Grasshopper catchers use a long rope with many plastic bags attached to force grasshoppers to gather in a small field.
Plastic bags create sound when moving and scare the grasshoppers, making them fly to the desired places.
Massive swarms of grasshoppers fly out when the rope is passed through.
Female grasshoppers are bigger, fatter and pricier than male ones. According to catchers in Ung Hoa District,
grasshopper catching is like fishing, it depends on luck whether they can catch a lot of female grasshoppers.
During the day, grasshoppers often dwell near the roots of rice plants.
At night, the grasshoppers will climb to the top of the plants.
If frightened by noises, they will fly out slowly and close to the ground.
The catchers start by using nylon nets to catch grasshoppers at about 18:00, when the sun sets.
Their tools are nylon nets or fabric bags.
The catching job is so labourious that they often package the catch
after finishing a small field and have a break before continuing their work.
The output of a night.
On average, a couple of catchers can get 8-10kg of grasshoppers a night.
The catch is sold to traders at the price of 60,000-80,000VND/kg.
In Le Thanh Commune, there are many people hired to process grasshoppers. Their main duty is to remove the wings of grasshoppers. On average, a person can process 5-6kg of the insect a night, earning meagre wages of 30,000-40,000VND.
Ở xã Lê Thanh có rất nhiều người làm nghề cấu chấu thuê. Công việc của họ là vặt hết cánh của châu chấu.
Trung bình một người cấu được khoảng 5-6kg châu chấu/ đêm, số tiền kiếm được chỉ từ 30 – 40 ngàn đồng/ người.
Nguyen Van Cau, one of the biggest grasshopper traders and contributors in Le Thanh Commune,
hires dozens of people to process grasshoppers on a daily basis.
The insect that is often regarded as a serious pest of rice crops is gaining popularity as a tasty,
nutritious and crispy exotic food. Some dub it "flying shrimp".".