Do stick insects need a heat lamp? When it comes to the care of stick insects, many people have questions about what is necessary and what is not.
One common question that we get asked is whether or not a heat lamp is needed. So, today, we are going to clear up any confusion and tell you the truth about stick insects and heat lamps!
Stick Insects And Their Natural Environment
The first thing you need to know is that stick insects “Phasmatodea” come from tropical regions. This means that they do not naturally live in a climate with cold weather and low temperatures.
Important: Stick insects typically favor tropical climates with warm and humid environments. As such, if your planning on getting a stick insect as a pet, it’s important to provide them with a temperature range of 70-78 °F.
When it comes to their diet these insects tend to feast on the plant leaves, and shrubs, so make sure you add plenty of plants to their enclosure.
Privet and bramble leaves appear to hold special appeal for many species of stick insects. Something to keep in mind!
Why The Right Temperature Is Important For Stick Insects
Stick insects are sensitive creatures and require specific environmental conditions to grow and thrive. Temperature is especially important, as it can have an impact on their appetite, lifespan, and growth rates.
Research indicates that different temperature ranges can produce different results.
For example, warmer temperatures may lead to increased appetites and higher growth rates, while cooler temperatures could potentially extend the lifespan of the insect without jeopardizing its growth.
As before, the ideal ambient temperature for most species of stick insects is between 70-78°F, with a slight fluctuation allowed overnight.
Some stick insects can tolerate lower temperatures ranging from 57-68 °F. But, only if the temperature doesn’t fluctuate or drop too low!
Temperatures above 78°F should be avoided, as it can put a lot of strain on the insects and cause them stress.
Stick insects that don’t have an appropriate environment with proper temperatures can suffer from issues such as dehydration or illness, so taking care to ensure their temperature needs are met is a vital part of owning them as pets.
Benefits Of Using A Heat Lamp In Their Enclosure
Heat lamps are essential and used in many types of enclosures, such as reptile enclosures or chicken coops. They provide supplemental warmth to animals “or in this case stick insects” that need it in order to maintain their health and comfort.
Because stick insects cannot control their body temperature, heat lamps help regulate and keep the temperature at an ideal and specific level, giving your pet protection from both extreme heat and cold.
Heat lamps come in a variety of wattages and sizes that allow for precise heat levels depending on the area being heated, as well as adjustable heights for changing the basking zone.
This means that keepers can customize their enclosures to meet their pets’ needs without having to construct extra large structures or invest heavily in other heating sources.
In addition, heat lamps use significantly less electricity when compared with traditional appliances which is a huge bonus considering heat lamps are constantly being used.
They provide an inexpensive yet reliable way for keepers to ensure that their enclosures remain comfortable and safe for all inhabitants.
Heat Lamp Benefits Overview:
- Helps Regulate and keep the temperature at a specific level
- Heat’s without making direct contact or disturbing the stick insect
- Heat lamps also simulate a day/night cycle environment
- Cost-effectiveness as an electrical heat source
Heat Lamps Suitable For Stick Insects
If you’re looking for the best type of heat lamp for stick insects, the first thing you need to consider is the wavelength! When it comes to heat lamps there are three main types of wavelengths in Infrared lamps:
- Short wave
- Medium wave
- Long wave
- Shortwave Infrared (IR) heat lamps are particularly favored because of the strong concentration over a limited range. Though it is the most intense and penetrative of the three, it’s more for short-term use as it can use up a lot of energy!
- Medium and Longwave Infrared (IR) heat lamps have less intense modes, meaning they are much cooler, however, the subject can absorb the heat much better and it can last longer than their shortwave counterparts, making them ideal for long-term heating or extended periods in which heat needs to be maintained.
Since they have a cooler and dimmer light output than shortwave IR lamps, medium, and longwave IR lamps are better suited for heating.
Take Note: Medium and Longwave heating lamps are able to be absorbed more easily by the subject, making them preferable over traditional shortwave IR when heating is desired.
However. their reach is much shorter than that of their counterpart, so they may be better paired with smaller areas as they will not travel quite as far when being used.
Despite this limitation though, these kinds of heat lamps offer a reliable form of heating for stick insects that can be adjustable and efficient.
Ultimately, the type of heat lamp to select will depend on the size of the enclosure ensuring that any space gets optimally heated with minimal energy consumption.
Setting Up A Safe And Effective Heat Lamp
Once you’ve decided on the type of heat lamp for your stick insects, setting it up correctly and safely is essential.
The positioning of the lamp should be considered and ensured that it’s not too close to any fabrics or flammable materials.
It’s best to find a spot where the heat from the light can reach all parts of your enclosure with minimal alteration.
