A pest controller from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath has been using edible insects imported from Thailand as a new PR stunt to attract customers.

Kieran Lambert has a wide array of insect treats to taste – silkworm pupae, bamboo worms, scorpions, dung beetles and diving beetles. He promises they weren’t found in the crevices of the homes he’s had to visit on pest control jobs.

“They are boiled and dehydrated, so they’re not as bad as you might think, and they’re not as squidgy as you might expect,” he told the Westmeath Examiner. “They’re very beneficial for you – and they say that’s what we’ll be eating in the future as a source of protein.”

He used the edible insects to attract customers to his stall at the Mullingar Agricultural Show, and was surprised to find that a lot of visitors were intrigued enough to try them, and that a few even asked if they could purchase packets of the critters. No one was gutsy enough to try the beetles, though – perhaps at the next agricultural show.

Even Fianna Fáil deputy Robert Troy was keen to taste a silkworm pupa.

Lambert said that he had to register with the Health Service Executive as a food business in order to sell the bugs at his stand.

Check out this video of Lambert giving a taste test to brave Celtic Media Group graphic designers Emma McSherry and Tanya O’Neill. The consensus seems to be that they sound like they’re eating a bag of crisps. Would you ever taste an insect?