Is it legal to keep or breed bugs?

While most people do everything they possibly can to get rid of bugs, you’ll probably (at least considering) to invite them in your home. While there are too many bugs to mention here (well, realize that there are already over 1 million anthropods alone) not every bug is suitable or available to keep as a pet.

Some species of bugs are threatened unfortunately and can’t be kept because it impacts the wild populations. Another reason that you can’t keep a particular species is that it is labelled as an invasive species – a species not native to a specific location and it has the tendency to harm the environment, human economy and/or human health when escaped from its owner.

A difficulty is that every country has its own regulation for keeping, importing/exporting and transporting these group of animals. So, there is not a straightforward answer to this question.

I can highly recommend doing a proper search for any legal limitation in your country before you start keeping bugs. The best thing I can tell you is which species are commonly kept as pets

Insects commonly kept as pets

  • Ants (including leaf-cutter ants)
  • Stick and leaf insects
  • Mantids
  • Millipedes
  • Centipedes
  • Beetles
  • Cockroaches
  • Tarantulas
  • Scorpions
  • Snails
  • Hermit crabs
  • Butterflies/caterpillars
  • Locusts
  • Feeder insects (mealworms/flies/superworms/crickets)