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We’ve got a sticky situation…

Can you give our stick insects a home?

We’re passionate about cultivating a genuine love for all creatures, including creepy crawlies, and believe stick insects are great pets for young children. If your child is just starting to get interested in pet ownership, this is also a great opportunity to foster love of creatures great and small from an early age.

Plus, these fascinating creatures take up very little space, are low maintenance, and cheaper to feed than conventional pets.

Enclosure.

There are a number of options for housing stick insects. These vary depending on the species and number of insects being kept.

Plastic or glass tanks with ventilated mesh lids make ideal insect enclosures. At the Happy Pet Place we stock a full range of Exo Terra Terrariums which are perfect to create a healthy and enriching environment for your stick insects whatever their size, making it easy to maintain a warm and humid environment for your stick insects. From a small enclosure for a small single insect, to the largest options for an array of sizes. Larger mesh style enclosures are also great for bigger species or housing multiple insects together.

Whatever the style, your enclosures should have enough height to allow the insect to hang upside down with plenty of space when shedding its skin.

It is important that the insect enclosure is positioned in a well-lit room, however they can overheat. Care should be taken not to place the enclosure in direct sunlight.

Reproduction.

Females can lay anywhere from 100 – 1,300 eggs and don’t need a male to produce fertile eggs. This means that, if you have a female, it’s possible she could lay eggs even if she lives in isolation.

Fun fact: eggs produced without a male will all be females when they hatch!

Eggs resemble small, round, cream seeds and will generally hatch within a few months. You should finely mist the eggs every 2 – 3 days with water, and keep your eyes out for tiny spiny leaf insects which will uncurl their bodies as they emerge from the egg.

The newly emerged stick insect babies, or nymphs, can uncurl themselves up to four times the size of their egg.
Once hatchlings emerge and are strong enough, you can release these outside as they will quickly crowd your enclosure.

Feeding.

Stick insects enjoy Peppermint Tree leaves, Lilly Pilly Leaves (these are a favourite), and Gum Tree leaves. Fresh leaves should be provided at least once a week.

Stick insects get all their food and water requirements from the leaves that they eat, so there is no need to provide drinking water. However, it is important to maintain humidity in their enclosure, so a fine mist of water should be sprayed in their enclosure once a day (twice a day in summer).

Hatchlings haven’t yet developed the strong, cutting mandibles of an adult stick insect, so the babies are quite dependent on a supply of soft, newly sprouted leaves. Over the next few months the young leaf insect will go through several moults, known as instars, shedding and leaving their old skin behind as they grow too big for it.

Take one home!

Sticks have never been so interesting.

At The Happy Pet Place, we stock spiny stick insects, leaf stick insects, and crown lichen stick insects. Pop into the store to view these creatures and discuss their care requirements in more detail.