A Mullingar businessman had a novel way of attracting customers to his stall at Mullingar Agricultural Show: he offered them some somewhat less-than-tempting treats to eat – dried insects!
But, promises Kieran Lambert, of Lambert Pest Control, these most certainly were not bugs and beetles scooped off floors or from crevices in homes or businesses that he has visited in his work as a pest controller.
“We imported them from Thailand,” he says, listing off silkworm pupae, bamboo worms, armour-tailed scorpions, dung beetles and diving beetles that he laid out at his stand, in a ‘Man versus Insect’ challenge.
“I don’t know whether I’ll get into supplying them: it was just a PR stunt,” he laughs, explaining that it’s a stunt that works well for him at shows, since it is something different.
Not everyone was tempted – but one who did go for it was Deputy Robert Troy.
“He wasn’t that keen,” admits Kieran, but he praised the deputy for eventually munching on a silkworm pupa.
“They’re very beneficial for you – and they say that’s what we’ll be eating in the future, as a source of protein,” says Kieran, who admits, he’d still prefer a good Irish bacon and cabbage dinner any day.
What surprised him was that a few people asked him could they actually buy packets of insects from him on the day of Mullingar Show.
The good news is that the insects weren’t alive, nor even recently alive: “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 says, adding that in order to offer them to the public, he had to register with the HSE as a food business.
Kieran has tried the silkworm pupae, the bamboo worms and the armour-tailed scorpions.
No one at the stall on Sunday was brave enough to try a dung beetle or a diving beetle: and that was fine with Kieran – he hasn’t quite mustered up the courage to try them either!
And that’s quite something, coming from a man whose everyday work sees him clearing infestations of mice, rats, flies, wasps, ants, cockroaches and fleas.
Kieran is located at Rathconrath, and photos and videos of the Mullingar Show experience can be seen on the Lambert’s Pest Control Facebook page. Check the Examiner Facebook page too.
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