How to Choose the Pet Bug That’s Right for You

““If you had a permit, I would recommend getting your own little LeRoy”
posted by Brandon Blatcher (9 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Those are some excellent bugs.

An entomologist friend has written a song about Parasteatoda tepidariorum. It’s better than you might expect.

Also bonus super-cute sproingy mini tarantula Typhochlaena seladonia.
posted by scruss at 8:39 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]

Viking funeral for your pet milipede in college? Good idea.
Viking funeral for your roommate in college? Bad idea.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:45 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]
What if you pet millipede was your roommate in college?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:56 AM on August 16
Traci Roach, who handles bug upkeep, packaging, and shipping for Ken the Bug Guy
posted by sjswitzer at 9:16 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]
I love this! Insects are wonderful and amazing – they’re like little aliens that live on the same planet as us!! I once ended up with a cage full of pet crickets after inadvertently walking through an aisle with bags of live feeder crickets at a Petco – they were so cute and I felt so bad for them that I bought the bag, a cage, and food for them on the spot. Another time I had a pet lubber grasshopper and she was so much fun to watch. My 7-year-old niece has one now (she lives in an area where they are plentiful) and I’m genuinely impressed with how well she’s been taking care of him – she’s had this lubber for quite some time now and I’m still getting videos of all the different things she’s doing to keep him healthy and to provide enrichment.

These days all I have are “free range” insects and spiders, which we do our best to keep outside, but I can definitely see a pet stick insect or some other chitinous critter in my future.

(on a different note, anybody who likes insects and has the opportunity to do so should definitely visit the Insectarium in Montreal. Looks like it won’t reopen until 2021 but do go if you ever get a chance)
posted by DingoMutt at 10:08 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]

posted by MythMaker at 12:16 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]
“I wouldn’t say they would recognize you as a person giving them love,” he says, “but they can recognize you as the person giving them food.”

So basically like a cat then?
posted by Fuchsoid at 1:08 PM on August 16

Really though, I quite fancy one of those giant stick insects – I used to have regular stick insects as pets when I was a kid, and even managed to (accidentally) establish a free-living colony in our privet hedge. Which is probably why you now need a permit for these exotic species.
posted by Fuchsoid at 1:10 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]
This is great, and the photos are fantastic! I wasn’t aware of the NYC tarantula ban, and now I’m really curious about the rationale behind it as species kept as pets are generally pretty low maintenance and not really threats to humans. It seems like it’s just part of a general ban on keeping any “venomous spider” as pets, but I can’t find any more context on how that came about, whether it’s been challenged, etc., unfortunately. Oh, well.

Millipedes, though, can make excellent pets. I’ve kept several and had friends who did as well. They tend to be curious but docile animals, and easy to care for as they’re happy with leftover veggies. They can be a lot of fun to watch and interact with.

Bugs are cool.
posted by Lonnrot at 1:14 PM on August 16