Top Edible Bugs in the US

When your survival is at stake, you need to be prepared to do anything to stay alive. In extreme cases, this could mean eating bugs to survive. Bugs are the most abundant source of protein on the planet.

They are also a great source of other nutrients essential for your survival. They might not taste that good, but you have to eat them if that is the only thing you can catch and eat in the wilderness.

If it makes you feel any better, bugs are part of the menu for several countries in the world. If you have watched any survival shows on TV, you would have seen contestants eat all types of bugs. Certain bugs are considered a delicacy in Asia. However, not all types of bugs can be eaten. Here are some edible bugs found in the United States that can be included in your survival diet.


Most types of grasshoppers are consumable bugs, and they are abundant in most areas of the US. They make for an extraordinarily high protein source. You can discard the legs and head, as that part doesn’t contain much nutrition. Removing the legs helps minimize the chances of consuming parasites.

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Grasshoppers are most easily caught during the morning when to tend to rest. When they are resting, they can be found in dark and damp places. When they are active, they are mostly found on the leaves of plants. Their color might make them difficult to spot, so you’ll have to have a keen eye to spot them on leaves. For nighttime, you will need a good quality spotlight to spot them.


Maggots might not sound delicious, but most types of maggots are safe to eat.  They are an excellent source of fats and protein. Maggots are part of regular food in several places in the world. There is even a Sardinian delicacy called Casu Marzu which is a type of maggot cheese.

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Edible maggots

So if you have to add maggots to your survival diet, you won’t be the only one in the world that would be eating them. If possible, you can try to eat cook the maggots rather than eating the whole raw maggot. This reduces the chances of eating any bacteria or myiasis that have infested the maggot.


Scorpions are on the list of edible bugs. They are most active during the night and can be found in the arid and rugged regions of the US such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and more. Scorpions are commonly eaten in Asian countries and are part of regular street food in China. Some consumers of scorpions even compare the taste to that of a crab.

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The stinger can contain poison, so make sure to take off the stinger before you have your scorpion snack. It is also a good idea to cook the scorpion to reduce the chances of allergic reaction to it. A dead scorpion is not going to sting you, but catching a scorpion might be dangerous.  A pocket knife is a good tool to have in your emergency kit. It can help in catching and preparing the bugs for eating.


There are different types of ants in the US and most of them are edible. Certain types of ants such as fire ants should be avoided for eating purposes. Ants might easier to eat compared to other types of bugs but would need a lot more ants for it to be a significant meal for you.

If you can find the home base of ants, you might have a big meal on your hands. Three and a half ounces of red ants contain 14 grams of protein, which is plenty of nutrition for an emergency survival meal.  You can also collect the ants in a container as an on-the-go meal. You should boil or cook them to neutralize the acid in ants. If you plan on eating them raw, make sure the ants are dead. You don’t want the ants to bite you. Also, raw ants can taste like bitter vinegar, so cooking them will help with the taste.

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Yes, even cockroaches are on the menu when you are in a survivalist situation. Cockroaches can be most commonly found in dark and damp environments. Those who have eaten cockroaches say it tastes like chicken, but we will leave that up to you to decide when you eat one.

edible bugs

It is recommended to fry or boil the cockroach before eating it. As you might have noticed, that a lot of the eatable bugs are going to be better for your body if you boil or fry them. A handy tool to keep in your survival kit is a lighter that is waterproof and robust. Have a look at the Surplus waterproof lighter available on Amazon.


You would be fortunate to land a giant water beetle that can have as much as 20 grams of protein. It also contains a high level of zinc, iron, calcium, and other vitamins. If the crunchy taste of the beetle is not up to your standard, try cooking it more eatable. You can put the beetle on a stick or skewer and roast it over a fire.

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Beetles tend to be more common in areas with hot and humid conditions. Most types of beetles are nocturnal and are attracted to light. It should not be too difficult to catch a beetle as they don’t tend to move fast.

These are just some of the insects that belong to the edible bugs category. Out there in the wild, you might not get a large menu of food items, so be prepared to eat what is necessary to survive. You should avoid bugs that are brightly colored such as yellow, orange, or red, as they tend to be poisonous.

You can use your sense of smell as another indicator of whether to eat or not eat the bug. Anything that has a foul odor should be avoided. Whenever possible, try to cook the bugs. Don’t eat bugs that you have found dead as you can’t be sure how long they have been dead.