Kids and pets

LemonFresh

New Member
Hello. Last week we went to the local independent pet store to buy dog food (Ozzy Hungarian Vizsla 4 years old part good boy part idiot) The owner who I know well nipped in the back and brought out a wee green chameleon that she handed to my boy ( J aged 11 mostly a good boy😊) and he was instantly fully entranced. He loves all wee creatures, picks up worms on a dry day and puts them in the grass, rescues bees that are tired and generally wants to turn the house into a zoo.

So now I have to make the decision as to whether we go ahead and get a chameleon.

I've not got a problem in general. We've previously kept fish ( until the mother in law came over and fed them when we were on holiday even tho I told her there was a block in...😡)

I'd be happy to go bioactive as I already have a house full of plants and keep an outdoor pond....but the kicker for me is the bugs!!

I just dont know if I can voluntarily bring roaches and crickets into my house. I hate cockroaches the absolute most. We dont have many in Scotland where we live but am constantly terrorized by the thought of them when we go abroad to the Mediterranean or Florida. I just hate them. Happy with worms and flies and spiders but roaches...😱

I cant seem to get my head round how and where you keep them, how you feed them and how you prep them to give to the chameleon. My boy and husband have both said they'll do the bugs but I fear that eventually it will fall to me.

I've been lurking around here for a while trying to get a handle on how you deal with your bugs but I'm not much clearer. Do people handle the feeders? How do you get the dust on them and what happens if they get out!! I've always encouraged my boy in his love of animals but I'm worried the bug aspect of keeping a chameleon is a step too far for me. I've attached the photo of the wee chameleon that we saw. It was tiny and the pet store owner wasnt happy such a small one had been sent. She assured me if we got one it wouldnt be this young.

Can I have your thoughts please on my situation. Thank you 🙌
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NashansCamos

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello. Last week we went to the local independent pet store to buy dog food (Ozzy Hungarian Vizsla 4 years old part good boy part idiot) The owner who I know well nipped in the back and brought out a wee green chameleon that she handed to my boy ( J aged 11 mostly a good boy😊) and he was instantly fully entranced. He loves all wee creatures, picks up worms on a dry day and puts them in the grass, rescues bees that are tired and generally wants to turn the house into a zoo.

So now I have to make the decision as to whether we go ahead and get a chameleon.

I've not got a problem in general. We've previously kept fish ( until the mother in law came over and fed them when we were on holiday even tho I told her there was a block in...😡)

I'd be happy to go bioactive as I already have a house full of plants and keep an outdoor pond....but the kicker for me is the bugs!!

I just dont know if I can voluntarily bring roaches and crickets into my house. I hate cockroaches the absolute most. We dont have many in Scotland where we live but am constantly terrorized by the thought of them when we go abroad to the Mediterranean or Florida. I just hate them. Happy with worms and flies and spiders but roaches...😱

I cant seem to get my head round how and where you keep them, how you feed them and how you prep them to give to the chameleon. My boy and husband have both said they'll do the bugs but I fear that eventually it will fall to me.

I've been lurking around here for a while trying to get a handle on how you deal with your bugs but I'm not much clearer. Do people handle the feeders? How do you get the dust on them and what happens if they get out!! I've always encouraged my boy in his love of animals but I'm worried the bug aspect of keeping a chameleon is a step too far for me. I've attached the photo of the wee chameleon that we saw. It was tiny and the pet store owner wasnt happy such a small one had been sent. She assured me if we got one it wouldnt be this young.

Can I have your thoughts please on my situation. Thank you 🙌View attachment 293006
Theres plenty other options besides roaches. You can feed silkworms, locusts, calci worms, and more.
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
OP, your writing style is fantastic, and I read it in my head in the voice of my Scottish friend! I too wasn't thrilled about the idea of bringing bugs into the house, but I did get over it. For crickets what I did before I could touch them was to buy a hand-held vaccuum (like a Dirt Devil if you have them there), which is ONLY to be used for the crickets. You have your large bin that you keep them in with fresh veggies, just suck up as many as you want to dust and feed, dump them into the container that you use to dust them, then shake them with the dusting powder, and then dump them into the cage. Voila, you haven't touched a single cricket!

