Stick insects are generally easy to care for. That’s why they make such great pets. Yet you cannot simply place them in an enclosure and forget about them. Stick insects still have needs. Below are some general care guidelines you should find helpful regardless of your preferred species. All are covered on my website; you can find a list of relevant articles at the end of this piece.
Most stick insect species require enclosures that are at least three times as high as their body length. They need this much height for safe moulting. In terms of enclosure length and width, an enclosure should be three times as long as an adult insect and twice as wide as the insect’s adult length – at the very least. Most stick insect owners’ enclosures are much bigger than this.
2. Enclosure Temperature
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Given that most stick insect species thrive in tropical and subtropical climates, you should expect to have to maintain a fairly warm temperature to keep your insects alive. Different species have different needs, so you’ll have to do some research.
Humidity is also a concern. You can maintain adequate humidity by using a spray bottle to moisten the interior of the enclosure every few days.
3. Feeding Stick Insects
A stick insect’s diet is comprised of leaves and plants. Most species are not fussy, but they will not eat food they know is harmful to them. You should be able to get by with things such as bramble, privet, rose, oak, hazel, and eucalyptus leaves.
The best way to feed stick insects is to put leaves (while still attached to stems or twigs) in a small receptacle of water. If you prefer, you can put entire (small) branches in the enclosure by submerging these in a vase-like vessel so that only the leaves stick out the top.
4. Enclosure Cleaning
If there is a downside to keeping stick insects it is the fact that they produce prolific amounts of waste. It is important to regularly clean the enclosure so that waste doesn’t lead to mould and fungal growth. Your best bet is to clean your enclosure weekly, removing and replacing all of the substrate.
The general care of stick insects is greatly enhanced by familiarity with your specific species. So in addition to the guidelines mentioned here, research your species to learn if anything special is required.
To that end, each of the articles listed below are lengthy explanations on relevant topics related to the general care of stick insects.