Which Insects Are Most Commonly Kept As Pets?
For people who fear creepy-crawlies, the idea of keeping bugs as pets is likely considered a living nightmare. Despite the common fears and criticisms that many people have toward insects and arachnids, keeping these creatures as pets is actually quite common. You have likely known at least one person during your lifetime who kept some sort of an arthropod as a pet. It seems like everyone eventually meets a morbidly minded teenager with a pet tarantula. Aside from arachnids, the most common insect pets in the United States are ants. Ants may seem like unsuitable pets, but ant pets are almost always kept in ant farms. Ant farms are fairly popular in the US due to the fascination many people have with an ant colony’s collective ability to build dwelling chambers within soil. Ant farms allow onlookers to view underground chambers built by ants. With the exception of ant farms, keeping insects as pets has never gained wide acceptance in the US. In Japan, on the other hand, insect pets are commonplace.
In Japan, keeping insects as pets is just as common as keeping dogs and cats as pets in America. Night singing crickets serve as one example of a common insect pet in Japan. Owners of night singing crickets enjoy the home security that these insects provide. While keeping a large dog makes immediate sense as a home security method, the security provided by crickets is not well understood by westerners. Although Americans may laugh at the idea of crickets successfully keeping people safe in their homes, crickets actually serve a purpose in this regard. Obviously crickets chirp, but when a cricket is approached it often stops chirping. Therefore, a sudden end to hours of constant chirping can indicate the presence of a home intruder. Many people living in Japan keep crickets for this very reason.
Although keeping insects as pets may not be popular in America, there are some Americans who take their insect pets very seriously. For instance, an eight year old girl living in Tulsa, Oklahoma keeps roaches as pets. To be more precise, this young girl keeps thousands of Madagascar hissing cockroaches in her room. Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the most common of all cockroach breeds to be kept as pets. After obtaining one roach as a pet a few years ago, the girl eventually decided that she liked the roach enough to let it breed. Now the young cockroach owner uses her vast collection of living roaches to prove to insect-haters that cockroaches are not as revolting as commonly believed. However, walking into a room crawling with thousands of enormous cockroaches may not work to make everyone unlearn their fear of roaches.
Have you ever captured an insect only to keep it as a pet?