Q:

What are some tips for caring for stick insects?

A:

Quick Answer

Stick insects require a clean, escape-proof enclosure that can't be opened by other housepets and that resembles their natural habitat. Food should resemble what they eat in the wild and is specific to each species. Keep food free of pesticides, herbicides and auto exhaust.

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Full Answer

To maintain a clean environment, use a substrate, such as newspaper or tissue paper, to line the bottom of the enclosure, and remove droppings regularly. Make the enclosure at least three times the length of the insect. For the roof, use a mesh or netting that the stick insect can hang from as it molts. The enclosure's proper heat and humidity depends on the individual species of insect. Use a heat mat or bulb to heat the enclosure rather than placing it in direct sunlight. Keep the enclosure well ventilated to resist mold.

A stick insect is fragile, and if handling is necessary, pick it up by the body rather than by the legs, which break easily. Keep habitats free of objects that can trap or fall on the stick insect. If the insect does get trapped, rather than picking it up to free it, use an object such as a straw to assist it. Since most stick insects are native to tropical regions, do not release them into the wild.

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