Friday, January 18, 2013

Pet Isopods!

This is the third winter that we've cared for some Sow bugs and Potato/Pill bugs. In the end we usually only have Sow bugs left. I'm not sure why, but they seem more resilient. This year the kids haven't been as interested in them as other years that we've done this so I looked up an information page, got out some containers, a spoon, and some magnifying glasses. HERE is the information page I pulled up on my iPad to read to them while they observed them up close. In the process they discovered some baby snails living in our mini aquarium and some baby sow bugs and some really small white bugs that we couldn't identify. We also have a worm still. I saw it still alive the other night when I checked them.

If you are interested in keeping sow bugs it's easy. They are found under rocks in autumn and you can place them in a large jar (we are using a small aquarium). I've kept them in a small jar as well. They aren't picky as long as there is food, dirt, and moisture. Be sure there are air holes so they can breath. Put a bunch of soil in the jar from the ground where you found them and keep the soil moist. Keep adding organic leaves to the jar to feed them. They will eventually have babies. The mom keeps the babies under her belly for the first little while. Once they are big enough to go off on their own they crawl off of her and wander around the jar. They are very tiny versions of the adults. If you use a larger container they like small rocks to hide under. You can keep worms with them as well, or snails. They all live well together. The worms make tunnels that the sow bugs like to crawl through. Enjoy!!

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