Eating live cockroaches is a bad idea

Soon to be dinner?: Madagascar hissing cockroachCourtesy scragz
Soon to be dinner?: Madagascar hissing cockroach
Courtesy scragz

Okay, file this one under, "stupid human tricks."

CNN is reporting that the Six Flags near Chicago is going to let people cut in line during their Halloween event if they eat a LIVE Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa). While park officials insist its safe the local health officials think differently:

Consuming live roaches might increase risks of gastrointestinal illness and allergies, according to Bill Mays, Lake County Health Department's community health director.

These little bugs are near and dear to many museums and schools. We have a fairly large colony here at the museum in one of our classrooms, I saw a bunch behind the scenes at the Boston Museum of Science just last week, and I know a couple teachers here in town who keep them in their classrooms. Sure would be sad to see a bunch of Six Flags Halloween partygoers hopped up on Mountain Dew eating these fine bugs just to cut the lines. Alas, I doubt a "Save the Roaches" campaign would have much traction either.

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (19 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Insects in hand. While hunting for a picture for this story I ran across this great group of photos.

posted on Sun, 09/24/2006 - 3:15pm
fortunateye's picture
fortunateye says:

you guys are funny. I eat insects all the time. Hissers don't taste like anything unless you chew the abdomen, then they taste terrible. I haven't tried cooking them but I have eaten many raw ones.
Anyway, I don't reccomend them for pleasure eating, termites are my fav. for that, but if you want a new bar trick, give them a try.
Anyone interested should check out this video of the first time I ate one.

See video

(if that doesn't work you can just search "not like chicken" on youtube)

**LIZA SAYS: The video linked to in this post contains strong language and images of people consuming Madagascar hissing cockroaches. It may not be suitable for some viewers.

posted on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 8:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Wow a disclaimer for eating bugs...some people have such thin skin, and those are the people that should watch this video.

How ironic that the one thing to be sickened by in a discussion about eating bugs, is the existence of said disclaimer.

posted on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 5:03pm
Hungry in Huntington Beach, CA's picture
Hungry in Huntington Beach, CA says:

I eat insects and am always looking for new species and most importantly for "clean" ones (i.e., insects that are fed pesticide free or even better organic foods). Any sources come to mind from which I might buy some?

posted on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 3:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in chicago and im going to do it! Its a stupid bug get over it!

posted on Mon, 10/02/2006 - 3:40pm
barbara's picture
barbara says:

id belive u:> i hate roaches

posted on Tue, 10/31/2006 - 8:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why???????????are you crazy

posted on Wed, 01/31/2007 - 6:36pm
Barbara Muench's picture
Barbara Muench says:

I think that I wouldn't ever eat bugs, but it would be funny to watch other people stupid enough to do it!!!!!

posted on Tue, 10/31/2006 - 8:55pm
Christi's picture
Christi says:

Bugs are a big source of protein in developing nations and they are considered a delacasy in some parts of the world. Bugs taste bad only if you aren't used to them. People in other parts of the world would think hot dogs taste as bad to them as bugs do to you.

posted on Wed, 11/01/2006 - 2:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We eat bugs all the time though
It's in are food
Leg and body parts get processes into chocolate bars ketchup, and many other foods.
The goverment even allows a certain (small amount)

I don't think its dumb, we j ust live in with a different culture.
In other countries, people actually buy bugs in markets to cook in food. YUM!

posted on Thu, 10/09/2008 - 7:43pm
Katie's picture
Katie says:

That is so gross!!!

posted on Fri, 11/17/2006 - 11:25am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

you wouldnt like to come to a party i through then most people think what i serve is pretty good though chocolate covered ants taste like a cruch bar

posted on Thu, 01/01/2009 - 10:44pm
Mr. Coolio's picture
Mr. Coolio says:

i wuold think that its not that bad of an idea if u kill it first.
it'll reduce the cocroach population

posted on Fri, 11/17/2006 - 11:26am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Tue, 11/21/2006 - 2:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ThAt'S NaSTy EwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwWwW

posted on Tue, 11/21/2006 - 2:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

whey do you want to eat a hissing bug?

posted on Tue, 11/28/2006 - 10:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

That is nasty but it might be good

posted on Tue, 11/28/2006 - 10:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

mmmmmmm sounds good

posted on Thu, 11/30/2006 - 11:03am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would NEVER eat a cockroach

posted on Wed, 12/06/2006 - 11:07am
somebody's picture
somebody says:

that is really nasty!!! eating a live cockroach? you must be really dumb to do that!!! It's probably really dangerous too because it might have a diese.

posted on Wed, 12/06/2006 - 11:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Some people live eating them.

