Definitive Guide to Bug Eating for Survival

What would you do if suddenly a major disaster happened and you and your family had to get out of the area fast? You might have thought ahead and have a Bug Out Bag packed and ready to go (more on these later). However, that small supply of food isn’t going to last very long, and then what are you all going to eat?

The majority of survivalists, as well as preppers, adore sharing all kinds of backwoods fishing or hunting hints; however, the truth is hunting for food is hard.

No matter if you can do some hunting and get say a deer, what will you do with all the meat? You’d have to hang it up to dry it, and then you’d have wild animals stalking you, especially if you have to stay at the campsite you’ve staked out to wait out whatever kind of disaster has happened.

Instead, you should save some energy and not even try to hunt. The top survival food in the wilderness is actually bugs!

Eating Insects is totally normal

Do you believe eating insects is disgusting? If so, you’re going against human nature. The ancient humans ate insects for a large part of their daily diet. They also kept eating insects even after they started growing foods and hunting wild animals.

The Romans hundreds of years ago ate beetle larva they raised with wine and flour. The Greeks ate cicadas, according to writings by Aristotle. And it’s even talked about in the Bible that people often ate insects.

In fact, even now, many cultures find it normal to eat insects, such as in Africa and Asia. However, in the US, as well as the majority of Western cultures, it seems eating insects is distasteful.

So, how did we get from eating insects to believing eating them is disgusting? One idea is that when folks started to do more growing of foods, they saw insects as pests because they ate their crops.

The main thing is if you are trying to survive, you had best stop thinking eating insects is disgusting. There’s not a thing wrong with eating insects. Let’s think about this and put it in perspective. You probably eat eggs. And they come out of a chicken’s rear end! But no one seems to think that is disgusting.

What insects can be eaten?

More than 1,400 varieties of insects in North American can be eaten. I don’t think you’ll try to memorize every one of those species, let alone try to identify all of them. Therefore, here’s a few rules to decide if you can eat an insect or not?

First, most insects can be eaten. However, you should stay away from the kind that sting, as well as those that are hairy, are brightly colored, or those that carry disease like flies, ticks or mosquitoes.

Yet, there are several exceptions to those rules. For instance, you can eat bees, even though they sting. In fact, they are thought to be delicious. Plus, hairy tarantulas are considered to be a delicacy when roasted. And if an insect is poisonous, when you cook them, it usually gets rid of the poison. But you shouldn’t have to resort to that. Let’s stick to what we know for sure.

Maine insects you can eat in North America

Here is a list of some of the insects you can eat in North America. But don’t forget that most insects can be eaten, so if necessary, and you are trying to survive, pick up a log and look under it! You can eat what you find. But here is a list:





Centipedes (however you cant eat millipedes!)


Larvae of insects



Ways to capture insects to eat

Insects are everywhere. That’s the reason they are great to use as a survival food source.  All you have to do is pick up a log, and likely there will be some tasty beetles under it. Or, you can dig up some dirt and probably discover other edible bugs.  However, if you desire a suitable meal, you’ll have to capture a lot of insects at the same time. Here are a few ways:

Pitfall Trap

A trap like this can catch insects such as beetles. It’s easy to create. You merely need a cup with a lid, or you could use a can or even a bottle.  Then, dig up a hole the same size as the cup or another container. Put the container inside the hole, making sure the edges are level to the ground.

Then, put a few stones around the outside of the container as these hold the lid up. Place the lid on the top of the stones. Preferably, you should have a gap of around a half-inch to an inch. Then, look into the trap every day and take out the insects you’ve caught.


Place some bait in your trap. For instance, if you have some fruit, it will draw in grasshoppers or crickets.

Place a funnel in the cup so the insects can’t escape. A top from a bottle works well for this.

Harvesting Insects for Food

After you catch several insects, they can be bred fairly simply, and then you’d have a stable food supply. Grasshoppers are a good suggestion as they will breed fast, and they contain a lot of nutrition. Plus, they are straight herbivores, while an insect such as crickets can turn into meat-eaters if they’re not fed foods they prefer.

You merely need a big container to keep your bugs inside. Plus, to breed grasshoppers, you need some sand at the bottom. The sand needs to stay a bit wet, or the grasshopper’s eggs will not hatch.

You should always cook bugs before you consume them. You may have seen someone on TV like Bear Grylls eating live, uncooked beetle’s larvae, but that is dumb. That is likely one of the reasons we think it’s gross to eat bugs. Reality television programs always seem to show these people eating them while alive or raw.

You wouldn’t eat hamburger raw. So consider consuming bugs raw?

Just as raw meat may have parasites or bacteria, so can bugs. If you cook the bugs, it destroys those, and then the bugs are ok to be eaten. And they also taste a lot better cooked as well.

Here are a few examples of ways to cook bugs so you can safely eat them and make them taste better too:

  • For ants, you should roast them.
  • For slugs, cut off the heads, squeeze out the guts and waste materials, and then roast or boil them.
  • For snails, take out of the shell, slit open and take out the guts. Then you can roast or boil them.
  • For grasshoppers or crickets, you can either roast them or even produce flour from them. To make flour, roast until they are totally dry, then crush up the bodies with a mortar. Voila, flour!
  • For caterpillars roast or boil for at least a minute.
  • For Termites, they can be roasted.
  • For Mealworms, you can boil them for a minute as well as cook them by cooking them in oil or butter.

Be sure always to take off the legs and wings, or they could get stuck in your throat and make you choke. Merely twist them, and they come right off. That will make it much easier to eat bugs!

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