If you're in search of an interesting and low-maintenance pet, an insect or arachnid might be the perfect choice. Pet bugs are becoming more and more popular, and for good reasons. These little guys are great for small spaces, don't make big messes, and are much less time-consuming than other pets. One of these five best pet bugs for beginners (and beyond!) just might be your next best friend.
Of the thousands of scorpion species out there, the emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) is arguably the most popular to keep as a pet. This is because they're known for being one of the most docile scorpions. Still, they can pinch or sting when provoked, so handing these pets often isn't recommended (and they may not be a good choice for young kids). These pet bugs don't take up much room (a 10- to 20- gallon tank is suitable for one emperor scorpion) and can be kept in groups peacefully.
The emperor scorpion isn't just a popular pet; it's also one of the largest scorpions in the world.
Have you ever dreamed of having a praying mantis as a pet? Tenodera sinensis, more commonly known as the Chinese mantis, is a large mantis that many people enjoy as pets. You can expect your Chinese mantis to grow to around 4 inches tall and live for about a year if cared for correctly. This species does need a high level of humidity to thrive, as well as a carnivorous diet, which makes them a better fit with owners who have some experience with insect pets.
The largest recorded mantis was a Chinese mantis that reached over 7 inches long!
Chilean Rose Tarantula
More people are keeping spiders as pets, and the tarantula is one of the most fascinating. The stunning Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea) is a great choice for beginners because they're known for being docile, slow-moving, and low-maintenance. Plus, their hair is a gorgeous rosy color.
These tarantulas have special hairs on their abdomen called urticating hairs, which they shoot at predators as a defense mechanism. If your Chilean rose tarantula gets scared, they could release one at you and cause an allergic reaction.
Indian Stick Insect
A pet stick? You heard us right. The Indian stick insect (Carausius morosus) is one of many walking stick species, but definitely the type most people keep as pets. Their care is minimal; they only need to be fed every few days, and their enclosure is relatively small at a minimum of 12 inches high and 8 inches wide. This cool pet bug would make a great class pet.
Stick insects are considered invasive pests, so it's illegal to release one into the wild.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
The Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) is a harmless pet bug that doesn't bite, scratch, or sting. However, they do one very interesting thing when they feel threatened; they make a hissing noise (hence their name!) Hissing cockroaches tolerate handling well and are resilient and low-maintenance, which makes them an excellent choice for anyone interested in getting an insect as a pet. Just know this pet bug isn't legal to own in every U.S. state, so check your state's regulations before bringing one home.
At their adult size, G. portentosa can reach up to 3 inches long.
Pet Insects Are Great Low Maintenance Pets
Traditional pets can take up a great deal of your time and energy, although even small pets like rabbits and birds have complex care. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about a lot of those things with pet bugs. These fascinating critters are a great option for busy families in search of a pet and make good low-maintenance pets, too. Choose one of these species as your first pet bug, then expand your collection from there.