How to Keep Grasshoppers

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Keeping and caring for grasshoppers is easy and requires only simple initial preparations. The overall key to successfully caring for grasshoppers is to provide enough living space, provide plenty of food on a consistent basis, and always keep the living area clean. Below are detailed tips about the type of living area required, safe handling techniques, water and food considerations, and general information required to provide a long, healthy life for pet grasshoppers.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-gallon fish tank
  • Screen lid
  • Potting soil
  • Potted plants

How to keep Grasshoppers

A grasshopper’s living area should be as large as possible, especially if you are housing several grasshoppers. A 10-gallon or larger fish tank is ideal. A lid made of screen mesh must be used to cover the entire top of the aquarium to prevent the grasshoppers from escaping. Cover the entire bottom of the inside of the aquarium with store-bought bagged potting soil, which will provide a low-maintenance foundation that will never need to be replaced. Using soil or dirt from outside is not recommended due to the increased probability of introducing diseases, parasites, mold, and other harmful insects.

The ideal temperature range of 70 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit is required for a grasshopper’s survival. Position the aquarium near a window that receives direct sunlight or use a heating lamp from a pet store to generate heat. The light should remain on for about 8 hours the same time every day (a timer can be helpful with that).

Numerous potted plants within the aquarium are necessary if you want your grasshoppers to reproduce. Never change the soil within the plant pots; the grasshoppers will lay their eggs within the soil of the potted plants. The eggs will remain dormant for most of the year; if the eggs are disturbed, they will not hatch.

The best way to establish a safe friendly bond with a grasshopper is to position your open hand inside the aquarium with a piece of food in your palm . Lettuce or carrots are typically the best choices. Position your hand near the grasshopper and remain still and patient. It may take several days of attempts, but the grasshopper will eventually jump onto the palm of your hand and nibble on the food. Several days after handling the grasshopper with food in your hand start placing your hand near the grasshopper without any food. The grasshopper will jump onto the palm of your hand. Be prepared for the grasshopper to nibble on your fingers, but it will be painless and harmless.

Grasshoppers do not drink water like humans. Grasshoppers receive their water from the food they eat. The best sources of water-providing food include succulent grass and leaves, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes. If possible, provide numerous types of food constantly available to the grasshopper. The grasshopper will eat enough to achieve adequate hydration. If you have small potted plants, use a spray bottle filled with water and lightly mist the leaves of the plant about three times a week; the water will guarantee the plant remains lush.

The best way to learn what a grasshopper enjoys eating is to provide multiple types of food available. Observe what types of food are eaten most often and adjust feeding accordingly. The types of foods most grasshoppers enjoy include, but are not limited to, grass, leaves, lettuce (all types), spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, potatoes (all types), onions (all types), figs, tomatoes, and oatmeal. Wash food completely before serving to avoid introducing harmful pesticides. Clean out all of the uneaten and dried food every two days. The uneaten food must never be allowed to grow mold.

Tips & Warnings

  • During the early stages of a grasshopper's life, it will shed its skin about five times. After the fifth shed, the grasshopper will be a fully developed adult. Be sure to clean all excess skin debris out of the aquarium every time it is present. Only an adult grasshopper has the developed wings able to sustain flight. If the grass hopper jumps or flies out of the aquarium and will not return to your hand, use a clear container to catch the grasshopper. Carefully place the container over the grasshopper. Cover the container and transport the grasshopper back to the aquarium.
  • Grasshoppers are extremely fragile. Never grab or handle a grasshopper by its hind legs because the leg could become dislodged or fall off completely.

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