Where To Get Bugs

Edible Insect Sources

I am so thrilled that I am already receiving requests on where to buy edible insects. There are several reputable domestic sources for live bugs, which I have listed here, and others may be found on the web. As you can imagine, currently the demand for food-grade insects is somewhat low, which will naturally affect supply. Clearly, by raising demand, supply will soon follow!

It’s usually best to get live insects when you can — think of them like shrimp: the fresher, the better. You can buy canned bugs at some Asian grocery stores, but the difference is like that between freshly seared tuna steak vs canned tuna fish; you may not get the full experience.

Finding live insect farms is really pretty easy. Just type “live crickets” or “live waxworms,” etc., into Google. Once you decide on a farm, if you’d like to take it a step further, call them up and ask what they feed their stock on. If the answer is satisfactory, order away!

Hotlix: The Original Candy That Bugs

www.hotlix.com

Hotlix is an established purveyor of insect candy: lollipops with scorpions, meal worms, or crickets inside; candied ants; and assorted chocolate-covered bugs. They also sell prepared  ‘larvets’ and ‘crickettes’, which are toasted and flavored like potato chips. They are often the supplier for restaurants like Typhoon, which serves bugs on the menu. If you call them up, you can order “food-grade” insects like toasted crickets and preserved scorpions. The great thing about Hotlix is that they are the only place in the US that raises and prepares insects specifically for human consumption.

San Diego Wax Worms

www.sdwaxworms.com

When I called San Diego Wax Worms to ask about their rearing practices, the woman on the phone said that her husband “sometimes eats them raw.” That was a big selling point for me (although I don’t recommend eating bugs raw). They have great customer service, good prices, and their wax worms are always very healthy and tasty.

Fluker Farms

www.flukerfarms.com/

I don’t know what it is about Fluker Farms crickets, but they taste great! Ideally, order 5-week old crickets — larger than that, and their exoskeletons get a little tougher and their flavor slightly more intense.  Smaller than that, and they are, well, pretty tiny. (Ultimately, they’re all fine — you’re just getting the snobbery of a bug-ficionado.) The best deal is to order 1000, and to make some room in your freezer. They arrive live  in a box at your door. Since they’ve had a day or so to purge, you can just put the box directly into your freezer . Once frozen, collect the crickets and rinse them in a mesh strainer (though Julieta Ramos-Elorduy, author of Creepy Crawly Cuisine, doesn’t recommend rinsing them!).

Rainbow Mealworms

http://www.rainbowmealworms.net/

Southern California Compton-based bug farm. When I called, they said they feed their stock primarily on cactus leaves. Good stuff!

Rainbow says they’ll offer my readers 15% off of any purchase they make. The dicount code is GIRLMEETSBUG and the you’ll see the text “15% Discount to Daniella’s Girl Meets Bug Readers.”

Gillian Spence, the general manager, says, “We too are very excited about using insects for food and the positive effect changing protein sources would have on the planet by reducing the amount of meat we eat.”

Hooray!

SmallStock Foods

www.smallstockfoods.com

Dave Gracer has worked in the field of entomophagy for over a decade, and can provide a range of products and services.  SmallStock is currently doing everything it can to expand its inventory of edible insects and related arthropods, and they are ready to ship to you!  Email for pricelist: dave@smallstockfoods.com

World Entomophagy

http://www.worldentomophagy.com/

Your source for organic crickets and mealworms.

Next Millennium Farms

“With 7 years of farming experience, we at Next Millennium Farms are excited to bring you insects, farmed and grown exclusively for you! Check out our store for ingredients, flour, crickets and more!”

www.nextmillenniumfarms.com/

Thailand Unique

www.thailandunique.com

“Unique Specialty Foods, Drinks & Gifts, Edible Insects, Scorpion vodka and more.”

An impressive online store for preserved arthropod species from around the globe. Queen Weaver Ants, Silkworms, Waterbugs, Ant Eggs, Rhino beetles, giant centipede, etc., etc., all at fairly good prices, though they do ship from Thailand.

BugGrub

http://buggrub.com/

“Ready to eat bugs and insects – plain, chocolate, fried, seasoned, protein bars, dehydrated. Edible beetles, bugs, insects, worms, ants and scorpions.”

Much of BugGrub’s stock appears to be sourced from (and thus the same as) Thailand Unique, though BugGrub is based in the U. If you live in Europe, they may be a good bet.

Chapul

http://chapul.com/

“Join the Revolution! Try the first organic energy bar with protein derived from crickets.”

Chapul, based in Utah, USA, was first-to-market with their cricket protein powder-based energy bar. Their bars are currently sold in over 75 stores across the US.  I’ve visited their production center personally, and must admit, I was impressed with both the company and the product.

