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Insect Lore Review

Here's my review/impression of the company "Insect Lore," of insectlore.com.

I've used this company two times. The first time, I ordered tiny caterpillars for a butterfly project I wanted to do with my children. No problems. It went great.

So this past spring, I decided to use them again. This time, it didn't go well at all. Here's what happened:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010: I receive the Insect Lore catalog in the mail. We decide to order the praying mantis kit- a "pagoda" and a live egg case. I place an order.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010: I get a delivery from Fed Ex. It's the praying mantis pagoda. I realize that I accidentally ordered the one that came with a COUPON for the live egg case, rather than the one that came with the actual live egg case. I send in the coupon with the additional payment (my fault!) and order the live egg case.

Friday, April 9, 2010: I receive the live egg case. We are home when it is delivered. It does not sit outside. We put the live egg case in the pagoda, and set the pagoda away from direct sunlight, not right near a window or draft, in the main living area of the house, on top of a small book case at the bottom of our staircase.

Friday, April 30, 2010: I wake up around 7 AM and go downstairs to find that instead of the live egg case sitting there as it has been every day for the past three weeks, there are a bunch of baby praying mantises moving all over the mesh! How exciting!

I email a few friends who are supposed to be taking some of these praying mantises off our hands, asking them if they can come by sometime this weekend to pick them up. This is because there are a lot of them, and we only have a very small yard and do not want to release them all at our house, and we only want to keep one or two for ourselves.

I go out for the day on a scheduled field trip, stopping at a pet store to buy tiny wingless fruit flies on my way home. By a few minutes after 5 PM that very day, we shake a bunch of the fruit flies into the mesh habitat for the praying mantises to eat. We watch for a while but don’t see any of them eating.

We periodically check back over the course of the rest of that evening, we still never see any of them eating.

Saturday, May 1, 2010: A friend comes over to take some of the praying mantises. We give her a good amount, but keep a lot of them, because there are a couple of other friends who want some, too, and who will be coming tomorrow to get them. We notice that at least some of them are dead. It is hard to tell how many because many of the others are just staying very still anyway. They're not moving around much like they were yesterday morning.

Sunday, May 2, 2010: This morning, I take a peek at the praying mantises, and it seems to me that if there are any left alive, it is very, very, few. I have to email the two people who are supposed to be coming over today to get some and tell them not to come.

A couple of hours later, I look again, and it is clear that every last one of them is dead. We don’t even have a single one left alive to “raise” as part of the project.

I am very disappointed. They started dying a day after they were hatched and finished dying two days after they were hatched. What a waste of money, and what a disappointment that we didn't get to follow through on our project.

I email Insect Lore, letting them know what happened and how disappointed I am. I am not rude in my email. I do expect that they will aim, in the interest of good customer service and customer satisfaction, to remedy this situation somehow.

Later, I get a reply from Insect Lore saying that I should have released all but one right after they hatched, that they don’t really get along and would eat each other or refuse to eat if they were kept together.

I email them back, protesting that their instructional materials state that they “suggest” we release all but one or two “within the first two days” of hatching (by the time two days were up, they were pretty much all dead already) and it said it was because “they need to forage for food” and might eat each other if they had nothing else to eat.

But they DID have other things to eat, they had a whole bunch of wingless fruit flies which had been put in the same day they hatched.

It was my position that if there was such an extreme danger of them all dropping dead after two days of being together, even with other food to eat, the instructions should be clearer and much more adamant about releasing them the very day they hatch.

There was no “We’re sorry, we’ll give you a refund, or we’ll ship you another live egg case, or we’ll give you a discount toward your next order” type of reply.

In fact, I never got another reply at all.

It's a shame. I would definitely have been a repeat customer. Now, I'll never order from that company again.

Their customer service is lousy.





Shawn - 40, Husband, Dad, Tattoo Artist, Body Piercer, Business Owner, Saltwater Aquarium Enthusiast, Cook, Mr. Fix-It.

