As most stick insects are long and thin, they'll need a cage or vivarium of a sufficient height. This will need to be approximately three times as high as the total length of the fully grown stick insect. They'll need this space at the time of shedding as they hang off the ceiling of their cage to do this. A mesh lid is ideal as this will keep good ventilation and the stick insect will have something to climb on to when its shedding it's skin.
Do stick insects like humid environments?
Your stick insect will need to be kept in a warm room, and the tropical species such as Extatosoma Tiaratum need to be kept in temperatures above 20 degrees Celcius for them to thrive. Temperatures of less than 15 degrees Celcius can be dangerous.
The common Indian stick insect and some of its relatives are however happy at room temperature (around 17 degrees). Heating is best achieved by maintaining the whole room at the required temperature (ie using household central heating) but it if this is not possible, an electric lightbulb can be used over small cages — ensure your stick insect cannot touch the bulb itself.
Very damp cages are susceptible to mould growth which is unhealthy for your stick insect. Avoid extremes of temperature and don't let their food die or dry out as this could make your stick insect sick.
Do stick insects need water?
All stick insects need water, so make sure you give them a light misting with clean tepid water everyday, including all the food plants in the cage as they will drink the water droplets from the plants. Do not put a bowl of water into their cage as this may result in them drowning.
Decoration for your stick insects vivarium
It's good to provide your stick insect with a few resting places to make his home more interesting, such as a nicely shaped branch and potted plants — but be aware that real plants will probably be eaten. If you do decide on giving the stick insect real plants, make sure they are organic and not contaminated with pesticides or chemicals that could be harmful to the insect. Bits of leaves and branches from the roadside are definitely not something you should use. Be sure to wash anything you do put into your stick insect's cage so that they are clean, and continue to clean them every so often.
Things you'll need before you buy a stick insect:
- Glass Vivarium
- House plant mister
- Kitchen roll / aquarium sand / soil
- Plants / branches and suitable food
- Book on stick insects