Insect-powder energy bars may be a good choice for you if you want to try eating insects but don’t want to see them. Chapul grinds them into a fine flour, then sifts it before adding it to the bars, so you won’t find any evidence of the original shape of the insect. No legs stuck in your teeth with Chapul!

www.eatgrub.co.uk

‘UK’s home of edible and cookable insects.’

“We sell a range of premium quality insects, reared specifically for you. Our insects are fed on potatoes, carrots and grain making them safe and tasty for our customers.

Visit our website for tasty recipe ideas, from tempura grasshoppers to coconut and cricket rice cakes. Share your own delicious dishes and win some incr-edible prizes.

Grub also hosts unique events so sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out on the next one!”

For more “exotic” bugs

Ken The Bug Guy

http://www.kenthebugguy.com/

For bigger bugs, check out Ken The Bug Guy. I will say that from experience, I now recommend adopting big bugs over eating them – though I recommend eating them over squashing them!

Ken has a great selection of healthy arachnids. The two I bought from him years ago, a Chilean Rose-haired tarantula and a tailless whip scorpion, are still cherished members of my family today. They make much better pets than goldfish, in my opinion.

89 responses to “Where To Get Bugs

  1. In Kenya we used to eat flying ants and they were very tasty.
    I heard that during the great depression one old farmer used to eat the maggots growing in the meat he kept for them, he used to spread them on toast.

  2. Daniella,

    It was great to meet you last night at Ethel’s and Mark’s house.
    Your website is fabulous! How interesting.
    You make it all sound so delicious and I used to be very afraid of bugs. Thanks for going into such detail so that one can learn just from visiting your site.

    I will spread the word and “bug” my friends to do the same.

    Thanks

  3. What about larva of rhino beetles? They are basically big grubs, and they look edible to me. They remind me of shrimp, and I think if I cut they heads off, they would be great. Some of them can get really big, as I’ve seen them 4-5 inches long in the compost pile.

    • Yes! Good stuff! rinse well, then boil for around 20 minutes (flavored water or not). freeze to store. eat ‘em as-is, or re-cook them any way you think might work. Treat them like shrimp for cooking and storing. IF you cut off the heads, do it after boiling, or you’ll be trying to boil tiny open sacks of guts, which will spill all through your water. Of course, the broth would be quite useable –rice, barley, Ramen water…

  4. Daniella,
    I’m in RI and looking for a US based place to buy non-preflavored, non candied scorpions, crickets and other such edible insects. At first I’d like to try them, with the possible intent to buy wholesale. Do you have any suggestions beyond the very expensive internationally shipped options?
    Thank you!
    Kyle

  5. I’m so excited to start experimenting with entomophagy! And the emperor scorpian looks perfect for dinner parties! I can’t wait to see more of your recipes. Hopefully I can get some friends to try them too, I think that bug protein could become an ideal solution for a number of the problems that come from raising livestock.

  6. thats so scary because im scared of bugs and they look nasty bugs eat nasty things so that unhealthy for us to eat i will never eat bugs ill rather eat ppl then that

    • Daniella Martin

      Hmm. Where did you get the idea the “bugs eat nasty things”? Most insects eat plants, and actually have better diets than a lot of the other animals we eat — better than most humans, in fact. There are some insects whose job it is to break down dead matter, such as organic waste (and thank goodness they exist, otherwise our world would be drowning in dead stuff), but most have specific plant habitats. My favorite bug to eat, waxworms, eat nothing but bran and honey. Crickets are often raised on cactus, fruit, and vegetables. Sounds pretty good to me! And it sure beats things like shellfish, which help filter our oceans’ waste. Yuck.

  7. Keith E Crowley

    This website made my day. You are so adorable with the bugs in your mouth. Surely we can just feed things like crickets on grass and other plant matter humans can’t digest too? Free food! You should do a “grow your own” section, people often grow edible plants by their kitchen window, why not a container where tasty are raised?
    10 out of 10.

  8. Insectes comestibles

    hi, in France there are insectescomestibles.fr.

  9. Anyone know a Canadian source?

  10. Yo, I live in Germany and I would love to try leaf cutter ants or crickets, any suggestions for European shipping websites?

  11. Please tell me a source where I can buy Sago Grub Worms, Rhinocerous Beetle Grubs, Silkworm grubs, Witchetty Grubs, Darkling Beetle Grubs, Tequila Grubs, and so on and so forth?? If you can find organic ones as well, that would be awesome! :))

  12. Some stuff on native N. American edible insects can be found at the Missouri Entomophagy group at Facebook. Look for non-flavored canned insects at some of the bigger Asian food stores/markets. My local (about an hour’s drive) big market carries three kinds of canned insects (giant crickets, bamboo caterpillars, ant pupae) and frozen silkworms. Lots of neat nearly-untapped stuff out there in the wild, too!