They even have much more protein than beef.

posted on Tue, 10/18/2011 - 7:33pm
Ashlee Sconyers's picture
Ashlee Sconyers says:

I had a cheerleading competition in hot springs arkansas...
and it was on there halloween thing.
So me n my sister both ate a cockroach just to cut in line for the huanted house.
I though it was gross but not bad at all...!

posted on Mon, 12/18/2006 - 4:23pm
Keith's picture
Keith says:

So what did it taste like. Were there any aftereffects like nausea.

posted on Mon, 09/03/2007 - 1:36am
i don't tell..'s picture
i don't tell.. says:

i would never ever do something like even for the money
but i can say it is very interesting waching other people
eat bugs!!

posted on Sat, 01/06/2007 - 11:59am
A Guy Walking By's picture
A Guy Walking By says:

Huh... Wouldn't the legs get all caught in your throat and the guts could spurt out into someone's eye and the shell/head get caught in your mouth and that taste would be stuck in your mouthe if you weren't used to the taste?

posted on Sun, 01/07/2007 - 3:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

wow..thats nasty

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 10:46am
calley's picture
calley says:

burping is really desgusting too me

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 11:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Not if you are Bear Grylle the "Survivor Man"

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 12:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

NO DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 03/04/2007 - 2:53pm
Hannibal Lector's picture
Hannibal Lector says:

Cockroaches are delicious with a nice chianti and some fava beans

posted on Sun, 07/15/2007 - 4:12pm
Don's picture
Don says:

I ate a huge cockroach tonight, and this one actually had no flavor whatsoever, and it was done on a $100 bet. I mean this was about an inch long or so. No worse than eating a shrimp or a oyster. Some seafood are just big bugs under water, and they are delicious.
Well worth it, but I would not eat insects on a regular basis.

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 1:30am
ella t.'s picture
ella t. says:

i think eating cocroches is wonderful idea, they make a fast tasty snack , and i eat them quite frequently. And the paiful side effects are only a bonus !

posted on Mon, 09/03/2007 - 5:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Who would eat a live roach? Poor roaches!

posted on Wed, 11/21/2007 - 12:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

That is gross

posted on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 2:19pm
????'s picture
???? says:

ehh..first things first. i would never eat a cockroach.. but when u look at it this way : we eat pork. beef. shrimps. e.c.t. we eat animals, and if u look at the animals they are much bigger. so dont get worked up just because theres a way way way smaller creature than it and its ugly., so the day you think dat roaches are disgusting cuz of the way they look, think of all the animals we eat in our day, and the products that are made from them o_O?

posted on Mon, 01/21/2008 - 10:29pm
I et one's picture
I et one says:

I ate a cockroach once. It wasn't one of the big Madagascar kind, which probably taste all right, it was a household-type roach that I ate on a dare from my boss. Probably much more dangerous than a captive-bred roach could ever be. Didn't make me sick though.

Unspecified gastrointestinal illness and possible allergies are a weak objection. Nobody would object if they used milk, or even peanuts for the contest... the organizers could easily tell people with any food allergies not to do it, which would take care of that, since those with insect allergies generally have other food allergies also.

As for "gastrointestinal illness," that is so deliberately vague that I am sure they simply mean psychosomatic nausea, and are trying to make it sound worse than "oh god I just ate something gross I think I'm gonna puke." Which is more or less the same thing as lying.

posted on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 12:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i wouldnt eat cockroaches
but i want to get rid of them
cuz thier really nasty!!!!

posted on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 11:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Some bugs taste really nice. It's gooey on the inside and crunchy and tasty.
I would make sure the bacteria, etc. is dead first.

posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 7:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 9:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Captive raised hissers aren't the same as a roach you pick up from an infested house. They aren't any more germ infested than your dog or cat; on the contrary, having a litter box in your house is more of a health risk than eating a raw captive hissing roach. I keep a colony of them myself, though I haven't eaten any yet. I'll have to soon, since they're getting a bit over populated.

posted on Sat, 07/23/2011 - 8:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

it's not the roaches fault that it's scary-looking! save the poor thing and don't eat it!

posted on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 4:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Id love to cook at eat them with a lot of spices. Or a good salad dressing. mmmmm... Raw is a no no.. These things go for walks in the loo, drainpipes, decaying garbage, and animal droppings. Eating them uncooked would be a disaster.

posted on Mon, 02/23/2009 - 10:42pm
fortunateye's picture
fortunateye says:

For your information... If you're talking about Madagascar roaches in Chicago... They aren't crawling in any sewers.. they are obviously a regulated colony cuz they can't overwinter in the United States. Also, I'm pretty sure that a big corporation like six flags would pay attention to where their insects come from if they are making big publicity out of having customers eat them.
Additionally, there is a chance of getting sick from eating anything raw if you are human. Bacteria live in
eggs, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat (especially raw like sushi) and EVERYTHING ELSE!

