Health is always a concern when keeping pets at home. It is even a concern for stick insects, despite the fact that most species are fairly easy to keep. Maintaining your insects’ health really centers around three things: temperature, food sources, and disease.
Maintaining the Right Temperature
Though stick insects are found everywhere but Antarctica and the Arctic, most species prefer tropical and subtropical climates. This means you have to provide a fairly warm environment to ensure good health. Do some research to learn what the optimal temperature is for your particular species.
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The Indian stick insect is the most commonly kept pet species. Its ideal temperature is anywhere between 21° and 24°C (70° and 75°F). It is not necessarily deadly to let the temperature get lower but be careful not to let it go too low. A lot of stick insect owners use heat lamps and pads to ensure enclosure stay warm and at a constant temperature.
Stick insects require a steady volume of food to maintain health. The good news is that they are not picky eaters. Stick insects will eat a variety of leaves that are appropriate to their species. They also have the ability to identify food that could harm them, so there are few worries of poisoning them.
The most important thing here is to make sure food is fresh and abundant. Leaves should be placed in a dish of water so that insects can get both. Be careful not to allow mold. If you ever see mold or fungus on food sources, remove them immediately.
A stick insect’s biggest enemy in captivity is disease. Fungal infections are the main cause of premature death. In this regard, try to limit the number of insects you have in a single enclosure. Packing them in too densely increases the chances of a fungus spreading if it gets inside.
If you have more than one insect in an enclosure, keep a close eye out for signs of fungal infection. An infected sick insect should be removed from the enclosure immediately so that others don’t get sick.
Although there are things to be concerned about, it is fairly easy to keep stick insects healthy. Just use some common sense and follow the basic rules for good health. All should be well.
Each of the articles listed below are lengthy explanations on relevant topics related to the health of stick insects.