Most people are curious about what type of food their stick insects will eat, especially if they are new to the world of keeping stick insects as pets. Indeed, there are many misconceptions, including that they might eat other bugs, but stick insects are herbivores (so vegetarians). This means that they will only eat plant matter. But what plants? For example, you may be wondering if your stick insects can eat broccoli. After all, it is a plant.
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Broccoli as a Food Source for Stick Insects
Broccoli plants do best in cool weather climates. They do not do well in hotter climates, which is where most stick insect species hail from. This means that for the most part, a stick insect in its natural habitat will never encounter broccoli.
That is not to say that your stick insect would not eat broccoli if it were presented to it. What you should know however is that stick insects are highly unlikely to eat the part of the broccoli plant that us humans eat.
We tend to eat the cluster of flowers on the broccoli plant, which is referred to as the ‘head’. Stick insects eat the leaves of plants, and typically leaves that are darker green in colour. So when we ask if stick insects can eat broccoli, what we actually mean is do stick insects eat the leaves of the broccoli plant
Should You Try Giving Your Stick Insects Broccoli?
If you are growing broccoli in your garden or allotment and are wondering if the leaves are suitable as a food source for your sticks, then I suggest simply trying it out to see. Stick insects will not eat any plants that they do not like (i.e. those plants they would never normally encounter in their natural habitat) or those that could be toxic or poisonous to them. They have an in-built mechanism that helps prevent them from eating such leaves.
Place some broccoli leaves into the stick insect enclosure in a container of water. Make sure you choose dark green fresh leaves as stick insects are not partial to leaves that are too old or too new. If your stick insects like the broccoli leaves, you will see where they have been eating them. If the leaves are left untouched, you will need to find a different food source for them.