Our Care Guide
We don't do long, exaggerated or hard to read here at UK Stick Insects; we like to 'stick' to the point. For a clear, comprehensive guide on how to raise and look after your stick insects, keep reading or click here to download it as a PDF.
The home / The housing / The Vivarium
The housing has to be at least three times the size of an adult stick insect any smaller and it can cause problems shedding their skin.
Check what your individual stick insect eats, not all stick insects eat the same food.
Ventilation is important, mesh sides or a mesh room goes a long way.
Stick insects can survive well at room temperature 70-75 F (21-24 C). In the winter make sure temperature doesn’t drop too low. Cold temperatures can lead to failed shedding and then death.
Most species of stick insects can be kept together. If you're breeding rare/harder to rear species, it is best to separate them. Overcrowding the cage can lead to deaths. Especially when food levels get low.
To make the food last longer a suggestion would be to use vials, which can be found online and at your local florists. These can supply the leafy branch for long enough. Glass jars can be used as well as long as the top is covered. Do not leave gaps large enough for the stick insects to fall in.
Cover the bottom of the vivarium for an easy clean up. (This helps when harvesting their eggs). Use a water resistant material, as this can be cleaned and reused endlessly.
Food and drink
Most stick insects will eat at least one of these: Bramble − Blackberry & Raspberry leaves, Oak Hawthorn, Privet, Eucalyptus, Ivy, Ferns.
Spray them every other day with spring or rain water. Do not use tap water! Please find out what your species likes most, and if you get stuck send us an email, we're here to help!
Give them fresh food, clean the leaves from other bugs, insects and traffic fumes − basically wash them!
Do not use food that may contain insecticides and herbicides. If you buy a bush from the local plant centre, this will be contaminated and you will have to wait around six months. Try using unfarmed and wild food as a source.
Handling Stick Insects
Please handle with care, the more you handle the better they are. Any fast movements will cause them to run, jump, fly or in the worst case scenario lose a leg or two to protect themselves. Try to pick them up as a whole, use their body, do not use their legs.
Want a sturdy stick insect for your children? Try the Indian Stick Insect.
Indian stick insects can reproduce in the absence of a male (parthenogenetic reproduction − Asexual). However most do require a male.
Females can lay hundreds of eggs. Be careful not to confuse these with their waste. The eggs are smooth and round. They can take up to a year to hatch, however most take around four months.
Keep the unhatched eggs in separate rearing containers, and check on a regular basis for hatched nymphs. Rear young nymphs in a separate cage to the adult insects.
Some species need to lay their eggs in sand, under bark and into crevices, this is to hide their eggs from predators in the wild. Check what your species does!
If you experience a few of your stick insects losing limbs, this can be because of: Overcrowding – Fungal infection – Rough handling – incorrect humidity. For fungal infections, try putting the infected in quarantine, clean thoroughly and improve ventilation.