What Do Locusts Eat?


What Do Locusts Eat?

The Acrididae family of short-horned grasshoppers includes the species known as locusts. Due of their way of existence, these insects can frequently be detrimental to an economy. They can be alone at times in their lives and won’t bother others too much. However, other times they go into a swarming phase and can wreck havoc on the agricultural industry.

A massive swarm or plague of locusts is quite unstoppable at this time and can quickly destroy hectares of agricultural crops. Pesticides are typically used by farmers to keep up with demand. Unfortunately, the pesticides used to protect crops are often not good for the environment and can harm a variety of insect and animal species.

What Do Locusts Eat?

What Do Locusts Eat?

Different locust species do have preferred food types. While some species primarily eat soft greens, others may also eat dry plant material.

Here is a brief overview of the foods that these insects adore to eat:


These insects will eat the leaves of almost any grass they come across. Although they do choose the leaves of agricultural crops over those of grass, if these crops are not accessible, they will still consume grass. Any variety of grass, including beachgrass, cordgrass, gamagrass, buffalo grass, bristle grass, and many more, can be consumed by these animals. If they cannot find fresh, soft, green grass to eat, certain grasshopper species may even eat dried grass species.


Because these grasshoppers can consume such a wide range of crop kinds, locusts constitute a significant threat to the agricultural industry. The leaves of many different plants, including corn, wheat, potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, tomatoes, spinach, herbs, and many more, will be consumed by them. These insects will try to eat any kind of crop.

Vegetables and fruits

Locusts may choose to eat some of the fruits and vegetables that these plants produce in addition to their leaves. They will eat anything soft that they can get their fangs into, including carrots, apples, green beans, peas, pumpkin, and apples.

Natural foliage

The natural foliage might also suffer greatly at the hands of these insects. They represent a serious threat to other natural landscapes with plants including brushes, shrubs, vines, trees, sprouts, and many other kinds of plants in addition to eating nearly any kind of grass.


Most locusts obtain all of the water they require from the plants they consume. These insects will require access to freshwater if they are fed only dry diets. In the absence of water sources, locusts could turn cannibalistic and start eating one another.

Diet Variations

Almost no plant is safe from these insects’ ravaging. One of their main dietary changes is that they eat more when they are swarming. If they grow dehydrated, they will also decide to commit cannibalism. They will also consume grass, a variety of vegetables, and wild plants.

How to Feed Locusts

How to Feed Locusts

What do Baby Locusts Eat?

Nymphs are the name for young locusts. They resemble grasshoppers but lack wings at this time. Nymphs and adult locusts both consume the same fundamental nutrients. Since they require a lot of moisture to grow, they prefer softer, greener grass and steer clear of dried meals. Before becoming locusts with wings, cockroaches spend 4 to 8 weeks in the grasshopper stage without wings.

How Much Do Locusts Eat?

Given their size, locusts do consume a lot of food. As much as 160,000 tons of food can be consumed each day by a huge swarm of locusts. For instance, this enormous quantity of corn may provide food for up to 800,000 people for a whole year.

How Often Do Locusts Eat?

Locusts will consume significantly more food at certain phases of their lives than at others. These ravenous insects can eat continually all day long when they are in the swarming phase. They must constantly eat in order to stay hydrated because their wastes are 85% water.

Can Humans Eat Locusts?

Like worms, locusts are a staple meal for people in many different nations. These insects can be prepared in a variety of ways and are high in protein. In markets, locusts are especially well-liked when business is brisk.

People are frequently urged to eat these insects as a natural solution to lessen the negative economic effects that they may have.

It’s important to be cautious when eating locusts to avoid consuming pesticide-poisoned insects. Additionally, it’s critical to properly prepare these foods to avoid ingesting bacteria that could cause illness.

Here are the best ways to cook locusts so they may be consumed quickly:


These cockroaches are roastable. You must first take the legs and wings off your insects before salting them. The insects can now be roasted for 12 minutes at 170 degrees C, or until they are crisp and grey. The finest way to eat roasted locusts is with a tasty sauce.


Stir-frying these insects is one of the simplest ways to prepare them for consumption. Before the water is emptied, these insects are first given a 1-minute boil. After removing the legs, they are stir-fried for 10 minutes. These insects are frequently served after being chilled after spending two hours being shimmered in soy sauce.


Also, locusts can be smoked. Before boiling your locusts for 10 minutes, you need first remove the legs and wings. Then you can put them in a smoking machine and let them smoke for the advised amount of time. You can eat these locusts alone or in combination with other foods, along with salt and spices.


Drying these insects is another option. Your locusts don’t have to be gutted, but if you choose not to, careful drying is crucial. These insects should be dried out in the sun or a low oven before being kept in cardboard boxes.

Before deciding to eat these insects as food, it is crucial to learn about the many types of locust. There are poisons and venom in some of these insect species that can be dangerous to you. Only concentrate on edible species of locust.


Are locust harmful to humans?

They have been known to induce symptoms ranging from gastrointestinal distress to nervous system diseases and are harmful to both livestock and people. Any black locust exposure needs to be taken seriously, and assistance from a professional should be sought.

What are the negative effects of locusts swarms?

One of the most unsettling consequences of locust swarmsThe Rocky Mountain locusts invaded the Great Plains in the United States and Canada, causing the Locust Plague of 1874, also known as the Grasshopper Plague. About 2,000,000 square miles (5,200,000 km2) in size, the locust armies left a path of destruction costing millions of dollars. Locust Plague of 1874 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki According to Wikipedia, the Locust Plague of 1874 was caused by their devouring of greenery, particularly crops in rural and agricultural areas. A swarm of locusts that occupies a space of one square kilometer may eat more food in a day than 35,000 people could in the same amount of time.

What do locusts turn into?

Locusts don’t go through a full metamorphosis like other insects like butterflies and houseflies. Although they resemble grasshoppers in appearance, they are distinct due to their swarming activity in environments that support greenery. There is no pupal stage for locusts; they just go through the egg, nymph, and adult stages.

Why are locusts harmful?

The ferocious eating of trees, other vegetation, and agricultural crops by locust swarms is well-known. In fact, this feeding may wreak havoc on the grasses and crops that are raised for humans and livestock, leading to famine and starvation in communities that depend on their crops for livelihood.

What harm do locusts cause?

the swarms of locustsThe Rocky Mountain locusts invaded the Great Plains in the United States and Canada, causing the Locust Plague of 1874, also known as the Grasshopper Plague. About 2,000,000 square miles (5,200,000 km2) in size, the locust armies left a path of destruction costing millions of dollars. Locust Plague of 1874 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki Wikipedia: Locust Plague of 1874 destroy agriculture and create severe crop loss, which can result in hunger and starvation. Although locusts can be found all over the world, they currently do the most damage in Africa’s regions that practice subsistence farming.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author