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Beneficial/Feeder Insects

There are many wonderful ways to put insects to good use. Some people even eat them! Actually, you have eaten a few without knowing it: The FDA allows for a small percentage of "insect inclusion" in most foods. Yum! More protein!.

You may have heard of chocolate covered ants, crickets or meal worms and thought that was only in France or some other "crazy" place, but you can buy insect candies right here in the USA!

If you don't want to eat them, keep in mind that a lot of animals are insectavores, and will thank you kindly for a bug today.

June Bug Grub

Actually the larval form of the Green Fruit Beetle, Fig Eater Beetle, or Cotinus Mutabilis

Despite the suspiciously similar appearance to the killer "graboids" from the movie Tremors, this grub is just a grub, in this case the larval form of the Green Fruit Beetle (Cotinus mutabilis). Any observant insect watcher in Southern California, Arizona or Mexico has surely seen these enormous metalic green scarabs which take flight in August and September, buzzing noisily and circling clumsily in their search for fruit, namely figs, peaches, apricots, nectarines, grapes and cactus fruit which is the wild host plant. Originally native to Arizona and New Mexico, the beetle has moved west and is now relatively common in the Los Angeles Basin. Eggs are laid in compost piles, and the grubs, which can reach 2 inches in length, are sometimes called "crawly-backs" because of their method of locomotion, which involves undulating the body and pushing against the substratum with short stout bristles on the back of the thorax. The grubs feed on decaying vegetation, and are beneficial to the compost pile. Oh, and chickens think they are better than sex. +


The Fig Eater is pretty (although loud and clumsy) but are considered damaging to their host plants which are actually more ofthen peaches. What is not realized is that they feed on rotting or open fruit and are attracted to them by the gas emitted by the fruit. If you simply pick up the fruit and move it into the chicken run... +

Their normal food is prickly pear fruit. They can readily eat overripe or bird-damaged figs, peaches, and grapes, but thier weak mouthparts are ineffective in ripping open most other plant material. Native plants, including plant pollen and cactus fruit, are rarely damaged initially by the beetles; they usually are found taking advantage of damage done by other insects. Complete guide to breeding Scarab Beetles.+



Crickets are belificial? Well, they make great pet food. <GRIN>

The female cricket has three long extrusions on her back and fully developed wings. The male cricket has two extrusions. In the female, the extrusion is called the ovipositor. This is the sexual organ of the female cricket and is what is used to lay eggs. The female will stick the ovipositor into the soil and lay eggs. The ovipositor will deposit the eggs beneath the surface of the soil or bedding material.

Each female will lay about 100 eggs in her lifetime, and she will lay about 5-10 per day until 100 is reached. They sometimes lay more or less, but you can bet on approximately 100. If you want to have 1000 crickets, you will have to start with at least 10 female crickets and 10 male crickets. You will also have to provide space for 1000 crickets. One thousand crickets take up a great deal more space than 20 crickets, so you have to plan ahead. A 20-gallon Rubbermaid container, a 20-gallon fish tank, or a garbage can will easily hold 1000 crickets.

What a Cricket wants...


You have LOST IT! How can roaches be benificial? Again, they remove waste and provide a ready food source for Chickens and other insectavores.

What a Roach wants...

When using them as food, catch them first and place in a container that can be put in a cool place, even in the fridge. Another way of slowing them down, whilst still offering ‘live’ food to your animals is by decapitation. Simply, with a pair of scissors, cut off the heads before you offer them to your animals. They will still have movement for a short amount of time and this also eliminates the possibility of escapees or hiding from the predators.

See also:


Huh? Yep, maggots are very usefull little guys. One version or another can be found to eat just about anything.

Black soldier fly maggots will consume chicken poop at an amazing rate and Craig Sheppard, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has even found a way to get them to crawl out of the manure, up a ramp and into a collection trough when they are about to turn into flys. The collected, well fed little guys are 42 % protein and 35 % fat; great food for many livestock. And even the ones that "get away" are no trouble because it’s harmless to humans.

Cleaner maggots are being used in the UK to remove the dead flesh from badly infected wounds in human beings. Maggots don't eat livin flesh, and as long as they are cleaned out when the dead flesh has been consumed, they will not do any damage to the host at all. These "fly" surgions are much more skilled than their human counterparts (smaller scalpel?) and do an excellent and complete job. In one case, a massive infection was being cleaned out by the maggots as fast as the tissue died. When the injured reached hospital, the maggots were removed, the wound became septic and the patient died of blood poisoning. Maggot patients say they feel no movement and are willing to host the little guys as long as they can keep from thinking about it!

See also:

Non-toxic bug traps +

Earthworms +

Regulation of Temperature in a Confined Space. +

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