank

Who knew dogs were just as scared of spiders as we are? My dog just eats them! I guess when the spider is as big as a domesticated cat, even a dog will run.

 

All of us bug guys here at Blog Pest Control and Bulwark Exterminating would like to warn you to be on the lookout this April Fools Day for scorpions, roaches, crickets, and spiders. Have a safe April Fools Day. Happy pranking!