Wondering what kind of people would choose to be bug farmers? We invite you to come meet us!
Psst! Hover over our photos to read about us!
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear welding shirts and fight crime with a cordless drill and table saw. By day, he's a Master Mechanic but by night he's the mastermind behind all of our racks, shelves, lighting, heating, wiring, whatever we need. There's nothing he can't fix, no problem he can't solve. We owe our efficiency and organization to him. You don't have to thank him, just try not to misspell his name.
Many are surprised to find out that the bug guru and reptile freak is the wife half of the team. Having the entomology equivalent of a green thumb is a weird talent but no one has ever accused her of being normal. She's a horsewoman by trade, nature lover and animal whisperer notorious for bringing home critters first and asking permission never. She wears a lot of hats as far as Fat Tegu goes. She's behind the website, social media, logo and photos, marketing, customer service, packing and shipping, and of course the bug farming.
We're the hands behind Fat Tegu; a husband and wife team with a passion and knack for cultivating critters, working hard to achieve the high standard of professionalism you expect from a business but retain the personal touch of a home based operation.
Once upon a time (2011 to be more specific) in Southern California, we brought home a little Argentine Tegu named Rorschach who had a great big squishy heart and an appetite to match! He quickly earned the nickname, "garbage disposal," as he would tear through anything edible that came within reach. We got very well acquainted with our local pet stores and a few new additions (25 to be exact) to our collection later, our wallet was feeling the burn.
The only natural solution was to breed our own feeders. We began to do research and before we knew it, we were driving up to Oceanside, CA, to pick up a starter colony of 100 dubia roaches. We poured hours into cultivating these little creepy crawlies, slaved over the right temperatures and humidity levels, slowly making improvements to our boxes such as a custom rack with digital thermometers built in, and studying their behavior both in the wild and in captivity.
A major contribution into our biggest breakthroughs came from that attention to the nature of these insects in the wild, particularly their diet.
After careful trials, slight modifications to ingredients and methods, and meticulous attention to vitamin, mineral and protein levels, our masterpiece took shape; our secret bug chow recipe. Within a month, we noticed a difference. Our bugs were thicker, livelier and produced more offspring at a time. Before we knew it, we had such an excess that we began selling them dirt cheap just to free up space in the box. Others commented on the noticeable difference in our roaches, particularly how healthy and shiny they were. We began to gain some repeat customers sort of by accident.
It actually took us an embarrassingly long time to see the potentially
successful business that we had on our hands. It wasn't until someone
pointed out how expensive feeding their reptiles was before they
came across us that the light bulb came on. We remembered that feeling
all too well. We remember a time when we felt like we couldn't give our critters the best possible diet or enough variation in it simply due to the expense, or were just lost in the sea of options and information and didn't know where to start. That is a terrible feeling, one that we would wish on no one.
Helping people. That is what really lit the fire and instantly turned a quick buck into a purposeful career.
reptiles are like potato chips...
You can't have just one!
Our business model is simple; our values are biblical. In everything, be as stewards of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:1), treat others the way we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31), and always go the extra mile (Matthew 5:41).
Our mission is to love others the way Christ first loved us. We just happen to do that with bugs!
BUILT ON INTEGRITY
Anything worth doing is worth doing right. With everything that we do, every new species or product that we offer, we hold ourselves and our work to a high standard of excellence.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY
Behind the screen, behind the bugs, we are real people. We’d rather take the time to preserve the personal touch, generosity and quality that you’ve come to expect than cut costs and corners just to get big and lose what makes us, us.
IT'S ABOUT YOU
We love the reptile community. Over the years, so many have come alongside us and offered their help in many forms. Now, we are doing our best to honor those amazing people by giving back with our time, hard work and expertise.