Are Termites Edible?

Can you eat termites?

Nature is full of surprises, and for us North Carolinians, we’re not accustomed to eating bugs on a regular basis. But surprisingly enough, there are several bugs that are totally edible and safe to consume. Termites happen to be one of them!

Now comes the even weirder question… How do people eat them? If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to chow down on what many around the world consider a tasty snack, we have some details here.


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What Cultures Eat Termites?

Termites are eaten around the world, including in Africa, Asia, and South America. Usually, these insects are eaten to increase protein and fat consumption in rural areas or areas that experience higher rates of malnutrition. This is because they are high in amino acids and can be found somewhat easily. In addition to the people eating termites in these areas, the insects are also used to feed livestock due to their nutritious content.

Aren’t Termites Dangerous to Eat?

Actually, no. Termites can bite or sting, but they do not carry diseases that are harmful to humans and won’t hurt you if cooked properly. So if that’s what you want to snack on, chow down!


Eastern subterranean termite


How Do People Cook Termites?


Most commonly, termites are cooked in a pan, but they can also be fried or eaten raw. Due to their high oil content, they are nutty in flavor once cooked. But how do people catch termites to begin with? The process is simple. Termites can be collected by placing netting around a light, which will attract the insect, or they can be scooped up during the rainy season as they come out of their nests to eat wood and explore.

What Other Insects are Edible?

There are several bugs that are edible and are eaten regularly around the world. Some of the most common ones include ants, stink bugs (weird, we know), wasp larvae, cicadas, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and crickets. While not insects, scorpions and tarantulas are also served up in dishes around the world, including in Vietnam, China, Venezuela, and Cambodia.


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Do People Eat Insects in America?

It is not as common to eat crawly things in the United States as it is in other areas of the world. However, you can find insects being snacked on if you look hard enough! Things like cricket flour can be found in your local health food store or ordered online. In addition, several restaurants throughout the country are serving grasshoppers and crickets on their menus as a delicacy.

Got a Termite Problem? Call Clegg’s!

If you think you might have a termite problem and don’t want to solve it by eating the little guys, you can come to us for help! As your local pest control heroes, our team is highly trained in the latest and safest techniques to keep your home or business safe and protected against termites or other insects. Call us at 888-MRCLEGG and take advantage of our FREE inspection today!