For the worms, you can get hornworms, superworms, and silkworms to vary your feeders, and they are all pretty harmless (a superworm will nip at your fingers but it's fine). Silks and horns should come in a cup with feed, so you can leave them in there and just make sure you use them before the feed runs out (or you can get the powdered mix and make up some yourself, it's pretty easy). You can just put the superworms into a large bin with oatmeal and veggies and pull out what you need - I grab them, my husband and petsitter use tongs to get them out. We can't get locusts over here in the States, but I know they are very popular over across the pond.

Looking forward to watching you start this journey, and if you need any help please keep asking questions. Good luck!
 

Madmango

Established Member
I totally understand about roaches. I don’t like them and did not want them in my house. I finally gave them a try and it was not so bad. I only get as many as I can feed in a week. I knock them into a little feeding dish/cup sprinkle them with calcium powder put them in the enclosure in the dish and have never had an escapee. My chameleon eats them quickly and then I remove the cup.

you can definitely find other feeders them roaches.

keep in mind that crickets smell and need to have the bin you put them in cleaned often. I clean my bin every other day. This means you can to clean out the plants of food and wipe out the excess feces.

If you can get silkworms they are easy and don’t smell. Quick to clean and easy to feed. They are prone to bacteria infection so keeping hands washed before touching them is very important.

black soldier flys are very easy they don’t smell and don’t need to be feed. They come in a cup with food you just pull out what you need and feed.

this is just a few insects that you can feed.

this is a great website all about chameleons

www.chameleonacademy.com
 

LemonFresh

New Member
OP, your writing style is fantastic, and I read it in my head in the voice of my Scottish friend! I too wasn't thrilled about the idea of bringing bugs into the house, but I did get over it. For crickets what I did before I could touch them was to buy a hand-held vaccuum (like a Dirt Devil if you have them there), which is ONLY to be used for the crickets. You have your large bin that you keep them in with fresh veggies, just suck up as many as you want to dust and feed, dump them into the container that you use to dust them, then shake them with the dusting powder, and then dump them into the cage. Voila, you haven't touched a single cricket!

For the worms, you can get hornworms, superworms, and silkworms to vary your feeders, and they are all pretty harmless (a superworm will nip at your fingers but it's fine). Silks and horns should come in a cup with feed, so you can leave them in there and just make sure you use them before the feed runs out (or you can get the powdered mix and make up some yourself, it's pretty easy). You can just put the superworms into a large bin with oatmeal and veggies and pull out what you need - I grab them, my husband and petsitter use tongs to get them out. We can't get locusts over here in the States, but I know they are very popular over across the pond.

Looking forward to watching you start this journey, and if you need any help please keep asking questions. Good luck!
Thank you! ☺ I love how everyone I know from the States has a Scottish friend...we are a far travelled people...mainly to get away from the weather!
Thank you for your advice and I'm glad to know that's it's not just me whose roachphobic. I feel a bit more relaxed about the bugs now and how they are kept. Apparently we can get brown crickets here that dont chirp!
I'll definitely keep you posted on how we get on...we're in full lockdown; homeschooling and no travel so will use the time...the long long time we have to continue the research and buy some more plants...
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just keep in mind... Veiled chameleons can be iffy on their temperament... I would be hesitant to get one for an 11 year old especially if they are going to want to hold it all the time. I have three and their temperaments vary completely. I have one that is quite aggressive that even intimidates me at times. They really are more of a look and don't touch animal. They stress easily and are extremely expensive with all the stuff they need to stay healthy.

The bugs unfortunately come with them. It is important to provide a diverse diet these are some of the feeders you can feed.
I have all mine in containers with screen tops. Crickets are in a deeper container so they do not bounce around and out.

Here are some images to help you and I would start reading through this husbandry program to make sure you know the depth of what you would have to provide. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hullo, and Wylcome! 😁

Chameleons are (IMO—some will disagree, but may be biased. Ya think? :LOL:) perhaps not the best choice for a first reptile. If you were in the States, I'd recommend a green anole (which I started with fifty-mumble years ago—when I was wee). They're not a "true chameleon" but they do change color, and are much easier to care for.

Instead, I'll recommend watching some vids by Clint's Reptiles on YouTube. If you're unfamiliar, he does (fairly) brief videos about the pros & cons of keeping various reptiles to help folks get an idea of their suitability for their situations.

