Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Roly Poly as a Pet!

This is our third year having potato, sow, pill bugs as pets over the winter. We keep them inside the house in a jar and feed them plant material and water drops. Both winters they had babies. It's so interesting because the mother carries the babies under her belly in a pouch for a while. I suggest that if yours have babies split them up into other jars. I've noticed that if you have too many in a jar they can somehow disappear. I think from what I learned is that if there are too many some of them get eaten when they molt. So to prevent this keep them in other jars when they get over crowded.

Here are the instructions: 
1. Get a clean jar and punch holes in the lid.
2. Put a bunch of clean, chemical free soil on the bottom of the jar. No need to pat it down. The bugs will like to burrow into it and like it soft and moist.
3. Find potato bugs under a pot, rock or other objects on the ground. Or if your house has as many as ours you might just be able to open the door at night and see them scurry across the step. We also have a ton of them in our composters.
4. Place leaves (this could be leaves from veggies too (carrot tops, lettuce), or small pieces of veggies. Keep in mind that you don't want something that is smelly. So small pieces of potato peelings or carrot peelings are fine. See what they like best. The leaves are very fun to feed them because they'll eat all of the leaf and leave the veins.
5. Keep the leaves and the soil moist.

They are nocturnal animals and will be more active at night. You might also notice that when you shine a bright light on them they scurry under the leaves or down a burrow hole they made.

Have fun with your new pet!

I couldn't find a poem for this subject, but here is a link. If I were crafty with the sewing machine I'd make this. One thing to keep in mind is that this bug isn't an insect. It has 14 legs (7 on each side). 


Wendy Hawksley said...

I'm slightly freaked out about the idea... LOL What if it gets loose? What if it ends up in my bed??? I'm thinking we'll do butterflies at some point, though. :-D

Our Pace said...

Ah, ha ha ha! Sorry for laughing. One of the ones we caught was caught in our bedroom, ironically. It was the first one we caught. And no... it didn't get there from our stash. It must have came in from outside? They are harmless. Butterflies are fun too.


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