Eating For Survival: Here are 9 Bugs That Are Fit For Consumption

  • ***Warning: There are many bugs on this list that shouldn’t be eaten raw. Why? Because there’s always a risk that the bug is carrying a parasite. A parasitic infection in a survival situation can be a death sentence. If you have the ability to make a fire and cook them, do so. For bugs like ants or termites, this generally doesn’t apply, just keep this in mind when catching edible bugs in the wild.

    #9: Agave Worms

    Edible BugsAka “Maguey Worms”, these larvae are perfectly safe to consume. They're infamous for swimming at the bottom of Tequila bottles and while they’re not particularly common in the United States, these bugs are very popular in Mexico.



    #8: Ants

    Edible BugsThere are many varieties of ants that can be eaten. These include lemon ants, honeypot ants, leaf-cutter ants, and carpenter ants. Honeypot Ants have swollen abdomens and are a quality food source. You can dig them up from the ground and eat them raw. Leafcutter ants are located mainly in South America and taste like a mix of pistachio and bacon. Lemon ants are found in the Amazon Jungle, and taste like…lemons!


    #7: Bee Larvae

    Edible BugsBee larvae is a common food choice in many cultures. Think about it- bee larvae eat honey, pollen, and royal jelly, all of which are very tasty. They’re usually eaten roasted. When sautéed in butter, they taste like a mix of bacon and mushrooms. With that said, you won’t have this luxury while in the wild. These edible bugs will probably be hard to come by, but still, keep them in mind.


    #6: Cicada

    Edible BugsFound mainly in the Eastern United States, cicadas are known for their soft, juicy bodies. They live underground for a whopping 17 years before emerging as adults. Although I’ve never had one, I’ve been told that they’re very delicious. Different species of these edible bugs can also be found in Asian countries like Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand. They don’t look very appetizing, but they’re safe to eat, so keep an eye out when in the wild.


    #5: Cockroach

    Edible BugsBelieve it or not, you can eat these!  Contrary to what you may believe, these edible bugs can actually be very clean and tasty. This is especially true if they’ve fed mostly on fruits and vegetables. If you find one in a survival situation, know that it’s safe to eat.



    #4: Grasshoppers and Crickets

    Edible BugsThese crunchy bugs are relatively easy to find and are highly nutritious. When you consider the other bugs on this list, they don’t seem like that bad of an alternative. The easiest time to catch grasshoppers is in the early morning. The same applies to crickets. These edible bugs are fast, so you’ll need to be fast. Look for crickets in areas that are dark and damp- under logs, rocks, etc. Also, check in trees, shrubs, and tall grasses.


    #3: Termites

    Edible BugsTermites are an excellent source of protein, and since they spend most of their time inside wood, you’re not as likely to catch a parasite by eating them. The reason I like these edible bugs is that they’re super-easy to catch. Just break open a semi-rotted log and shake them out quickly. As soon as termites see light, they’ll attempt to bury themselves deeper in the wood, making them harder to catch.


    #2: Earthworms

    Edible BugsOf all the edible bugs on this list, earthworms are by far the easiest to catch. Pretty much everyone has seen an earthworm at some point in their life, although, few have probably eaten them. Dig around damp soil and you’ll almost certainly find them. Be sure to flip over some rocks and check there as well. In an emergency, they can be eaten raw. But to decrease your chances of a parasitic infection, cook them over a fire.


    #1: Stinkbugs

    Edible BugsBelieve it or not, you can eat stinkbugs. In Mexico, they’re a delicacy (there’s even an annual festival to celebrate them). During the winter, you can likely find a stinkbug underneath logs, rocks, and other types of wilderness cover. Sometimes they’ll be in plain sight on the ground. Some people like to eat them raw, which is a little disgusting in my opinion. They have an “iodine” taste, which can be lessened if you cook them.


    So if you haven't lost your appetite by now check out this video of Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild eating giant larvae (I’m warning you now, it’s pretty gross):





    1. Trent Holmes said:

      Tear the back legs off or they will get stuck in your teeth. Also, this grasshopper has not been properly gutted.

    2. Ed Perry said:

      They are great dipped in carmel or cholate or chalola

    3. Mike Leidy said:

      Don’t eat a grasshopper raw head and all .If you cant cook them pop the head off and the nasty bacteria filled innards should come out with the head.

    4. Joshua Blackstone said:

      Beans and rice look like the promised land compared to bug eating , yuck and if they aren’t cooked correctly a person could experience a parasitic infection!:0…..

    5. Joseph Matson said:

      You can kill parasites without cooking them if you let them sit in salt for awhile.

    6. Joseph Matson said:

      If you let the grasshopper sit in some salt for a couple days that normally kills all the parasites so you can eat them raw.