Buying a pet stick insect
Stick insects make great pets. They are fascinating, educational and quite easy to keep, however, there are a few things you will need to consider before buying one.
- You will need a suitable enclosure. You can either make this yourself or purchase
one. Good ventilation and surfaces that can be climbed easily are important features. Mesh enclosures are ideal for most stick insects.
- You will need to provide fresh foliage for your stick insect on a regular basis. Different species require different species of plants to eat. It is very important to make sure that you have that particular plant
available before making your purchase.
- Most species don’t cope well with temperature extremes; they don’t like getting too hot or too cold. They shouldn’t be set up in direct sunlight where they could overheat. They should not be kept somewhere that gets freezing cold during winter.
When it comes to setting up your stick insects within their enclosure there are a few basic but very important things to do. Firstly, ensure that the leaves of the food plant touch the ceiling of the enclosure. Most stick and leaf insects instinctively climb to find fresh food, which in the wild means they often end up at the top of the tree or end of the branches. In captivity, if they are able to climb above all the leaves they may starve as many species won’t instinctively come back down to find it.
If you are using cuttings from plants as food, it is important to keep the stems in water to keep the leaves fresh for as long as possible. These insects will not survive on wilted or dried out leaves. Cover the top of the vase or water container with some aluminium foil or similar barrier so the insects can’t fall in and drown.
Check out our simple video on how to set up your stick and leaf insects for more information.