Locusts are a popular choice amongst reptile keepers and are easy to source. Read this blog on how to care for your locust.
What should I keep my locust in?
You need to take them out of the small plastic box they arrive in, or bulk bag as soon as you get home. Transfer them into a large, plastic carrier making sure there is good ventilation.
Another option is to get a RUB and drill holes in it, just don’t drill the holes too big!
Give them egg cartons to hide in and to give them more space within the cage.
How do I feed locust to my reptile or amphibian?
Be careful when you open the cage as locust can jump surprisingly high! The easiest way to pick them up is to just scoop them in your hands. If the idea of touching them is making you squirm, you can gently grasp their body with tongs.
After picking them up, you need to dust them with vitamins or calcium. The best way to do this is to pop them in a fish bag with the dust, give them a shake and feed to your reptile or amphibian.
Why have my locust arrived with egg cartons?
I’ll admit the first time you open your bulk bag or box and you see not only bugs but egg cartons, it’s an unusual sight, however, there is a good reason they are in there.
It also offers security and shelter to the insects. in the wild, these insects will hide away and although they are food items, it’s still important to keep them as best as you can, especially if you are hoping to breed them.
It makes it easier from a keepers point of view as it makes it easier for the supplier to package them up and easier for you to transfer them into their tank. Just pick the egg carton up and put it in your tank – easy!
The egg cartons will be eaten by your locust, giving them a good source of fibre (you should feed them other things too though! Read below)
What should I feed my locust?
Food and water are just as important to your live food as it is to your pets. They need some sort of water source, or they will die fairly quickly, and bowls of water are easy to knock over, and they can drown. Instead of a bowl of water, you can buy Bug Gel which is a jelly-like substance that offers them a way to hydrate. Just put some in a shallow bowl or jar lid and change is daily, otherwise, it will go mouldy.
In regards to food, you can buy Bug Grub which is a complete diet for live food, specially made for gut-loading and supplement feed them with things you probably already have at home. You should keep the food in a shallow bowl or jam jar lid to keep it clean and to avoid it mixing with faeces.
You should offer fresh food too. Good options are kale, spring greens, dandelion leaves, potatoes, carrot, porridge oats and fish food.
What are the downsides to keeping locust?
- They can jump pretty high, which may take you by surprise when you take the lid off
- They aren’t very fast, which doesn’t offer a huge amount of enrichment for your pet.
- They grow fairly quickly, so may soon become too big for your pet to eat.
- Their adult form is huge and they eventually get wings, which isn’t great if you don’t like huge flying insects.
If you want to read more, check out my Live food FAQs and to see how to look after different species;