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Stick Bug Eggs importing to US

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by Ajohnson5263, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Ajohnson5263

    Ajohnson5263 Arachnosquire

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    Hey, I've been looking into getting a oddball pet for my college apartment next year. I've been keeping fish and amphibians for 8 years now, and wanted to give some bugs a go. i was hoping to get something herbivorous and on the larger side, (since my college is to far to get feeder insects and i cant breed my own) but soon shortly learned about the ban on importing 'plant pests'. HOWEVER, i've seen on eBay that people are selling stick bug eggs (and shipping to US) by labeling them as fish food. Is this a viable way to get stick bugs into the US, and has anyone tried this before?
     
  2. Ajohnson5263

    Ajohnson5263 Arachnosquire

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    Additionally, if anyone has a recommendation for a larger invertebrate that doesn't require live food, im open to suggestions
     
  3. Aquarimax

    Aquarimax Arachnodemon Active Member

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    My two cents: Consider a large species of millipede, or even a small group of them. There are several species that get impressively large, but as detritivores, they do not require live insects as food. They do require a rather specific substrate as their main source of nutrition, but other than that, they munch on soft fruits and veggies.

    There are also captive-bred populations in the US, so you don’t have to worry about importing them into the country.
     
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  4. You wouldn't need to import them, there's plenty of people within the US who breed exotic phasmids. It's still legally dubious though.

    Exotic mantids, assassins, many roaches and other things are also technically illegal, but the authorities don't seem to care about them as much. I have seen phasmids cropping up for sale on a couple large US business websites (like here) so I can only assume that things have become a little more lax lately. Probably because Trump slashed the USDA's budget.
     
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  5. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Importing live stick bugs (or other bugs) or their eggs without the proper (and very expensive) permits and fees is illegal. If the package is opened for inspection, as frequently happens when it goes through customs, the eggs will be confiscated and you could face a hefty fine. I recently ordered a few dead phasmids from someone on Etsy. Being dead, they are not even remotely a potential pest, are not endangered or listed on CITES, but the package was still confiscated at customs because I didn't know that I needed to fill out paperwork to import dead bugs. (When I placed the order, I didn't even realize where they were coming from.)

    If you really want phasmids of some sort, try to get one of the native varieties. There are plenty of other inverts that also make great pets, though the herbivore requirement does limit your options considerably. Millipedes are a good choice, though - they are very easy to take care of and some can reach impressive sizes.
     
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  6. Hisserdude

    Hisserdude Arachnoprince

    All I know about keeping exotic phasmids is that if the USDA know you are breeding them, you can get a knock on the door. Phasmids and exotic Scarab beetles are among the most heavily regulated invertebrates to keep in the US, I'd advise against doing so.

    Roaches, millipedes, mantids etc., technically aren't legal to keep if you follow the USDA's guidelines strictly, but they really don't seem to regulate the breeding of those at all, and they can even be found in pet stores all over the country.
     
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  7. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoprince Active Member

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    Illegal. Get a large impressive tarantula, big millipede, mantis or something of that nature! The options are endless.
     
  8. Something else to keep in mind is that just because something is a predator doesn't mean it always needs live food. Centipedes for instance happily eat dead things and you could probably sustain them on frozen insects and meat. Mantids, scorpions and probably more things i'm forgetting can be trained to eat nonliving food too.
     
  9. Ajohnson5263

    Ajohnson5263 Arachnosquire

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    Thanks for the input, i just might end up getting a millipede
     
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  10. Ajohnson5263

    Ajohnson5263 Arachnosquire

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    That's so crazy, i cant believe they would confiscate dead insects like that. strange how they prioritize certain invertebrates over others.
     
  11. Ajohnson5263

    Ajohnson5263 Arachnosquire

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    thanks for the input, looking into millipedes. also open minded to perhaps a hisser or some local beetle.
     
  12. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Yeah, hissers are cool - and very easy to take care of. Many beetles have pretty short lifespans as adults, making them a little disappointing as pets unless you are able to breed them successfully, but there are some (like some of the darkling beetles) that can live up to a couple of years.
     
  13. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoking Active Member

    The ones they prioritize are the ones most likely to cause large agricultural and economic damage. Roaches can certainly cause damage, but on a significantly smaller scale. Admittedly most of the scarabs wouldn't cause huge problems due to the larvae being detritivores, but there's still the chance for many to become pests (Japanese beetles being a prime example for the Rutelinae subfamily). Phasmids would cause damage to several tree species as they eat the leaves (mostly oaks I think), and they can eat some species of rose, black and raspberry, and a few other things.
     
  14. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnobaron

    Keep a large tarantula and a small tub of dubia roaches. Once a dubia colony is established, you’ll have plenty of food for that spider:)
     
  15. The species that caused phasmids to be so heavily regulated is Carausius morosus, which got loose in california and wreaked havoc due to its rapid growth rate, parthenogenesis and being very polyphagous... they eat everything from oak, eucalyptus and most other trees to ivy and lettuce.

    Another popular species feeds not only on virtually all "normal" plants, but goes so far as to eat grass, palm fronds, desert succulents and fruits.

    Of course, tropical phasmids would never survive in the majority of the continental US. But there's certainly cause for concern anywhere that doesn't regularly freeze over. Even the large 'fancy' species kept as pets grow and breed very quickly and could become pests.
     
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