The locusts have been going to town laying eggs over the past week, and it’s crunch time. I decided to harvest the adult locusts, starting with the males (the females I’ll keep alive a little longer so they can finish laying eggs).
With a little help from my wife Caley, I managed to corral all twenty-odd males into a large, lidded plastic bowl. This went into the freezer, killing the males within about half an hour. Freezing is touted as the most humane way to kill locusts, as it slows their metabolism and sends them into a forever sleep. I did note that they didn’t look like most dead insects (their legs weren’t crossed in deathly defeat like the two that died early on – from unknown causes – in my experiment).
Hopefully my locusts will soon look like this!
Image shared under creative commons licence from Flickr user Charles Hanes.
Unfortunately I don’t have enough locusts for a meal yet, so I’ll have to be patient. I’ve since transferred the males to a smaller container in the freezer while I wait.
When assessing whether an insect is good to eat, the general survivalist rule is: “Black, green or brown, wolf it down. Red, orange or yellow, forget that fellow.” A brightly-colored insect can afford to be flashy because there is a good chance it is poisonous. An insect that blends in with its surroundings is more likely to be good to eat, since it has to hide. Locusts fit into this category, so I’m hoping they taste good.
Keen to buy your own bugs to eat yet? I’d recommend checking out Thailand Unique – they have many edible bugs for sale and they ship worldwide.
My remaining female locusts are still laying steadily, and I think I’ll give them until the end of the week. Then it’s freezer time, and then finally, it’ll be dinner time. I’ve also got plans to start a meal worm colony while waiting for the next generation of locusts to hatch, so watch this space!