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The Benefits of Starting a Dubia Roach Colony

Dubia roaches have a ton of benefits, allowing them to be the best feeders for bearded dragons, geckos, and other reptiles. Some of those positives include:

  1. The inability to fight, bite, or claw, saving your pet from potential harm. While this may be surprising, many other feeder insects fight back, including crickets, so smaller animals, such as tarantulas, should not be fed with them.
  2. No nasty smells or annoying chirps to dissuade you from watching your pet enjoy a yummy meal. You may hear a crunch though! Although there is no smell, it is always recommended to remove any dead carcasses quickly to avoid decomposition contamination within your terrarium.
  3. Dubias can survive in the most basic conditions at room temperature and humidity. However, to induce breeding, you will need a heat pad or other heat source, but that is discussed more thoroughly in the how to guide to breeding dubia roaches for sale.
  4. Unable to fly or climb means no escapees getting loose in your house.
  5. Much more nutritious than other live feeder insects. In addition to a higher protein makeup, they can be easily dusted in a deli cup or gut loaded with calcium and other beneficial vitamins and minerals before feeding time.
  6. Available in a variety of sizes, so you almost never need to feed more than a handful of roaches per day, unlike the usual dozens and dozens of jumping crickets. Additionally, if you breed your own, you will have access to numerous growth stages; if you have a variety of reptiles, ranging from small leopard geckos to large monitors, you will always have the perfect size.

But how can you consistently feed your reptile friend without constantly ordering roaches from Roach Rancher or driving down to the local pet store every single day? You start your own roach colony! But maybe you are just not sure if you can handle creepy crawlies in your home or apartment. There is certainly enough hate surrounding cockroaches, so I understand your hesitation. These detailed answers should help alleviate some of your concerns:

Dubia Roach Enclosure

Do roaches live in colonies?

Yes, of course! Dubia roaches live in colonies, so they can easily breed and care for their young. If you were to open any dubia roach housing, you would see them huddled together in large groups. They hide together in dark places, such as under the food bowl and within egg crate. In fact, one plastic 40 gallon tote can fit tens of thousands of roaches comfortably.

Where do dubia roaches come from?

Blaptica dubia, the scientific name of the dubia roach, are found in South and Central America, including Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

Can dubia roaches infest your house?

A dubia roach infestation is very unlikely, if you take the proper precautions. For one, they cannot climb smooth surfaces, so even if your dubia roach enclosure has no lid, they cannot escape. However, I do recommend a secure top, incase of an accidentally tip. If they did run loose, they would only ever stay along the floor, where they would try to find a warm hiding place. The proper dubia roach temperature for breeding is at least 90 degrees F, so likely the only breeding spot would be under your fridge. Additionally, the escapee must be a pregnant female or a male and female together. Therefore, if the stars align, it may be possible they could breed, but it would not be an infestation, like that of the common cockroach.

Do cockroaches make noise?

No, dubia roaches do not make any noise. One of the reasons they are the best feeder insects is that they do not squeal like the hissing cockroach or chirp like crickets. If you listen closely, you may hear a crunch when they are being eaten, but that is just the sound of your reptile enjoying the taste of a healthy meal.

Can dubia roaches fly?

While dubia roaches do have wings, they cannot fly. In fact, the wings are the easiest way to determine the sex of these roaches. The males have long wings that extend the length of their body; the females have short stubs for wings. Either way, they cannot use them to fly out of your dubia roach starter colony.

Dubia Roach Wings

How to care for dubia roaches?

Dubia roaches really do not need any special care. They are happy with an enclosure full of hiding places, food, water, and heat for breeding. Beyond refilling the food and water dishes every few days and cleaning out the frass, the term for the excrement of the dubias, you never even need to bother them.

Hopefully, you feel much more at ease about creating your own dubia colony. However, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. There have been many reports of people with a roach colony developing an allergic reaction with too much contact. The symptoms may include watery eyes, itchy skin, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. This allergy is not a guarantee and can be potentially avoided by wearing gloves and a mask in a well ventilated room. Personally, I have not noticed any signs of this allergy, knock on wood, so I do not believe this should dissuade you from getting started; just limit contact to the necessary cleaning and feeding. If you do encounter these symptoms, we recommend consulting a doctor and potentially stop all breeding.

If you are convinced, we have a tutorial on how to breed dubia roaches that will take you step by step through the process of setting up a dubia roach colony. However, if you are not convinced, there is another option for a constant food supply. As mentioned, dubias survive at basic room conditions, so you can subscribe to one or two months worth of feeder roaches. Then, you can house them in a simple shoe box with some cut up egg carton. Periodically place some fruits and vegetables, like oranges, into the shoe box to feed them, and they will live happily until they are thrown into your pet enclosure to be munched on.


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