Saturday, December 18, 2010

We are foster parents!

My daughters' school is closed for three weeks for winter break so I volunteered to bring home Iris's class stick bugs. Unfortunately, all of the cute furry creatures had already been claimed. But you know what? We really have grown to like the stick bugs! They are incredibly interesting to watch. I have the tank sitting right on my computer desk and watch them and listen to them throughout the day. Yes, I can be easily entertained. I'm contemplating asking the school if we can have a few of the smaller ones to keep as our very own.

I took these pictures with my cell phone, but you can see a few of the stick bugs in these pictures. In the top one, on the right, is the lower half of the biggest guy in the tank. He is the loudest and seems to be a bit of a bully. I say "he" but I really don't know. Maybe a big bully "she"?

Iris and I researched a little about stick bugs and discovered that they like to be kept very warm and they like to eat blackberry leaves. Ruh roh. It's neither warm here (at least not tropical warm) and there aren't blackberries around. I am assuming that these stick bugs do just fine in normal house temps as they are residents of the school, which I can assure you is not a tropical environment. I also read one thing online that says they like kale, so I grabbed some out of our veggie bin and threw a few stalks in. I did notice a few bugs gravitate towards the kale quickly, so let's hope that works!

The other thing we are to do is spray the inside of the tank daily with water. Eloise helped with that this morning and is a pretty easy daily task.

Since the girls have been begging for a small pet, I'm going to try and convince them stick bugs is the way to go. Iris's classroom also has finches that sound really lovely so I am maybe, MAYBE, going to consider finches. Of course Eloise insists she wants a BIG bird. Um, no.

Anyone else keep stick bugs? Have any tips? Any other thoughts of smaller animals that make easy (and hardy) pets?


  1. I don't recommend birds, but I think they just make too big a mess. Besides the actual bottom of the cage, their dander / fluff gets EVERYWHERE. Especially if anyone in your household has allergies or any breathing troubles - bad idea.

    The stick bugs sound really cool! My husband and I have arachnids! We currently have 7 tarantulas and 1 scorpion between us. There are some very pretty ones out there and they are very easy! Change out the bedding twice a year, spray the cage daily (just like your stick bugs), and give them crickets once a week or once a month depending on the species and your convenience. We keep them on our desk so we can watch them all the time. They are fascinating! Except the scorpion, honestly he has been a bit of a let down.

    If you're interested in more info, let me know! :-)

  2. Thanks Mama Jorje! Interesting point on the birds. I think my little one might have some level of asthma so that is really good to keep in mind.

    The tarantulas I have seen on your blog look intriguing. As my girls are terrified shitless by spiders, I wonder if they would feel the same about tarantulas? I tend to think of them more like rodents, they are fuzzy after all! Spiders don't bother me one bit, though.


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