Nance - 41, Wife, Homeschooling Mom, Bookworm, Writer, Field Tripper, List Maker, Planner, Chauffeur.

Melissa - 22, Special Needs. Is in a sheltered workshop/life skills day program. Likes music, movies, shopping, and reading.

Alexa - 14, Left public school in March of 2009 and has been home since, happily homeschooling with Oak Meadow and an eclectic mix of other things. Currently in 8th grade. Enjoys reading, writing, art, singing and music, theater/performing, doing her nails, and sleepovers with friends.

Ben - 9, Has never been to any outside school. Currently doing 3rd grade at home. Enjoys computer, video and board games, especially Minecraft and shooter games, silly jokes, soccer, rough-housing, and occasional cuddling and reading.

Adelaide - 15 months and my little ray of sunshine. :) Enjoys pointing at things, chasing the cat, trying to pull all the books off my bookshelves, eating, playing, and snuggling.

We are a relaxed/eclectic, secular homeschooling family living in Pennsylvania and thoroughly enjoying Life Without School!


Alexa is using: Oak Meadow 8 Civics; Oak Meadow 8 English; Oak Meadow Basic Physical Science; Story of the World Middle Ages; and Teaching Textbooks Math Pre-Algebra.

Ben is loosely using the Oak Meadow 3rd Grade curriculum (minus the math), Teaching Textbooks Math 3, and Reading Eggspress.

I've always been a fairly relaxed homeschooler. While I've buckled down more this year with my 8th grader, in general we do school around life, not life around school. We use mainly a fun, hands on curriculum that isn't overly time consuming and isn't dry or textbookish, and we're always willing to drop it for the time being if something fun, interesting, or educational comes up outside the house. Living is learning!


Welcome To My Blog!


The ABCs Of Relaxed Homeschooling

A Perfect Day

Affidavits, Objectives & Samples, Oh My!

A Kindergarten Dropout

Homeschooling, A Year Later

Preschool Or Not?

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

A Day In The Life Of A New Homeschooler

Homeschool Poem

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day?

What Does A Homeschooler Do Every Day Part 2

What About Socialization?

Why Homeschool?!

Dear Judy Molland

What I Really Mean When I Say I Homeschool


Funnix Beginning Reading Program Review

Getting Started With Spanish Review

Growing, Growing Strong Review

Insect Lore Negative Review

Life of Fred Math Review

Little Passports Review

Meet The Masters Review

Movie Review: Snowmen

Oak Meadow Review

Sentence Composing For Elementary School Review

Story Of The World Review

Teaching Textbooks Math Review

Times Tales Review

Typing Instructor For Kids Platinum Review


Alexa's Third Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fourth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Fifth Grade Book Log

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 1

Alexa's Sixth Grade Book Log, Year 2

Alexa's Seventh Grade Book Log

Alexa's Eighth Grade Book Log

Ben's Pre-K Book Log

Ben's Kindergarten Book Log

Ben's First Grade Book Log

Ben's Second Grade Book Log

Ben's Third Grade Book Log


Oak Meadow Kindergarten Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 4th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Oak Meadow 5th Grade Schedule Sample, With Pics

Our 6th Grade Stretched Over Two Years Plan

Some Of Our Most Fun/Interesting Projects & Activities, Oak Meadow 5th Grade


Homeschool Affidavit

Homeschool Objectives, Elementary and Secondary Level

Homeschool Portfolio, UPDATED

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 1

Summary, To Include With Portfolio, Example 2

Standardized Test Results


Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles A-I

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles J-R

Books Featuring Homeschooled Characters, Titles S-Z

52 Books In 52 Weeks, Mom & Daughter Style, 2011

Homeschooling Quotes & Funnies

Our Fresh Air Fund Experience

Funny Things Alexa Has Said

Funny Things Ben Has Said

My Favorite Links

How I Got Alexa's Eczema Under Control!

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 1

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, PART 2

My TTC, Pregnancy, and Miscarriage Saga, Part 3

The Family Who Wouldn't Change The Toilet Paper


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