Insects as Pets

I prefer animals with fur and whiskers, so it’s not surprising that I’m not a big bug lover. In fact, spiders scare the bejesus out of me. So much so, witnesses (i.e. my husband and cats) have observed me shrieking in horror and running from a room containing an offending arachnid on numerous occasions. My cats even know what the word “spider” means. I’ve encouraged them to attack the eight-legged freaks (nonvenomous only, of course) since kittenhood. Fortunately, they love a nice bug snack, spider or otherwise.

Apparently, not everyone shares my feelings about bugs. In fact, some even willingly keep them in their home—and the experts claim bugs make excellent pets.

One of the most common is the hissing cockroach. At 2 to 3-inches long, the hissing cockroach gets its name from the sound it makes when disturbed. Because of their size, they tend to be gregarious bugs—easily adapting to handling and rarely hiding.

The praying mantis is another popular bug pet—particularly the African Praying Mantis, which experts say is best for beginning bug owners. There are over 2000 different species of mantids comprising a vast range of sizes, shapes and colors.

In many cases, bug pets are cheap and easy to care for, which—I guess—is a plus for some. You can buy a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach online for less than $3 or a Giant African Mantis for $9. Suitable housing, substrate and food costs are also minimal.

Would you consider keeping an insect pet? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

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Julie Perkins

About Julie Perkins

A self-professed "crazy cat lady" and slave to three furry masters, Julie loves all things fuzzy. Throughout her life, she has been owned by cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, fish and even a hermit crab. A freelance writer who has perfected the fine art of typing with one hand (because there is a cat on top of the other one), she lives in Colorado with her husband and a menagerie of critters.

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