If you’re a pet enthusiast or have ever considered owning certain exotic animals, you have likely heard of isopods. Also known as the pill bug, they are an ancient crustacean that have been recognized for their value in enriching various pet enclosures. However, they are often kept as a unique and appreciated pet that is highly valued in its own right. With that being said, you may still be stuck on a couple aspects of owning these guys. Namely, not many people know where to buy isopods in the first place.
With this guide, we aim to give you a sense of not only where to seek out various types of isopod, but the pros and cons of each option. We will also go through some tips on how to best observe your new isopod’s health once they get home. Remember, it always helps to do your research before bringing home any pet. That includes knowing where to best source them. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to proliferating a healthy, stable colony.
Your Options on Where to Buy Isopods
Fortunately, modern technology and shipping methods have given us a variety of ways to ship these crustaceans out all around the world. From large, big chain pet stores to small specialty breeders, you are bound to find a good source for isopods in no time. Of course, every method of acquiring your pill bugs will come with various pros and cons. How you eventually source your isopods will depend on a variety of factors. This includes your geographic location, budget, and what you’re using these critters for.
Physical Retail Stores
With the popularity of these crustaceans growing by the day, it’s not surprising that retail chain stores would start carrying them. Because of this, one of the more common methods of seeking out and purchasing isopods is going to a retail pet or gardening store. If you are just starting out in the hobby, brick and mortar stores can be an excellent way for you to acquire some of your first pill bugs.
Can be convenient .
You will have a reliable, consistent supply.
Won’t have to pay shipping and handling costs.
May not have a large variety of isopods. This may differ if you buy isopods from a small, local business.
A physical retail location may be difficult to get to, depending on where you are.
Online retail stores, such as Amazon and various reptile supply companies are also an excellent way to acquire a variety of isopods. Typically, they will take a week to 10 days to arrive at your location. From there, you can expect them to arrive in the folds of paper towels in a plastic container. When you wish to release them into their enclosure, gently shake your new pill bugs into their new home.
Can ship to nearly anywhere.
Will have a greater variety of isopods to choose from.
Reptile-specific stores will have higher standards of quality for their stock.
Shipping time and costs.
Slight risk of your shipment being damaged.
Buying Isopods From Small Breeders
Of course, if you’re looking for certain specialty, rare varieties of isopod, a small breeder invested in the hobby may be the way to go. The fact is, you simply aren’t likely to acquire a rubber ducky isopod in your neighborhood big box pet store. Yes, finding a specialty breeder can be difficult at first. However, once you have one locked down, you’ll be set after you have built a relationship with them. Of course, there are a few places you can go to seek out fellow isopod enthusiasts. This includes online forums. Because the world of isopod collecting and breeding is relatively small, word of mouth tends to reveal who the quality breeders are rather quickly. If you are looking to breed your own line of these crustaceans, this may be the best way to go.
When you need support, your breeder will be likely to provide it.
Larger variety of isopod species.
Your breeder will likely have a high standard of quality for their lines.
May be slightly more expensive.
Stock is often somewhat limited.
Determining the Health of Your Isopods
Of course, regardless of where your pill bugs come from, you’re going to want to ensure they’re healthy when they arrive. Making sure that your initial shipment of about 10 to 30 isopods are free of disease and pests will set you and your new colony up for success.
When your new crustaceans arrive, be sure to carefully look over them and ensure that they don’t have any parasites. Tell tale signs of an infection of mites or some other pests include small, white or black specs. When your new isopods arrive, they should be relatively active and in good condition. Check to make sure that they are of appropriate size, and that their shells look like they should. If you see a significant amount of dead isopods in your shipment, there might be something wrong.
If you suspect that there may be something wrong with your new pill bugs, be sure to isolate them as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to potentially spread disease to the rest of your colony or even your larger pets. From there, you can begin treatment.
Of course, you can help reduce your chances of acquiring bad stock by sourcing your isopods for sale from caring, reputable breeders.
Final Thoughts on Where to Buy Isopods
Overall, there isn’t necessarily one “right” way to source your isopods. Before picking up your first or next batch, think about what you want out of them. Do you want them exclusively as a food source for another animal? Are they going to help with compost? Are you maybe even looking into breeding isopods of your own to make a new, exciting line? Whatever your needs, there will be isopods for sale that can satisfy them in some way.
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