Keeping Stick Insects

 

Stick insects are fascinating, minimal care pets that can be kept successfully with just a bit of attention and adequate preparation. Can live up too 3years.

 

Preparation is vital if you intend to keep a stick insect. Ensure that you have the following:

 

Suitable Housing

A fly screen cage is ideal. Stick Insects love to climb, so make sure there is plenty of vertical space to allow this. To ensure that your stick insect is comfortable, make sure that the cage is at least three times as long as the adult insect. An adult female stick insect can grow up to around 110mm in length. Stick insects are skilled at squeezing through small holes, so make sure that there are no gaps in your cage or tears in the fly screen.

 

Food

The best food for your insect is eucalyptus leaves. Make sure that you gather foliage from an area that you are sure has not been sprayed with chemicals. Cut off some branches with both new and older leaves attached. Rose leaves can also be fed.

The colour of your stick insect will change depending on its diet. It will turn a tan colour when fed on eucalyptus leaves, and a green colour when fed on rose leaves, to blend it with its environment.

 

A spray bottle

You can reuse an old spray bottle (A cleaning spray, etc.), but make sure that you wash it out VERY carefully. Stick Insects are very sensitive to chemicals.

 

A jar, bottle or vase

To hold the eucalyptus or rose leaves and some water.

 

Lining for the cage

Use newspaper to line the floor of the cage to protect it and make cleaning easier. This should be changed every couple of weeks.

Before placing your stick insect in its cage, line the floor with newspaper, and put a few small eucalyptus branches in your jar or vase on the floor of the cage, ensuring that there are plenty of fresh young leaves on the branches and that the cut ends are covered with water.

Once placed in the cage, your stick insect will require minimal care and will feed off the leaves until they dry out. When they start to dry out, throw them out, put some fresh leaves into the vase, checking that there is sufficient water, and change the newspaper on the floor. You will need to do this every week or two.

While stick insects need little maintenance, they do require a daily source of fresh water, which should be provided by spraying water droplets on the leaves. Do not give your stick insect any other water source. A water dish in the cage should not be used as your insect won’t drink from it and may drown.