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Emergency!!

Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
11
I got new, young stick insects yesterday (Phaenopharos khaoyaiensis) and put them in a large terrarium with coconut coir and sand as the floor. They have a lot of space to move around, I gave them food as soon as I put them into their new home and misted the enclosure a couple of times with rain water. They are at room temperature. One of them started to molt straight away. Yesterday evening, I noticed that all of them are hanging upside down, and some even on 1 leg, so I thought they all must be preparing to molt. This morning (around 30 mins ago) I go to check up on them, and I was shocked to see that even 20 hours later, the one that started to molt straight away has not finished yet, having its middle and front legs stuck. None of them have molted, yet all but 2 have dropped to the ground. They have their limbs curled towards their body now, similar to how a dead spider curls his when he dies, though there is still a bit of movement. I am pretty sure they are dying. It might be because there is a smell from the bottle I used to spray them. The smell is the residue (though I tried to clean it many times) of aphids spray, which was made from natural ingredients. I also use this exact bottle to mist my nepenthes. It doesn't harm the plants (which are pretty sensitive to chemicals), so I thought it would be safe to use on the stick insect enclosure aswell.

Is there any way I could save them?

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Last edited:

bluemax

Lotsa blue
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It sounds like you have misted your stick insects with insecticide residue. They have essentially been poisoned. Plastic bottles hold chemical residues very well and often resist their removal. My advice is discontinue using the offending misting bottle and remove your insects from their enclosure while you remove all material in it and very thoroughly scrub and clean all parts of it using a mild detergent like dish washing soap followed by thorough rinsing. Add new media and replace your insects. I am sorry if it is too late but you can at least try. Misting them lightly with a clean misting bottle outside if the your terrarium might help them to be rid of insecticide but no guarantees. I wish you good luck!
 
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
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USA, GA
I kept many different types of stick insects years ago and Yup. I agree with bluemax.

I would rinse them off with clean water right away. But I know it's been hours since this thread has been started.

Hope they pull through for you! Did you get any eggs sent with them? Were any of them old enough to lay eggs?

Good Luck.
 
Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
11
I kept many different types of stick insects years ago and Yup. I agree with bluemax.

I would rinse them off with clean water right away. But I know it's been hours since this thread has been started.

Hope they pull through for you! Did you get any eggs sent with them? Were any of them old enough to lay eggs?

Good Luck.
Thanks, its the middle of the night here, so I'll clean the tank first thing in the morning.

Unfortunately, no eggs have been shipped with them and they are definitely not old enough to lay any eggs yet.

Pretty sure one has somewhat recovered as it has been gripping onto the branch better and even moving up and down the branch. The others haven't moved at all during the day, but I checked up on them a few minutes ago and it seems they are all still alive, moving their legs and tails a little bit, though though they are very weak.

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Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
1,206
Location
USA, GA
I'd just keep spraying them with super clean water right after they fully dry (so maybe every few hours, but again, only after they have fully dried). Also, I'd try hand feeding them leaves of their food plant. Just hold a moist leaf peace (a torn edge where the plant juice is exposed) to their mouth. Hopefully they will begin feeding. But if not, that's ok, they may just need to regain strength.

Good Luck!

Also, try posting about your sticks here: http://mantidforum.net/forums/forum/30-stick-insects/ for advice from a bunch of experts. You will have to join that site to post. Also try posting here for more experts: https://arachnoboards.com/forums/insects-other-invertebrates-arthropods.18/ I'm on both, so if you join be sure to give me a shout out! :D
 
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