Although my daughter and I loved the butterfly garden by InsectLore, there are two inherently different things about the stick insect kit that I wish I'd known before ordering.
Firstly, the timeframe is entirely different -- instead of the manageable 2-4 week duration of the butterfly rearing project, we're talking about months and MONTHS of sourcing privet, bramble and ivy, cleaning waste, etc. My daughter's interest has waned already.
More importantly, each female insect will lay hundreds of eggs. Since stick insects are non-native species, the kit warns that 'if you do not wish to raise a multitude of stick insects and have run out of friends who want one, we suggest putting the eggs in the freezer for a week to prevent them from hatching. They add in bold: 'Never release your stick insects into the wild. Although they have lived in Europe for over 200 years, they are still considered a non-native species and thus could be harmful to our ecosystem.'
Perhaps I should have learned more about stick insects before ordering this, I admit -- but I do see it as irresponsible on the manufacturer's part to sell a product to children which puts the onus on them and their parents to avoid releasing the hundreds/thousands of eggs from each kit into the British countryside.