Mice, cockroaches and tarantulas aren’t something everyone wants in their household, but a new local business is catering to those who want a more unique pet.
Located at 780 North 22nd Street, Eli’s Exotics has been open since June, with additional hours and animals being added since then.
Named after her son, Samantha Loseman runs the business in several rooms of her Beatrice home.
She currently has a rose hair tarantula and goliath birdeater tarantula, a skink, a Pacman frog, sugar gliders, mice, rats, fish, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Dubia roaches, worms and pupas.
Loseman said in February she plans to start selling bearded dragons, as well as crickets if there is enough of a demand.
She also has accessories like bedding, light fixtures, tanks and fish pumps, and prices range from $4.50 to $150.
The Pacman frog and skink are the most expensive animals, selling for $125 each.
Loseman said she’s always had a love of animals, but that she learned more about them when interning at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.
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“That was really nice, and I learned a lot from them,” Loseman said.
Loseman said she gets the animals from several vendors, and has primarily sold to people from Beatrice and Lincoln.
“For any of the insects that we have, mainly people from Beatrice are buying them. But any kind of pet is a tossup…However, a lot of people up in Lincoln don’t really have a good supply of Dubias (roaches), so sometimes I get customers that want Dubias or Madagascar hissing cockroaches,” Loseman said.
Loseman said it takes at least three hours a day to care for the animals, as she feeds based on what animal eats which food. Greens are served in the morning followed by insects in the afternoon, and the rodents aren’t fed until the evening.
“It doesn’t take too long, but when you add in cleaning their enclosures and everything it’s hectic,” Loseman said. “It’s like a whole Sunday’s worth of cleaning. Every Sunday we try to deep clean what’s dirty.”
Loseman said it’s frustrating when individuals misconceive what’s being sold at Eli’s Exotics, but the response from the community has been good so far.
She said her goal is to move the business out of her home and make it into a Beatrice store by the end of 2021.
Eli’s Exotics is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 3-9 p.m., Thursdays from 4-9 p.m. and Sundays from 5-9 p.m.
More information can be found on the Eli’s Exotics Facebook page.