I eat a lot of sushi, raw insects, and one of my favorite drinks is whiskey and raw eggs. I have never had salmonella, e. coli, or even food poisoning.


posted on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 8:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

To the person claiming the allergy risk is like that of peanuts or milk, I very much doubt people who are allergic to roaches would KNOW they were, as it is not something most people have tried!

posted on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 11:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Just ate 2 American roaches and got 20 bucks for dooing so. Not a bad way to make some extra beer money!!!

posted on Sun, 05/16/2010 - 2:39pm
NO NAME's picture
NO NAME says:

Wouldn't the world be a better place w/o roaches?
The only good thing I think they've done is eat Rotting/dead things that are just useless. I could also think of a 1000 things opposite to that...

posted on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 8:35am
veer singh's picture
veer singh says:

this is very dangerous for helth.
pest control

posted on Tue, 08/03/2010 - 12:30am
forager's picture
forager says:

Please people, be reasonable. There is nothing wrong with insects, or eating them in responsible quantities. Most people only know about madagascar hissers for their large size and ridiculous portrayals of them in the media - please know they are actually slow, docile, and harmless to humans.

posted on Sat, 10/30/2010 - 3:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

All of my life i will not eat any kinds of Cockroaches ,

posted on Sun, 01/09/2011 - 7:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Bugs are good, esp stir fried crickets with lime juice and cilantro, and no i'm not joking.

posted on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 3:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

See video

posted on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 6:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

THAT IS SO SO SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOOO GROSS!!! I can't believe people actually do that! I'm shocked to see how many people actually enjoy eating roaches. Just thinking about them make me wanna cry. Alright sure call me a sissy but all your life you weren't brought up to think they're disgusting creatures?!?!?!? I don't mean to offend anyone. This is just my opinion. I'm just completely...BLEH!! >.<

posted on Sun, 09/25/2011 - 8:48pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

A man recently spent a month in intensive care after eating a slug on a dare. Parasites from the bug got into his brain.

Is cutting in line worth a month in the hospital? (assuming you recover)

posted on Fri, 10/14/2011 - 6:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I did it in Denver ain't dead yet! hmmmm? tasted like chicken.

posted on Sat, 10/29/2011 - 3:42am
no name please's picture
no name please says:

Well, you're lucky! I fainted three times after eating a cockroach in Philadelphia!

posted on Sat, 10/13/2012 - 2:59pm
Mahnoor's picture
Mahnoor says:

ewwww!!! i hate cocroches they have poisen ahhhh i dont even like to touch them ewwww!!!! ewwww!!!

i cant belive it some of u guys like them they have poisen ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!


posted on Tue, 07/10/2012 - 8:57am
April's picture
April says:

Authorities say the winner of a roach-eating contest in South Florida died shortly after downing dozens of the live bugs as well as worms. The grand prize in Friday night's contest was a live python.

The Broward County sheriff's office says in a news release that it is waiting for an autopsy to give the official cause of death.

However, the news release Monday says 32-year-old Edward Archbold became ill and collapsed soon after winning. Archbold was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say several contestants ate insects but no one else became ill.

The contest was held in Deerfield Beach about 40 miles north of Miami

posted on Tue, 10/09/2012 - 1:42am
Jason's picture
Jason says:

Tiny bit gross
pest control

posted on Tue, 12/18/2012 - 3:58am
bugman's picture
bugman says:

good source of protien

posted on Tue, 12/25/2012 - 7:01pm
ivy's picture
ivy says:

they are very yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 12/27/2012 - 1:32pm
audrie's picture
audrie says:

i think eating cockroaches is a very bad idea because for one they have pinchers that can pinch your throat and that would hurt very bad two there gross and three it would not come out very well.

posted on Sat, 12/29/2012 - 9:06pm
bek's picture
bek says:

Eat it if you are going to but do not tease or tortune just do it! The point is is it safe in this case? Eater beware.

posted on Sun, 12/30/2012 - 6:24pm
kayzoua's picture
kayzoua says:

eating bugs is bad?

posted on Mon, 12/31/2012 - 12:28pm
Phil's picture
Phil says:

Why anyone would want to eat a cockroach for fun, is beyond me. Just have a think about their diet. They eat rotting organic material, which can include feces, wood, food, and decomposing garbage. They must have strong and potent chemicals or acid to digest the food. They also secrete a form of saliva which helps with digestion, and occurs while eat (drooling over the food while eating), or regurgitating the food and soaking the saliva in it before swallowing it down again. It's real messy and can cause serious health issues. They also carry diseases and can cause allergies. These are just many facts about the disgusting cockroach. True, not all their species are household pests, but they all live eating rotting food. Why would you put that in your mouth and chew? Even 3rd world countries who eat insects wouldn't eat a live cockroach. And it's especially sickening that some Asian countries eat fried ones. Instead of a cockroach, eat something healthier, like something you can grow, or buy from the supermarket. God help you if you still have the urge to eat one of these. Would you eat one if it was the size of a cow? Or even a chicken?

posted on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 6:56am

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