If you've been on the internet in the last few weeks you've probably heard about the cicada-pocolips that is set to drown the US in giant, gross bugs.

Yes, two massive broods of cicadas will be born this spring. They will leave their shells around and fill the air with their buzz.

RELATED: Billions of Cicadas Arrive Any Day Now in an Event Not Heard or Seen in 200 Years

Growing up in western Nebraska we called them locusts. Which confused me a lot when people would call grasshoppers locusts. Especially when talking about the Dust Bowl. Officially they are cicadas, but either way, they are still gross.

How To Eat Cicadas
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Prepare For The 'Cicada Invasion' Coming To The US

Cicadas are insects that can be like an inch long with big wings and weird legs. They don't bite people or cause sickness, but they can eat up the vegetation in an area pretty quickly if they want. Their lifecycle is such that all the young born in one year live underground for 13 or 17 years and then emerge.

It's a rare event for so many cicadas to emerge at one time, but that's what's going on this year.

So, since we have all these bugs that'll be hanging around this summer, why don't we do something productive with them?

How To Eat Cicadas

Humans have always eaten insects. In some places, it's a regular part of the local diet. Other places are a bit resistant to it.

Scientists say that insects are a good source of protein. And hey, there are billions of them and they come back year after year.

TIP: Cicadas are the tastiest without their shell.

It's simple to prep the bugs. First, go get some. They'll be in the trees, follow their singing. When you have a whole bag of the gross wiggly monsters, get them out of their shells then blanch them in boiling water and they are ready for cooking.

The most basic way to prepare cicadas is to sauté them in some oil and season. They apparently have a nutty flavor and a crunchy mouth feel. I just dry-heaved writing that.

The cookbook Cicada-Licious: Cooking and Enjoying Periodical Cicadas has some recipes too.

The Telegraph via YouTube
The Telegraph via YouTube

Wow your dinner-party guests with some Cicada Stur Fry:


  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3/4 cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped cauliflower and/or broccoli
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 3/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 3/4 cup snow peas
  • 40 blanched newly hatched (teneral) cicadas\

Then in a wok, you heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and then add ingredients in the order listed. Serve it with rice and all the soy sauce in the world. OK, maybe that's just for mine.


Thankfully, there is a recipe for chocolate-covered cicadas.

All you need is eight squares of good-quality semi-sweet chocolate and 30 cicadas.

You gotta roast the cicadas for 15 minutes at 225F. Then melt the chocolate and dip the insects in the chocolate and let harden. What a perfect way to make the entire neighborhood hate you this Halloween.


If you want to ruin some perfectly good tacos, there's a recipe for cicada tacos. Basically, you just replace the hamburger with chopped-up cicadas.

Well, at least they wouldn't look like bugs if they're chopped up. But still.

Photos of a Cicada Breaking Free from Its Shell

The Brood X cicadas are emerging after seventeen years and they're shedding their larva shells all over the tristate. Here's what it looks like as they do it!

Gallery Credit: Chadwick J Benefield

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