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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


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Crickets can be found in shallow burrows beneath stone or dirt or in tufts of plant material. They are more active at night when the males can be heard calling to attract females for breeding. While most varieties are found in forests and grasslands, crickets can also be found in marshes and seashores as well as caves and trees.

You can use the sound of a cricket as a thermometer. If you are in a temperate area that is not hotter than 100º F or cooler than 55º F, then you can tell the temperature by counting the number of cricket chirps you hear in 15 seconds. Add 40 to the number of chirps you hear. The result is the temperature in Fahrenheit. If you wish to know the temperature in Celsius, determine the number of chirps you hear in 25 seconds, divide that number by 3 and then add 4.

Crickets can be used as live bait to secure a satisfying meal of fresh fish. Cricket fishing is most effective in small lakes and within 15 feet of shore.

Once you’ve located a cricket and secured your hook to the fishing line, bait your hook with the live cricket. Hold the cricket firmly between your thumb and fingers while you insert the hook held in your other hand. Some instruct that the barb of the hook should be inserted into the thorax behind the cricket’s head, pressed through the length of the cricket's body and exited via the rear end just under the tail. However, experienced cricket-bait fishermen tell me that they prefer to insert the barb into the rear, just under the tail and thread it through the length of the body, exiting through the thorax, near the head. This method keeps fish from sucking the cricket off of the hook, robbing you of your meal AND your bait.

If you locate an empty can, it can be converted into a makeshift reel. Toss your baited hook into the water, making sure to keep a firm hold on the free end of the line. Reel in your line by wrapping it around the can. Repeat until you have your fish.

Compared to cattle raised for food, a cricket can reproduce nearly 20 times faster. Within 3 to 4 weeks, a female can lay over a thousand eggs. Crickets can thrive using a fraction of the space and food required to produce an equivalent amount of consumable meat from other livestock. When compared to meat production by chickens and pigs, crickets were twice as efficient. They are able to provide meat at four times the rate of sheep, and six times the rate of cattle when allowances are made for carcass trim and dressing.

Crickets as a food source can offer a significant source of many nutrients and protein. Nutritionally, 100 grams of cricket meat is 21% protein, 6% fat and 3% carbohydrates along with 21 mg of calcium. Per gram of dry weight, cricket meat provides 63 to 122 mg of fatty acid which includes linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid as well as copper, iron and magnesium. This is produced while they consume table scraps.

The Paiute people used to harvest crickets by digging a series of large trenches. These were covered with dry straw. Large numbers of crickets would be herded into the trenches. The straw was then set aflame, roasting the crickets alive. The women would then gather bushels of the cooked bugs and take them home to grind into protein-rich flour for bread.

One way to ensure a ready supply of crickets that have not been exposed to chemical sprays is to raise your own. Keep them in an aquarium with a couple of inches of soil on the bottom. Place egg cartons inside for roosts. Moistened cotton balls will provide them with water. Leave grated bits of vegetable and grain scraps for them to eat, making sure they have a ready supply of fresh foods. Every few days, mist the soil lightly. Make sure the lid is tight-fitting and secure as crickets are known for their ability to escape their confines and will attempt to do so whenever the lid is opened.

Take the desired quantity live crickets and place them into a colander or other container with drain holes. Cover the container quickly with a piece of wire screening or cheesecloth to keep the insects from escaping. Rinse them thoroughly by running water over them. Dry them by shaking the colander until the water no longer drips. Place the crickets in a sealed container and place this in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will be long enough to kill them, but not long enough to freeze them. Remove them from the freezer and rinse them again. Cricket's heads, hind legs, and wing cases can be removed according to personal preference. The legs will tend to get stuck in the teeth and could be painful to swallow. The crickets can then be eaten raw, roasted, or dehydrated to be incorporated into your favorite recipes.

Whatever your method, care should be taken when harvesting crickets for food. Don’t collect insects near residential areas as they may have been contaminated by herbicides or insecticides.

Below Ray Mears demonstrates using a can as a fishing reel.
It's towards the end of this short video:

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a perpetual student of things I find interesting and (I hope) helpful to others. Feel free to use and apply all information with a healthy dose of common sense. :-)

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