Most people find bugs creepy and a nuisance, but there are some who believe that they make the perfect pet. Why? Bugs are low maintenance compared to other household pets. Feeding them regularly is all they really ask of their human family members. They are small which means they don’t require much room. This is perfect for people who live in cozier spaces. Bugs are also a great option for people who suffer from pet-related allergies.
Which Bugs Are Good Pets?
The world is full of interesting insects, and many can be a good pet. When choosing which bug you want to bring home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Research the bug you’re interested in to make sure you can create a habitat that’s suitable for it. You’ll want to check that it’s legal to own the insect in your area. It’s also important to choose a bug that isn’t dangerous. Thankfully, there are several bugs that are low maintenance and a great companion. If you’re considering adopting a pet bug, here are ten great options.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of the most popular choices for insect pets. These brown, oval-shaped bugs can grow up to 3 inches in length. These cockroaches get their name from their distinct hissing noise. Unlike other bugs, which create noise with vibrations or by rubbing body parts together, hissing cockroaches pass air through their spiracles (breathing holes on the thorax and abdomen) which result in hissing. To keep your hissing cockroach happy make sure their home has wood, leaves and hiding places to mimic their habitat. They also prefer to dine on fresh fruit and vegetables, dry pellets containing protein, and need plenty of water.
Suggested Pet Name: Kitty
Variety is the spice of life and stick bugs stand by this claim. There are about 3,000 known species ranging in size and color. Their resemblance to twigs gives this potential pet its name. Whether they’re nearly black or bright green, their appearance is their greatest defense mechanism. Don’t be surprised if you mistake them for one of the plants in their container. Stick bugs are used to tropical climates and need to live in spaces that are warm and moderately humid. It is important they have an enclosed, well-ventilated space to call home. While stick bugs don’t require daily maintenance, they must be handled with care. Blackberries, raspberries and cut branches are their preferred dinner option. Stick bugs are nocturnal, so if you enjoy being up all night and sleeping all day, they will make a great companion.
Suggested Pet Name: Luna
If you like stick insects, then there’s a good chance you’ll like this next bug—the leaf insect. These bugs are closely related to stick bugs. They have a leafy appearance that allows them to easily camouflage themselves. Female leaf insects can’t fly, but males do have wings with flying capabilities. The container you place them in needs to be three times the size of its body. These bugs are used to living in areas with dense vegetation, so be sure to add leaves or plants to their space. Like stick bugs, leaf insects are nocturnal, so you won’t catch them moving around a lot during the day. Leaf insects feed on berries and leaves. When they are young, you may need to break the food into smaller pieces. When handling your pet leaf insect, you’ll want to be gentle.
Suggested Pet Name: Twiggy
If you still want your pet to have some fur, then you may want to consider bringing home a tarantula. Tarantulas are known for their fur-covered bodies, which can grow up to 11 inches. Like stick bugs, there are several types of tarantulas in the world. When choosing which type of tarantula you want to adopt, it is important to know if they are an arboreal or a burrowing tarantula. If your new furry friend is an arboreal, make sure their home has a little height to it and areas for it to climb. Burrowing tarantulas need a home with hiding places including a layer of soil 2-4 inches deep. A hands-off approach is best when caring for tarantulas who prefer to entertain themselves. Don’t worry though, feeding them crickets weekly will ensure that your bond with them remains intact.
Suggested Pet Name: Buzz
Do you want a pet that is extremely low-maintenance? Then, ants may be the best choice for you. There are about 10,000 species of ants in the world. Black garden and harvester ants are just two types of ants that make great pets. These pets are typically between .08 and 1 inch in size. They have large heads, strong jaws, and elbowed antennae. Ants are very social bugs, so make sure you are ready to adopt several. Ants are used to living as members of a colony working for their queen. It is important that they have a safely enclosed home known as a formicarium. This is where they will build their tunnels, so don’t move the structure or all of their hard work will be lost. Besides their home, ants will ask for food and water. Small insects, like crickets, seeds, and a water and sugar mixture are on the menu.
Suggested Pet Name: Hera
If you’re looking for a pet with a unique trick up its sleeves, then the praying mantis is for you. Their triangular heads are able to turn 180 degrees. The praying mantis gets its name from the position of its front legs. Despite its gentle name, it is a fierce hunter. They have extremely fast reflexes, which enable them to hunt for food. They are typically 2-3 inches in length and can be many shades of brown and green. Like stick bugs, they are skilled at camouflaging themselves. Make sure their homes have sticks and plants so they can play hide and seek with you. Each kind of praying mantis has its own preference regarding temperature and humidity, so make sure you know your pet’s specific needs. They will also want a variety of insects to eat. Be sure to switch it up between moths, crickets, grasshoppers and flies.
Suggested Pet Name: Artemis
If you’re looking for something a little creepier, then a millipede might be the perfect pet. These arthropods are usually brown or black and cylinder in shape. They can measure several inches in length. Millipedes are known for having quite a few legs and some can have hundreds. Millipedes need to be in tanks twice as long as their body. These creepy crawlies like warm environments. Millipedes like to play hide and seek, so place 3-4 inches of soil in their container. Decaying food is their preferred meal, so feed them decaying greens and fruit. Don’t forget to give them plenty of water.
Suggested Pet Name: Millie
These chirping bugs may annoy you, but some love having them as a pet. In some cultures, crickets are considered lucky. Crickets vary in color depending on the species. They can live in small containers that have holes for breathing. If you are a proud owner of a female cricket, you’ll want to include dirt so they can lay eggs. Crickets like to eat greens and meat. They’ll also need access to water. Males are the ones that chirp, so keep that in mind when choosing a pet. While these bugs can be interesting pets, their lifespan is very short.
Suggested Pet Name: Lucky
If you’re an artist, you may be drawn to this bug for its name alone. Doodlebugs are actually the larval stage of the antlion. These bugs will remain in this stage for 2-3 years. As larvae, doodlebugs are about ½". They have a mottled brown appearance and look like they’re covered in dirt and bristles. Their new home will need to have plenty of sand for them to dig in. These bugs have pincers that allow them to dig in sand and build traps for prey. Doodlebugs feed on small insects and are particularly fond of ants.
Suggested Pet Name: Picasso
If you like a pet with a hard exterior, you may want to consider a beetle. There are many species of beetles in the world, and they all vary in size and color. From black to green to orange, there’s a beetle for everyone. When setting up your beetle’s home, you’ll want to add humid soil or sand. Beetles also like having sources of shelter. Give them a stone or small log to hide under. Most insects don’t like cold weather, so having a heat lamp for their cage is a must. Beetles are omnivores and will feed on small insects as well as seeds or plants.
Suggested Pet Name: Rita
Bugs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are still a great option for those looking to adopt a new pet. If you’re fascinated with the way bugs live or are wanting a pet that’s easy to care for, consider welcoming one of these bugs into your family. As with all pets, make sure you take the time to learn about your new family member to ensure he or she has the best life possible.