The rush for the current season has pushed up prices to one of their highest levels, with a five-kg bag of live locusts sold for SR400 (USD107).
Newspapers reported strong public demand for the insects despite recurrent warnings by the Ministry of Agriculture that the locusts could be poisonous as most infested areas have been sprayed with insecticide to combat the swarms.
The locust season in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil supplier, starts late in the year and continues for three months.
One of the largest locust bazaars in the Kingdom is located in the central town of Buraydah, where hundreds of vendors gather every day to sell different sizes of locust bags. Daily auctions are also held at the market.
Locusts are a favorite dish for Saudis in many areas in the Kingdom despite repeated warnings by the Ministry and the National Centre for Fighting Locusts that eating them could be dangerous after they feed on crop sprayed with insecticides.
One way to eat locusts in the Kingdom, with a population of nearly 28 million, is to expose them to the sun for a few days until they become dry and hard before they are salted and eaten like nuts.