Obviously, the lamp should be in a place that’s easy to access for changing bulbs or other maintenance.
It’s also beneficial to put the lamp on a timer so that it can be switched off at night, helping your insect have a more natural day/night cycle.
1. Heating Lamp Placement
Setting up heating lamps in enclosures can be a great way to keep your pets warm and healthy. However, it is extremely important to focus on placement when installing the lamps, as this has a direct impact on the safety and comfort of your pet.
Generally speaking, heating lamps are usually placed at the top of the enclosure! not only does this spread the heat evenly “but” also simulates the behavior of the sun in their natural habitat making them feel more at home.
2. Adjust Temperature Settings
Ensuring your enclosure has the correct temperature, specifically when using heating lamps, is essential for the health and safety of whatever species of stick insect you are housing.
To make sure you have the proper settings for a warm and comfortable space for your insect, it’s important to pay attention to the temperatures both during the day and at night.
Most heat lamps come with adjustable wattage settings allowing you to control and adjust the amount of heat your stick insect is being exposed to! Preferably you want the temperature between 70-78°F.
3. Install A Thermostat
One way to ensure your enclosure is getting the correct amount of heat is by installing a thermostat. While adjusting the wattage of lamps can help to regulate warmth, investing in an accurate and dependable thermostat will help keep a more consistent heat level.
With so many different options available, it’s easy to find one that best fits your unique needs. Once installed, the thermostat can be quickly calibrated to provide the perfect temperature while also saving energy at the same time.
4. Use A Humidistat
If you’re looking to house certain species of stick insects, it’s important to know what humidity they require in order to be happy and healthy.
For instance, the Carausius morosus species is quite content in a roomier environment, while the Epidares nolimetangere needs much higher levels of moisture – up to 80% relative humidity!
Luckily, setting up the ideal humidity level for any stick insect is possible with the help of a humidistat. These devices are highly adjustable and can serve as an excellent way for first-time keepers to stay on top of the stick insect’s habitat requirements.
5. Heat Lamp Timer (Optional)
Heat lamp timers are a great way to mimic day and night for your pet’s enclosure. When connected to your heat lamp, the timer provides consistent heating patterns that will better replicate natural day and night cycles.
A heat lamp timer is also good if you don’t have a Thermostat although it won’t be as efficient it can still adjust the temperature of the enclosure if calibrated properly.
With its convenient features, a heat lamp timer is an excellent tool for providing accurate and reliable environmental conditions for your pet.
Maintaining A Proper Temperature For Your Stick Insect
Stick insects can be sensitive to fluctuating temperatures, so if you are looking to keep your pet happy, it’s important to regulate their environment.
Different parts of the enclosure necessitate different temperatures!
As a general rule, it’s best to place the probe on the basking surface if you are aiming to control basking temperatures.
To regulate ambient temperatures place the probe in the shade or on the cool side, and inside the warm hide when assessing warm hide temperature.
Can You Use A Regular Light Bulb Instead Of A Heat Lamp?
It is possible to use a regular light bulb as a heat lamp, for stick insects? When it comes to using regular light bulbs it’s important to consider the wattage.
For example, if you used a 250-watt regular bulb, the most heat it could generate would be its lumens per watts measurement (110 Lm/Watt).
If so, the bulb would only use 38 Watts of energy and approximately 85% of that would be released as heat.
This means that while one shouldn’t expect the area to feel overly warm with such a bulb, it will still generate some heat.
However, the main problem with using regular light bulbs is the amount of heat that is slowly released cannot be accurately regulated, making it difficult to control temperature levels in certain areas of the enclosure.
For stick insects, this can be very risky as they require precise temperatures for their well-being. Therefore, it’s best to opt for a specially designed heat lamp that can keep the temperature in optimum ranges.
Other Alternative Heating Options
For stick insects, there’s not really many alternative heating options to keep them comfortable and provided the appropriate environmental conditions.
This is why heating lamps are quite useful for providing warmth and increasing humidity levels to keep stick insects healthy.
However, as mentioned earlier not all stick insect species need a heating lamp and there are alternative ways of keeping them warm.
In fact, apart from using a regular light bulb heating blankets can also be used if kept on low power settings and situated in one spot can be used as a good heat source.
Take note: The problem with this option is stick insects are unable to bask in the light the same way as with a heating lamp, so it should only be used as a temp solution.
So not only do stick insects need a heat lamp for creating an appropriate habitat “but” it’s also essential for their health and well-being.
To achieve the proper temperature levels needed, consider investing in a thermostat and/or humidistat this will make your life a lot easier in the long run!
Additionally, if you’re looking to mimic day and night cycles, don’t forget a timer connected to your heat lamp may be beneficial too.