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Pet Insects - Beetles and Other Insects
Insects General Information : Do you have an old fish tank lying around? Do you have a child whose pockets have always got a pet ladybird or pet beetle in a matchbox? Maybe it's time you put both of them together and got into some serious insect study.
Pet Insects are free or cheap, quiet, quite low-maintenance pets, and just that little bit different. While small insects like ladybirds and beetles are readily available from your garden, larger insects can be bought from specialist pet suppliers or online by mail order. More exotic insects provide a whole new level of interesting interaction.
Most insects and beetles breed well in captivity, producing interesting looking eggs, larvae and pupae. Stick insects have also long been a favourite of insect as pet lovers. There are spiny, leafy and twiggy stick insects, a popular mail order choice being the spiny leaf insect. Scarab beetles and the rhinoceros beetle are other attractive, easy-care options.
Pet Insect Housing and Space: An old aquarium or Terrarium makes an ideal pet insect house. So long as they are securely covered to prevent escapees. Fly screening material is a good option keeping the insects in and allowing good air circulation. A cheap plastic pet container cost a few pounds from pet shops. Even a large clear plastic cake container can be used if combined with a mesh lid. Some insects like to climb twigs or branches so for them obtain a taller, rather than wider, container.
Beetles are easiest to look after as most will live in a container on top of a slightly damp, 5cm layer of a 50/50 mixture of sawdust and a sterilised, soil based, potting compost. Just place your insects and away you go. If you put a few beetles of the same species they may even start the breeding cycle.
Pet Stick Insects and leaf insects will need leafy twigs or branches to climb on. You will need a container of water in the bottom of the housing to hold the twigs or branch. Cover the top of the water container to prevent the insects drowning in the water. Lightly spray the leaves each day with clean fresh water daily. Ensure the sprayer has not been used for weed killer or insecticide!
Insect Health and Breeding: Remember if you use a fly spray around the house to avoid contaminating your insect housing.
Most insects will live only a few weeks, months or years but many can breed in their protected environment and provide generation after generation of insects for you to enjoy. Petmag.co.uk endeavours to provide comprehensive information on each popular insect type, which will detail feeding, breeding, housing etc. for each type.
Check out the links on the right bar to see information on some of the more popular insects.
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