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Stick Insects as Pets

Stick Insects as Pets

Stick Insects can be popular pets as long as you keep the lid of their terrarium closed. Trust me you don’t want them escaping as they are VERY difficult to catch, I speak from experience.

They are fascinating to watch as they really do resemble sticks, and can be quite difficult to spot in amongst the branches in their terrarium. They can grow up to 6 inches long and walk very slowly swaying occasionally as if they are a twig caught by the wind. When it comes to cleaning them out, ensure that they are placed in a secure box and don’t let their normally slow pace fool you, they can scamper away very fast to avoid capture if they get loose!

Their home should be as spacious as you can make it, but no less than three times the length of the insect as they need room to moult, which they do by hanging upside down from a branch. Apart from the branches which they use to climb on and feed off of, they need no other toys, but they do need something on the floor, soil, bark, or pebbles. The top of the terrarium needs to be of net or well ventilated plastic, and kept firmly shut.

Stick insects live wild here in France, perhaps a fun idea might be to see if you can spot one in the summer?

The stick insects are not difficult to feed but they will require fresh leaves each day. They eat the older leaves of brambles, which can be found throughout the year, privet, oak leaves, and hazel leaves. You can cut pieces off of the bramble bush, put them in a shallow container with some water in it then put tissue paper around the stems so that the insects can’t drown in the water. The terrarium should be kept in a warm room and it should be misted with clean warm water every day so the insects can drink the water droplets.

They live for approximately a year.

Warning No: 1 – Male stick insects are rare but the females lay fertile eggs which means that even if you keep only one, you could find yourself with many more rapidly.

Warning No: 2 – They are not for the squeamish as they have been known to chew off each other’s legs.

If you fancy having a go at keeping them starter kits are available


Many pet shops sell them and also the necessary terrariums, or they can be bought online


If this article has captivated you, here is a YouTube with more interesting facts about stick insects, and it also shows some of the many different species of them.


Susan Keefe

Award Winning Author



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