Survival Guide to Eating Bugs

by Jacklyn Krol
cricket grasshopper insect bug

If you’re in the wilderness and looking to survive, insects can be an excellent source of nutrition to crave your hunger. So what bugs can you safely eat?

What may seem a bit disgusting to some, is actually a delicacy in numerous foreign countries. There are over 2,000 edible bugs in the world, and those are just the ones that humans have discovered.

The Most Beneficial Insects to Consume

Most grasshoppers and crickets are rich in protein and are one of your best bets. Both insects are usually slower in the mornings and go for dark or damp places. They are relatively easy to find in the wilderness, under logs is a surefire place to find one. If you’re not in the wilderness, you can even purchase cricket flour or powder for extra protein in your meals.

Ants you can catch almost anywhere with a stick or your hands. Pro tip: put them straight into water so it drowns them before you finish catching them all. After boiling them, they’re ready to eat with the bacteria ridden from their shells.

Termites are least likely to carry parasites, living mostly in wood. They do run fast so be sure to capture them quickly. The best way to enjoy these is to roast them.

Larvae and grubs are some of the easiest to find and easiest to cook. There are over 300 species of edible larvae on Earth. You can grab them fairly easily since they are slower moving and then skewer them for cooking/roasting.

How Do I Eat Them?

Firstly, don’t forget to take the wings, legs, and stingers off of your insects!

Some insects can be consumed without being cooked, however, it’s tastier for bugs to be cooked or boiled. Another key point is that just like meat, insects can carry bacteria or parasites. By cooking or boiling it, you can destroy the harmful bacteria.

The best way to consume a slug is to cut off their heads and squeeze out their insides (which includes their poop). can then boil or roast them, whichever you prefer.

Bugs That Are Unsafe to Eat

The best rule of thumb is to rather be safe, not sorry.

Additionally, remove the stingers before you begin to cook, roast, or boil them. Certain bugs can carry diseases like flies, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Most creatures that are slow-moving and likely out in the open aren’t edible. Most insects that are fuzzy, have a strong odor, or colorful, aren’t edible and can be poisonous. Something else to note, millipedes are not safe to eat, however, centipedes are safe to consume.