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Insects: love or hate?

 
Seth Wetmore
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Name your favorite hated insect here:
Name your most loved insect also here:
My favorite to hate: Mosquito
My most loved: Lady bug
Have fun.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Although not an insect, slugs top my hate list. Those living on the wet Pacific coast must hate slugs or risk expulsion. (:

I love the praying mantis because it's a bug killer that looks ninja cool.
 
Alder Burns
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My all time favorite insects are the fireflies, and I miss them desperately since moving West. This might be totally against the thinking of quite a few permies, but since one of the main prey of the larvae is slugs, I fantasize about introducing them!!
 
Leila Rich
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I'd come closest to hating flies.
I've inherited my mother's rather..allergic..reaction to bluebottles buzzing,.
Also if I have lots of flies around it's a sign something's out of whack with my management-so I can't blame the flies, dammit!
Coolest insect: definitely the weta

We don't have native rodents, and the giant weta has filled that niche, weight and dietwise.
They hang out in rotten wood, so the woodpile is the traditional domestic spot to find them.
While they look pretty hardcore, and some species will give you a good nip, they're basically harmless.
 
Seth Wetmore
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That is one impressive potato bug the KING POTATO BUG! Cool picture.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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When I was a kid, living in Mombasa, Kenya, we had some truly awesome insects. One of my faves were "walking sticks" or "stick bugs". One evening when my parents were having a dinner party, I was called outside to the back patio to observe a walking stick that was about 2 ft long and about 1.5 inches in diameter at the thickest part of it's body. It was slowly unfolding and refolding it's wings (deep purple) as it stalked across the patio. It was probably about 10 inches tall. One of the most incredible bugs I've ever seen.



My favorite bug is the dung beetle (also plentiful in Kenya and everywhere in the world). We would go to game preserves and instead of watching big game animals at watering holes, I'd be off looking for dung beetles kicking their dung balls along. At one point I staged an intervention when a beetle inadvertently kicked it's dung ball onto a thorny branch and couldn't get it loose. I couldn't bear to see it tugging away! I decided then that I had been a dung beetle in a former life.

While flies and mosquitos are TRULY annoying to me, my least favorite insects are those that infect people and cause serious health issues.
 
Seth Wetmore
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That is a neat looking bug. Cool wings. The walking sticks I have seen in North America, were wing less or I did not notice thier wings. Thanks for the photo.
 
Ann Torrence
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I'm trying to find a reason to appreciate earwigs. I have failed for four summers in a row. Even the hens won't eat them.
 
Abe Connally
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Leila Rich wrote: I'd come closest to hating flies.
I've inherited my mother's rather..allergic..reaction to bluebottles buzzing,.
Also if I have lots of flies around it's a sign something's out of whack with my management-so I can't blame the flies, dammit!
Coolest insect: definitely the weta

We don't have native rodents, and the giant weta has filled that niche, weight and dietwise.
They hang out in rotten wood, so the woodpile is the traditional domestic spot to find them.
While they look pretty hardcore, and some species will give you a good nip, they're basically harmless.

wow, that thing needs to be domesticated and improved for food production!
 
Seth Wetmore
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How would you declaw/despike the thing? Definatly not anything like plucking a chicken. Yow momma. what if it decide to chase you around the house. Yikes.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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In grad school (1990s) at University of WI - Madison, I worked in the Entomology Dept. for awhile and used to help one of the professors edit the "Food Insects Newsletter" (now online). He had folks from all over the world bring in new "treats" to conferences. I wouldn't be surprised if that guy above has been eaten much like a large cricket. I have to say that "pupae puffs" have a similar consistency to Cheetos and come in a variety of flavors (including cheddar).
 
Seth Wetmore
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Jennifer that is cool.
I myself am not a big fan of insects as a meal.
I am impressed you found them paletable. People interest me in all there concepts and actions. Good stuff.
 
Abe Connally
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Seth Wetmore wrote:How would you declaw/despike the thing? Definatly not anything like plucking a chicken. Yow momma. what if it decide to chase you around the house. Yikes.


We eat grasshoppers at least once a year. You pick out the legs after boiling them. They turn red like lobster. With a bit of garlic and lime, they're decent. I could easily see us eating a big cricket like that.

But, more importantly, poultry, fish, and pigs would love them, too. If they could convert orchard prunings to high protein pig food, I'm all for it.

In the end, eggs and bacon taste better than crickets. Still, developing a big insect that can convert low quality material into protein would be a worthwhile venture.
 
Matu Collins
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Ah, this is a tough one!

Hate is not a word I use for myself, I am (in one of my guises) a preschool teacher and we try to model nice words. In a global sense I love all living creatures, but in a specific on-my-property kind of way, it's a tie between those yellowjacket wasps that nest in anything the sun hits in the summer (I'm allergic) and the deer ticks (there's Lyme disease, erlichiosis and babesiosis, yikes) that are least welcome. I guess ticks are arachnids, so they're not qualified to win an insect contest. The wasps it is. For that time this summer that they sent me to the hospital when I'd much prefer to be doing other things. Hey, at least I didn't die, right?

