The first question i usually get when someone buys Dubia roaches is “What do they eat”?
Part of Dubia roach care and breeding is making sure the roaches get the best food possible because you will be feeding the Dubia roaches to your pet or selling for someone else’s pet. Here is a quick list of things that you may want to feed your Dubia roaches.
Organic when possible short list:
- Dry cat or dog food is the most common (ground fine).
- Fish flakes (mix with dry food is the best).
- Cereals that are whole grains are the best (add honey and they love it).
- Just about any type of fruit (not rotten or mouldy).
- Some salads to balance out the diet (not rotten or mouldy).
- NO poultry, they can eat it but you do not want to risk losing them or your pets.
- Just about all table scraps as long as their is no or very little poultry.
Blaptica Dubia Roaches are scavengers and live off just about anything leftover. If you are not sure if they can eat something, a good way to check is to separate a few and add the questionable food to the test Dubia roaches in a separate container. After a few days if the roaches are fine from eating a new food, chances are it is ok for the rest of Dubia roaches to eat the new food.
The second question is “What do I keep my Dubia roaches in”?
Usually people like to keep there Dubia roaches in a plastic bin, this is fine as long as it is set-up correctly. Set-up is relatively simple, put some holes in the top of the bin and hot-glue the aluminium screen over the holes, this gives them ventilation and the screen keeps them from getting out, it also keeps some other insects from getting in. Another thing to do to your bin is add some clear two inch wide minimum packing tape to the inside top of the plastic Dubia roach bin. The big Dubia roaches cannot climb very well but the little once can climb really good. The little babies (nymphs) cannot get past the tape most of the time.
The third question is two part “How long do they live and how many babies do they have”?
Dubia roaches live on average about 16 months to two years. There are many factors involved, but this is their average according to my experience. The females Dubia tend to out live the males by a few months. I currently have a few hundred Dubia Roaches that are just over two years old.
Dubia roaches have approximately 15 to 40 babe nymphs on average. They give birth to live nymphs on average every 28 days after they reach adulthood witch is about six to seven months. Adult Dubia roaches will give birth around nine times during their life span.
The forth question that is asked is “Can Dubia Roaches fly”?
The females cannot fly, the males on the other hand is a little different story. The urban myths says that male Dubia roaches can not fly. From my experience and research male Dubia roaches can fly but it is very difficult for them. They need a highpoint to take off but once they achieve flight out of the ten that were tested about half went for 30 to 40 feet down and that’s about it.
The section below it is a work in progress and is updated frequently.
Some background on Blaptica Dubia Roach, they come from Central and South America beginning somewhere around Costa Rica. Dubia roaches are found in mostly places around Brazil and Argentina. Another common name for dubia roaches is orange spotted roach, depending on there diet the dubia roach colony’s can have different colors. Dubia Roaches sexing is very easy to determine when they are adults the mail has wings and the female does not, please see photo below.
Note the male has large wings that go the length of the body and the female does not. Only adult males have wings.
If the Dubia Roaches are adolescent (Nymphs) thin it is a little harder to determine the sex of the Nymphs. With careful inspection we can still see little differences that determines the sex of the dubia roach. The male roach normally has a longer and little more narrow body for the same size Nymph, the female is a little wider. Another but a little more difficult way to tell and is more accurate is to flip the roach over and look at there abdomen or but. The male roach is much more narrow and the females abdomen is wider for giving birth. See Photo Below.
This is not always the case and it is not an 100% accurate. When sexing dubia Roach Nymphs this way you can do get about a 80% accuracy from my experience.
Keeping a healthy Colony! very important information:
There are two main things to keeping a healthy Dubia colony, the first is plenty of vent holes in your bin because plastic makes dubia’s sweat alot if not properly ventilated. This will cause a fungus to grow and it spreads by contact. You will notice a really bad smell and a lot of dead roaches within two or three days after stress or high humidity in the bin. There will be several roaches moving really slow, these are the sick roaches that are also infected and stand about a 90% chance of dying.
The second and just about as important is to have what some people call cleaner beetles (Tenebrio molitor). They are also known as meal worm beetles. if you read up on them you will find that they live on the same thing dubia’s eat but one big plus is they also eat dead dubia roaches or other insects. We use mini meal worm beetle’s because they are much more easy to sort from the dubia roaches. Since the beetles eat the dead roaches it keeps the bin much cleaner and has less smell. Please do not get these confused with taxidermy beetles (Dermestid beetles), we do not use this type of beetle because we have had a few problems in the past with them. We also like to feed our fish with the meal worms. 😉 they do not come with your orders unless youbecause some people do not want them.
I cannot stress enough about these two key tricks to keeping a healthy colony!
Now back to the first thing of keeping adequate air ventilation, you will notice after separating roaches that the adults are sweating do not immediately put them back into the bin. put them aside by some moving air and give them some room to let them settle down and dry off. if you do have high humidity in the bin say above 50% and your egg plates seem like they are not dry. take out the water crystals and put in some carrots and get some cross ventilation going ASAP.
If you are past the to much humidity point and you have dead ones plus slow moving roaches take all them out and put the healthy roaches in a clean bin with clean dry egg flats. The sick ones that have the fungus and are moving slow need to be ether quarantined or thrown out. clean the bin every day or so of sick or dead roaches because they will contaminate the other ones. the beetles also help to keep this under control before it ever starts, that is there job. it is also a good idea to put paper towels on the bottom to get rid of help keep it to dry for the fungus.
All comments and or suggestions are welcome and I may send you a discount coupon for the suggestion!
Use wikipedia link here for in on Madagascar hissing cockroach