Dubia Roach Care
Your Introduction to Blaptica Dubia Roaches
Whether you want to learn more about Dubia roaches or are planning to start your own colony, we wanted to compile some general information about keeping and raising Dubia roaches. Keep in mind that everyone’s individual experience as a breeder will be different, but we hope our insights—drawn from personal experience—will be helpful to you.
Also known as the Guyana Orange Spotted Roach
Origin: Central and South America from French Guiana through Brazil to Argentina
Habitat: The floors of tropical rainforests
Ideal Temperature: 75–92 degrees
Humidity: Moderate 30–55 percent
Setting Up a Roach Colony
A Quick Guide to Preparing Your Enclosure
Setting up a Blaptica Dubia colony is very easy. The challenge will be providing the proper care and maintenance of your colony to keep your roaches happy and healthy. This advice will help you get started in setting up your roach colony enclosure:
1. Get a container. The ideal container to start with is a 22-gallon (or larger) Sterilite storage bin (or a similar plastic bin). Ensure the bin is a solid color as clear bins will allow too much light into the colony. Remember that roaches are nocturnal and don’t mind living in the dark.
2. Cut an 8X8 hole in the lid. This can be done with scissors or a razor knife. Please make sure that you do not let any younger children perform this step.
3. Secure the mesh or aluminum screen on top. We recommend the screen door mesh you can buy at your local hardware store. This mesh is tough enough that Dubia roaches cannot chew through it. Cut the mesh a little bigger than the hole and glue it on with a hot glue gun.
4. Put egg crates into your enclosure. Some people call them roach crates, but there is no difference. Lean the crates vertically to one side of the tub. We use 8 to 10 per tub. Leaning them instead of stacking them provides easy access for the roaches and allows roach waste (frass) to drop to the bottom of the enclosure.
Roach Colony Care and Maintenance
Expert Tips From ABDragons
Congratulations! You’ve just set up the enclosure for your first Dubia roach colony. Now, it is time to make sure that you create the proper environment for your roaches to thrive—that means offering the right foods and water sources, ensuring the proper temperature and humidity, and cleaning the colony on a regular basis. Keep these tips in mind.
Your roaches should have constant access to roach chow and water crystals.
Roach chow can be bought or made, and it should be available to your roaches all the time. You can make your own recipe or purchase it from ABDragons. We offer both dry food and gel. Water crystals are a must for keeping roaches. After some time, a wet sponge or paper towel can harbor mold that will wipe out your entire colony, and a dish of water can drown your roaches—especially the young ones. Your best option is water crystals, available for purchase at ABDragons. Simply put 1 ounce (6 teaspoons) into a gallon container, add water, and wait overnight. Water gel crystals are a water-absorbing polymer that expands over 400 percent. Your roaches can crawl on them without the possibility of drowning.
Offer your roaches fresh fruits and vegetables at least 1–2 times a week.
Clean out what isn’t eaten after 48 hours to avoid an outbreak of mold. In our experience, there are a few foods that our Dubia colonies seem to really enjoy. Carrots of any type are a staple. We usually combine them with one variety of fruit. Apples, grapes, oranges, bananas, and especially pears are totally devoured within the 48-hour limit. We cut all of our food up into either wedges or pieces for our roaches, and they seem to appreciate it. Fruits and vegetables offer yet another source of hydration as well.
Keep the enclosure temperature between 80 to 95 degrees.
Temperature is very important as all species of feeder roaches come from tropical environments. Heat is important for two reasons: your roaches’ health and their successful breeding. Roaches get very active at higher temperatures, meaning they propagate faster, eat more, and grow more quickly. We recommend using a basic reptile heat tape or mat—and avoid using any kind of heat lamp.
Keep the enclosure humidity between 40 to 60 percent.
The right humidity level is as important as the right temperature for your roaches. As your roaches grow, they will molt. Proper humidity is essential to molting. A poor molt can lead to the death of a cockroach. You will be able to tell a freshly molted cockroach as they will be white.
Do not use any substrate.
Roaches will make their own substrate in the form of roach droppings, which are referred to as “frass.” This material is used as a beneficial food source, especially for young roaches. Keep in mind that Dubia roaches are burrowers, so if you do use substrate, it will make gathering the roaches and cleaning out your tub that much harder.
Clean your tub out—at minimum—every 3–4 months.
Maintenance can be done as often as you like. Simply move the roaches to another enclosure, remove and discard the frass and exoskeletons, and scrub out the tub. Always wear rubber gloves when performing a cleaning.
Do not start a colony with less than 100 roaches.
The most commonly asked question is: How many roaches should I start with? The more you start with, the quicker your colony will come together.
It takes a roach colony a while to ramp up, but once it establishes itself, you will never have to buy another feeder for your animals ever again. Another tip is to leave your colony alone other than feeding, maintenance, and a weekly check. Roaches do much better when they are not bothered. Above all, have fun!
ABDragons Is Here to Help
Contact Us With Roach Breeding Questions
As animal enthusiasts, we believe it is very satisfying to breed roaches for our animals’ consumption. They are also a great learning tool—and some people even keep them as exotic pets. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about setting up your own roach colony. In the meantime, these resources may be helpful to you:
Are You Ready to Start Your Roach Colony?