  13. I love bugs. I had inclinations to eat them from an early age, yet learned quickly people thought they were gross. Grubs are cool because alive, they look very creepy and crawly, but dead, they look more like tasty meat-pillows.

  14. ate some grasshoppers today. we caught 6 really big ones (2″ long), boiled them, then fried in butter and garlic. I think they might be too old or possibly laid eggs, cause they turned out to be pretty much empty shells, nothing inside. I guess I’ll try again in the spring with young ones.

  15. hey, is there any bug suppliers of any kind in Toronto? Or even Canada in general my internet searches have not proved to be successful. This would be so freaking helpful!! thanks

  16. I am looking for a place to buy food-grade Grasshoppers or possibly information on how to catch/breed my own. I have been able to find all other types of bugs but no grasshoppers. Any ideas?

  17. I am looking for a place to buy food-grade Grasshoppers or possibly information on how to catch/breed my own. I have been able to find all other types of bugs but no grasshoppers. Any ideas?

  18. I’m looking to buy big ass ants from Colombia

  19. Thanks for the info!!! I’ll keep coming to check your posts :-)

  20. in cambodia they eat tarantulas… maybe u could make a tanrantula pancake?
    I sell tarantulas just in frames, but I could send you some to fry up?
    http://www.insectarts.co.uk

  21. do you have to buy them? I have lots of ants n my backyard, I want to know if it is safe to just eat them from outside

    • I’m not to sure about the ants in your yard seeing as I don’t know where you live and what kinds of toxic pollution there may be or what kind of ants they are but I eat from my yard often just remember less is more in the wild edibles world and if in doubt do without

  22. Hey, Mike! Thailand Unique offers up pre-cooked grasshoppers, although you’re probably after live ones. I just placed my second order from Thailand Unique. Got the “grab bag” the first time and was pretty impressed. It’s not necessarily the most economical, but it’s a fun way to try a variety of things.

    I also saw a video on Youtube of a woman (from Laos, I believe) who was starting to farm grasshoppers after raising crickets for years. If you track down that video, it might give you an idea of how to raise them once you get them.

    Anyone who has info to share is welcome to visit the Entomophagy Wiki. I’m trying to accumulate resources for buying, farming, and cooking various species.

  23. Here’s the video I was thinking of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5-avA6xdRY

    The beginning also shows the ginormous net this guy uses to catch grasshoppers and crickets, so that may be useful if you want to catch your own.

  24. I’ve enjoyed crickets, roaches, waxworms, mealworms and other “local” critters but I’d like to expand my range. I’m a little worried about ordering online however. Has anyone ever ordered from these guys? http://www.thailandunique.com/edible-insects-bugs
    They look like they package everything up (nothing sold live), but I don’t see any reviews about them online so I don’t know how reliable they are. Also, I’d love to know of any other places to get some of the more exotic insects! Thanks everyone!

  25. Hey Celeste, I’ve ordered from them twice. Shipping was always fast and accurate, and I got a bonus item each time (bamboo worms the first time, I believe, and silkworm pupae the second time, if I recall correctly.)

    The only downside is that the bugs are dehydrated prior to packaging, and some of them just don’t hold up to the process. Larger grubs tend to dry out too much and become powdery. Giant water bugs were also so-so in a dried state. But I had great luck with the bag of mixed bugs and the scorpions.

    I have video reviews for my latest order on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/BugNomster

    Live and fresh is clearly the better way to go (though animals intended for the pet trade aren’t the most reasonably priced when it comes to human food.) If you want to try something new or exotic, Thailand Unique isn’t a bad way to go. And note that it’s generally illegal to import live specimens, at least without proper licensing. Travelling to the country in questions is probably the only option for trying lots of these things fresh.

    The only other shop I know of that sells the more exotic stuff is edible.com, but it tends to be pretty expensive, they’re almost always out of everything, and I’ve never ordered from them, so I don’t know how reliable they are.

    There is a French site, similar to Thailand Unique, which I don’t recall. If you speak French, it might be worth looking up though. I’m pretty sure they ship internationally. I think they sell each other’s products though, so the French site might not have anything that Thailand Unique doesn’t.

    Anyways. TL;DR. If you want to try something new, go for it. I’ve never had a problem with TU.

  26. I’m lovin’ the community here. Thanks Entomophagy Wiki!

  27. I’m looking for a website where I can buy live insects for human consumption in the EU. If I can buy bulk freeze dried or similar that’s also OK.

    Buying crickets from a pet store, or some locusts, should I breed them and eat the offspring or are they OK to eat right away? I mean, the food given the insects by pet store or pet food breeders might not be the best for humans.

