Stick insects are best kept in an appropriately sized plastic faunarium, glass terrarium or mesh enclosure.
Make sure any enclosure has a well-ventilated lid. Different species all grow to different sizes so it is best to make sure the enclosure is sized appropriately according to this and the number of stick insects that are being kept.
A good way to measure this is that the width of the enclosure should be about 3 time the length of your stick insect and the height of the enclosure should be 2 times the length of your stick insect. The average stick insect-like your Indian or Vietnamese like to be kept at normal room temperature. Sometimes a small heat mat may be required to maintain these temperatures this is best placed on the back or side wall at one end to allow a gradient.
Never place your enclosure in direct sunlight, near radiators or put it in busy areas of the home e.g. doorways, hallways, or in cold rooms. A quiet, shaded and warm room is best.
Substrate and Cleaning
Coco fibre and orchid bark based substrate work well to retain moisture and maintain the required humidity levels of 60-70%. You only need a small layer of the substrate so they can lay any eggs if needed.
Spray the substrate daily but take care not to soak the substrate or let it dry out. Also spray the bramble or privet and sides of the enclosure so the insects can have a drink from the droplets.
The enclosure should be fully cleaned and substrate replaced every 4-6 weeks or as and when required.
Feeding, Handling and Health
Fresh food should be available daily and removed once the leaves have been eaten or starts to dry out.
It is best to have a small bowl or jam jar to put the food in so that is lasts longer and doesn’t wilt or dry out. Fill the bowl or jar with fresh water and either place tissue or a sponge over the top and pop the stems of the plant through the sponge or tissue. This keeps the plant’s edible longer and stops the stick insects from drowning.
If the temperature becomes too high or low and the humidity is low the stick insects can have trouble shedding which can lead to them losing a leg or even death. If you notice the temperatures or humidity is wrong correcting these issues as quick as possible is the best way to avoid any problems.
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