How do I pick my favorite? Praying mantis is my first thought, but what about butterflies? And hummingbird moth? I loooove syrphid flies. And any bee that doesn't sting me. Drain flies are the cutest insect. Ant lions?

I guess giant water bug has to win. They eat frogs and sometimes even hummingbirds. Imagine a bug eating amphibians and birds! Every year they appear in our pool cover in the spring. If you're good with a net you can probably get one from the pond
giant_water_bug_bolivia_kev_2.jpeg
[Thumbnail for giant_water_bug_bolivia_kev_2.jpeg]
this one is not from my pool cover but you get the idea.
 
Leila Rich
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Seth Wetmore wrote:How would you declaw/despike the thing? Definatly not anything like plucking a chicken. Yow momma. what if it decide to chase you around the house. Yikes.

My mum was bitten by a much more 'crickety' looking jumping species.
She was about 9 months pregnant and couldn't see what on earth it was as her belly was blocking the view!
Jennifer Wadsworth wrote: I wouldn't be surprised if that guy above has been eaten much like a large cricket

Abe Connally wrote: I could easily see us eating a big cricket like that

You lot keep your beady eyes off our national insect!
They're pretty rare (no, not as in "how would you like your weta, sir?) and totally protected.
Aside from all that business, I imagine they'd be a unpleasant eating experience.
Whereas grasshoppers are nice and 'dry', with a thin carapace, giant weta armour is as tough as it looks
and they have a rather hefty, juicy abdomen...
 
fiona smith
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Although not an insect, slugs top my hate list. Those living on the wet Pacific coast must hate slugs or risk expulsion. (:



Oh Yes!

Shall we eat them? I dares you. You first! If you do it and post a pic of it I will.
 
Seth Wetmore
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Try banana slugs
 
Abe Connally
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Leila Rich wrote:
You lot keep your beady eyes off our national insect!
They're pretty rare (no, not as in "how would you like your weta, sir?) and totally protected.
Aside from all that business, I imagine they'd be a unpleasant eating experience.
Whereas grasshoppers are nice and 'dry', with a thin carapace, giant weta armour is as tough as it looks
and they have a rather hefty, juicy abdomen...


We should breed a few to try it out. It may be that their size and their natural food selection make them an excellent animal to raise for a small homestead.
 
fiona smith
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Seth Wetmore wrote:Try banana slugs




They are not slugs anymore! just little landprawns!. repeat, LANDPRAWNS!


My mouth is watering as I type!.
 
Seth Wetmore
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Banana slug are a fun suprise.
 
fiona smith
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Ann Torrence wrote:I'm trying to find a reason to appreciate earwigs. I have failed for four summers in a row. Even the hens won't eat them.


How about cooking them...(sorry, I'm having a huge ewww moment today!, I'm fasting for ten days and therefor everything is edible!)

11. Eating Earwigs

Earwigs are edible and tasty too. Prepare them the same as termites or sowbugs. A couple of tactics for gathering them come from gardeners who disdain these little fellas.

Fill low-sided cans with a half inch of vegetable oil (or other liquid, food-grade oil) and place them on the ground. Earwigs will find their way in and drown. Or, alternatively, a beer bottle with a bit of stale beer left in it will attract earwigs. Strain, toast and serve.

All these species are just the tip of the iceberg in this field. So many insects are edible (cockroaches, many beetles, moth larvae, wasps, bees, scorpions and spiders — with their venom glands or stingers removed) — that to cover them sufficiently would be a book unto itself. As we connect more deeply to the land, and as we come to depend on it more directly for our subsistence and survival, seeing these little ones as food may help us immensely.



Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/edible-insects-zebz1305znsp.aspx#ixzz2mzXLnNKg
 
Abe Connally
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We had an explosion of grasshoppers this year, and we ate some of them, but also, we caught pounds and pounds of them. We put them in containers and froze them. Now, during the winter, when there are not too many bugs around, the grasshoppers are a welcome treat for the poultry.

I would love to figure out how to incorporate an insect into our food web. We have earthworms and sometimes BSFL (black soldier fly larvae), and they are excellent pig and poultry feed. But the idea of a giant cricket that could eat animal bedding and convert it into protein sounds too good to be true!
 
Matu Collins
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Abe, how did you go about catching pounds and pounds of grasshoppers?
 
Abe Connally
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Matu Collins wrote:Abe, how did you go about catching pounds and pounds of grasshoppers?

We wait until the late evening, and the grasshoppers roost in trees, and then we collect them by hand off the trees. At that time of the day, they don't move much and it is fairly easy to collect a lot.
 
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