Do Stick Insects Eat Bramble Leaves?
Bramble leaves are often recommended as feed for stick insects. They’re non-toxic and highly nutritious. Virtually all stick insect species love feasting on these leaves. But they aren’t always easy to find.
In this article, I’m going to tell you where you can find bramble leaves and how to feed them to your stick insects. I’ll also give you a few feed alternatives. These will come in handy when you want to change up your pet’s diet.
Where to Get Bramble Leaves for Your Stick Insects?
Most stick insect species will eat bramble leaves with no issue. So, this is a safe addition to your pet’s diet. But where can you find bramble leaves to feed your insects? Well, there are a few options for you to try. Depending on the season and your location, different options will be more suitable.
The first option is foraging for the leaves outside. Bramble refers to any prickly shrub, but most commonly this word is used to denote the blackberry-bearing plant Rubus fruticosus. This is a very climate-friendly species, and it can grow on virtually any continent except Antarctica. If you live close to a wooded area, you might be lucky enough to find bramble leaves there.
However, winter can kill off these plants, so you’ll need a backup for when the weather goes bad. The second option is growing your own bramble plants to keep at home. This way, you’ll have access to bramble leaves year-round. You’ll also be certain that the leaves are free from insecticides and other chemicals.
Finally, if you’re in a hurry and can’t wait for your bramble bushes to grow, you can also purchase freshly cut bramble online. You can find online stores that specialize in delivering fresh stick insect feed such as bramble leaves. But you’ll have to pay every time you want a few sprigs of leaves. The leaves you buy online also have a short lifespan of just one week.
How to Feed Bramble Leaves to Your Stick Insects?
You feed bramble leaves to your insects like you would any other type of plant leaves. You must first ensure that the leaves are free from insecticides and other dangerous chemicals. If you grow your own leaves, you must clean them before feeding, because the leaves might get dusty when kept inside.
Simply wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to get away from any dirt or dust. Put the sprigs in a small water container and place the container in the enclosure. Spray the leaves with water and voilà! They’re ready to serve. As with any other type of leaves, remember that the fresher they are, the better. Stick insects won’t eat withered or dried leaves.
Can Stick Insects Only Eat Bramble Leaves?
Most stick insect species will love bramble leaves. However, there are over 3000 species of stick insects, and the preferred diet will vary slightly from one species to another. Still, you should know that stick insects aren’t picky eaters. In the wild, they’ll eat any type of non-toxic leaf available to them.
Stick insects also have an innate ability to detect if a plant is toxic to them or not. If some leaves are poisonous, they won’t touch them. Stick insects also won’t eat dried or withered leaves. They only eat fresh leaves, because these also contain the water that they need.
So, your stick insects will be fine if you feed them a diet consisting of only bramble leaves. They’ll also be okay if you rotate between different types of species-appropriate leaves. If you can’t find bramble leaves anywhere, you can always give your pets other types of leaves and they’ll be equally happy to dig in.
What Other Leaves Can Stick Insects Eat?
Stick insects will typically eat any type of non-toxic leaves they can get. However, sometimes stick insect species won’t like the leaves that another species eats with abandon. You’ll have to do some research about your stick insect species to figure out the best diet for it.
Still, you should be safe if you feed your bugs any of the following leaves. Besides bramble (blackberry) leaves, most stick insect species will also enjoy rose, ivy, privet, hawthorn, eucalyptus, oak, and hazel leaves. As long as these leaves are fresh and free of pesticides, they make a great addition to your pet’s diet.
Bramble leaves are a universal favorite for stick insects. But they’re not the easiest to find if you don’t live in the right area. If you can’t go out foraging for them yourself, you can plant your own, but you can also purchase some freshly cut leaves online.
There are also other feed alternatives that your bugs will love, so you’re never going to be out of options. Hopefully, you found this article informative and helpful. For more information on stick insect care, make sure to check some of my other guides!