....
I just dont know if I can voluntarily bring roaches and crickets into my house. I hate cockroaches the absolute most. We dont have many in Scotland where we live but am constantly terrorized by the thought of them when we go abroad to the Mediterranean or Florida. I just hate them. Happy with worms and flies and spiders but roaches...😱
IMO, the thing to consider (or remember) about feeder insects is that species matters a lot. For example, were any dubia roaches to escape in a home in Scotland, they wouldn't survive very long, and it would be virtually impossible for them to breed. They also don't "skitter" compared to the roaches you're likely thinking of.

The same can be said of crickets with regard to species. Doing a little research/homework into the best feeder insects for you (as Clint above would say) should be viewed as part of the research on the reptile itself.

I cant seem to get my head round how and where you keep them, how you feed them and how you prep them to give to the chameleon. My boy and husband have both said they'll do the bugs but I fear that eventually it will fall to me. .... Do people handle the feeders? How do you get the dust on them and what happens if they get out!!
There will be differences, but let me use dubia roaches as an example. I keep mine in re-purposed plastic tubs as shown below. The paper tubes give the roaches places to hide, and also serve as part of the feeding method. When it's time to feed one of my lizards, I pull a tube out of the tub and—holding it over the feeding bowl—gently rap on the side with a pencil, shaking a few loose that fall into the bowl. For "dusting", I either rap them into a small zip-lock bag or tiny poly container with a little dust and shake, or I drop a little dust into the bowl, cover firmly with my palm, and shake.

I only handle directly if one happens to make a dash for it, but they don't bite, and they're not all that fast. Do it quickly without thinking about it, and it's back in the bin. ;)

The big difference with crickets (for me) is that they can jump! :LOL:

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There's a piece of screen in the lid to provide ventilation. This 1/2 gallon tub holds around 200-250 roaches. 🤓

For feeding the bugs themselves, I drop a baby carrot or other veggie into about half of the tubes, and repeat—alternating tubes—as necessary—usually every few days to a week. They get moisture from the veggies.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I live in Canada and were not supposed to have roaches here...so I've never used roaches as a food for my chameleons or other reptiles in the 30+ years I've kept them. IMHO there ar enough other types of insects to feed them without using roaches. My chameleons did very well without them!

If you do decide to get a veiled chameleon, I would get a male so you don't have to deal with reproductive issues. (Males are a little more feisty sometimes though.)
 

Ambilobe123

Established Member
There actually are two legal species of cockroach in Canada, Surinam and Australian. Australian roaches will not infest a house, but Surinams will. They are, however, somewhat hard to come by, so crickets might be better.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Plenty of options other than roaches. Funny thing is, I didn't get into this hobby for same reason as OP as I thought for a long time chameleons needed some roaches(which they don't, variety is what matters!). Now I have too many species of roaches lol. Got over my hatred for them.

It really comes down to crickets vs roaches. Crickets are perfectly fine, but if you can even slightly get over the roach fear/stigma in time, you'll find they have many benefits over crickets. I also feel crickets are just a countdown to introducing parasites to your reptiles in many cases. Especially, if they come from pet stores(even good pet stores). I suspect their filth could also contribute to mouth infections, but just guessing on that.
 

Crossingtami

Established Member
I would look into something like a beardy. Still needs the bugs, but imo a better starter reptile for the boy. My 3 yr old grandson holds my beardy but, of course, can just look at my cham. The requirements for a beardy is a lot easier than a cham. Just my opinion.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would look into something like a beardy. Still needs the bugs, but imo a better starter reptile for the boy. My 3 yr old grandson holds my beardy but, of course, can just look at my cham. The requirements for a beardy is a lot easier than a cham. Just my opinion.
(y)(y) I'd second that. BT-DT. Beardies aren't as fragile, only semi-arboreal, and arid/temperate vs. tropical/temperate (chameleons). They'll chill with you—even for a couple/few hours.
 

Crossingtami

Established Member
(y)(y) I'd second that. BT-DT. Beardies aren't as fragile, only semi-arboreal, and arid/temperate vs. tropical/temperate (chameleons). They'll chill with you—even for a couple/few hours.

Thank you. I'll go over all this with him in the morning. I realise that although he loved the wee cham, in reality I would be the person responsible for it cares needs...
My beardy likes to chill and hang out. A good 'hands on' compared to the 'hands off' of the cham.
 

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Crossingtami

Established Member
Theres always the soft and furry pets which make great hands on companions. Maybe guinnea pigs or birds? No bugs required! This is my 'lil bit' the lovebird, 'pebbles' the cockatiel, and 'abby' the guinnea pig!
 

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