  28. how feasible is it to get a sizable portion of nutrition and calories from insects? i’m living in san francisco and trying to get more authentic foods into my diet, everything retail is pretty tame, and i usually have to mail order for offal like “oysters” and sweetbreads, i want to incorporate insects into my stews and such, but only if i can be sure of the insects’ diet and my ability to buy them in large enough allotments, etc
    how do i know what an insect is supposed to have been fed? what is the insect equivalent to a pastured or grass-finished ruminant animal?

  29. I’m looking for more edible odd animals.

  30. Thank you for some other magnificent post. The place else may anybody get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such information.

  31. Hey, I would love to raise my own bugs for eating. Or catch them myself. Can you put a page on how to raise bugs, and effective ways to catch them.

  32. Does anyone know which cricket is best to eat

  33. I ones that you can get in the pet store. The small lighter colored ones are usually my faverate ones. Offer a few days of them cleaning out their system.

  34. Great page! We have a few reptiles in our home, so I am often researching and purchasing a variety of feeder insects/larva/etc, including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, butterworms, silkworms, and more recently, goliath/tobacco hornworms. Some of my hornworms have already grown too large to feed to my gecko (though I will see if our tegu will eat them!)– this led me to ask… could I eat them myself? And I found myself here! ANYHOW, I was wondering, what are your thoughts on the viability of bugs raised for reptile consumption– appropriate for human consumption as well?

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  36. Great page you have here! I’m a bushcrafter/survivalist in the UK and your page has been great when looking for edible bugs and as a resource when I have been trying to write my own posts about wild foods, i was wondering wether or not you have any information on edible bugs specifically in the UK?

  37. Hi, am also looking for a UK supplier can’t find any info on the net : ( can anyone help? Looking mostly for mid size crickets, can’t afford to fly to Thailand everytime I get a craving lol and the desicated variety you get as novelty food stuff do not come close to a proper pile of deep fried gorgeousness!

  38. Buying insects from reptile feed companies to eat yourself is not very wise. The insects are not raised nor transported in a manner that is safe for human consumption. Only hotlix has an actual permit to sell insects as food. If you find a source other than hotlix please let me know.. I care less about flavored insects I’d much rather buy the original thing.

    • Daniella Martin

      Dantac, let me see if I can get some more info on that for you.

      Meanwhile, Hotlix’ permit is to sell prepared insects as food, not live ones, to my knowledge.

    • Jonathan Blaine

      I believe there is a great deal of edible insects made w/ food quality ingredients, just go out there and do some exploring!

      • Jonathan Blaine

        Also, there is plenty of info on eating bugs, but if you’re looking for kosher stuff, it’s kind of limiting. ;)

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  40. Hi. I’m in Toronto, Canada, and I’m wondering if you have any information at all about where I might be able to find some suppliers around here? I’m very interested in trying some things out, I’m particularly curious to try scorpions and tarantulas.

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  42. Hi i am in thailand. Been learning how to culture some of the many insects that are part of the daily diet here. I have tried a large variety as well.Taste like pop corn lol.

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  46. I am in San Diego and would love to meet enthusiasts near me! Perhaps start a meetup club :)

  47. You memtioned that the Chapul people make their bars out of cricket flour. So I’m wondering if there is any place that sells cricket flour! ;-)

  48. Do you possibly have any information on suppliers in the Washington DC area?

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  50. I am looking forward to ooking with bugs. Thanks for making these companies so easily available. Crunch crunch !

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  52. In Belgium (but i deliver abroad also) you can all buy mealworms, buffalo’s and locusta’s at my webshop. I organise tasting events and share recipes at my website. http://www.minifood.be

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  55. Thank you very much for mentioning us, highly appreciated.

    Derek

  56. The Farmed Insect co. have been growing and sourcing insects world wide for more than 20 years. http://www.thefarmedinsectcompany.com

  57. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I’m trying to find somewhere I can order cricket flour or any other insect based flour.
    Thanks for the help.

    • Daniella Martin

      Ben,

      Next Millennium Farms, on this list, sells cricket flour. One quick way to find this is to hit Ctrl F (for FIND) and then type “flour” into the search bar.

      By the way, WorldEnto.com sells flour, too.

  58. Of all the weird things one can find themselves thinking about at 4 in the morning…and this blog here, boy, this just rocks.

    Your awesome, thanks for the sources.

  59. I’m very pleased to discover this website. I want to to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to see new things in your website.

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  62. Jonathan Blaine

    This is a very good website. I am Jewish and so the only Kosher insect that I know of is the locust but there are many varieties. :)

  63. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Many thanks!
    Where are your contact details though?

    • Daniella Martin

      I’m guessing this is a spam comment, but just in case anyone else wants to know, my contact details are, amazingly, listed under “Contact.”

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