Can Isopods Be Kept As Pets

Can Isopods Be Kept As Pets

Even if you’ve never heard the term “isopod” before, you are likely familiar with how they look and know them by the moniker “pillbug” or “woodlouse”. With over 10,000 species of isopod in existence, they make for some of the most diverse creatures in the world, inhabiting a variety of environments and taking up many different forms.

If you’re searching for isopods for sale, you are likely trying to understand what makes them appealing to pet owners. This guide seeks to elaborate on that.

Why People Keep Isopods As Pets

Typically, people seek out isopods for sale for their other pets. Many reptile keepers love them as a “cleanup crew” that can help remove animal waste from an enclosure, making it more naturalistic and self-sufficient. This also makes them a great addition to any compost heap.

These bugs also make for great enrichment for animals that enjoy hunting and foraging. Many keepers of frogs and arthropods like scorpions prefer smaller varieties, such as the dwarf white. People who own larger lizards, such as skinks and bearded dragons go for larger varieties, such as the dairy cow or swift woodlouse isopods.

With all that being said, there are plenty of people who find the isopod’s appearance to be cool and versatile and make a hobby out of keeping certain varieties. Their daily scurrying and buggy antics can make for some relaxing viewing for some keepers. More important, however, is the fact that isopods are one of the easiest (and most inexpensive) creatures available for sale to care for. Once you have a colony set up and properly maintained, you will have a reliable supply of these valuable creatures available for as long as you can maintain it.

Taking Care Of Your Isopods


Housing for a colony of isopods is about as low maintenance as you can get. Simply make sure that they have a dark, moist container to reside in with plenty of hiding spaces (many keepers opt for egg cartons). Of course, make sure that your isopods have plenty of breathing holes, and cover those with mesh to prevent any escapees.


As previously mentioned, isopods are nature’s “cleanup crew”. This means that they’re detritivores, living off of rotting foodstuffs and animal wastes. They will be more than happy to consume old vegetation and leaves that you can throw at them. As long as you provide them with sufficient food materials once a week, they should be fine.

Water, however, is a slightly more complicated issue. Isopods evolved specially adapted “pleopodal lungs” that reside on the lower part of their body, and absorb oxygen through moisture. This means that these insects require varying amounts of water and humidity based on whatever species you go for.

Final Thoughts On Isopods For Sale

If you’re looking for a small, easy to care for insect that will make a valuable addition to any setup and even a unique place in your heart, these critters are a great choice. Even if you’re not looking to incorporate isopods into another creatures’ setup, they make for great composters, or simply interesting creatures to look at.

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