How to Introduce and Care for Black Cleaner (Buffalo) Beetles
Whether you are starting a Dubia roach colony as a breeder or to feed your reptiles, you will want to get familiar with another insect: the black cleaner beetle. Also known as alphitobius diaperinus (as well as buffalo beetles), the black cleaner beetle is a not-so-secret trick for Dubia breeders to keep in their back pocket—well, not literally. You will want to keep these fellows in your Dubia colony: Black cleaner beetles can live among your roaches without harming them AND they will help you prolong the time between cleanings.
That’s because black cleaner beetles will eat frass (roach feces) and in doing so help prevent mold, fungi, mites, and flies within your colony. They are a low-cost and low-maintenance alternative to having to frequently clean your Dubia roach enclosure (definitely not the favorite task of any Dubia breeder). While they are indeed low maintenance, they do have some basic needs that need to be met, especially when they are first introduced to your colony.
- They need H20. Your black cleaner beetles don’t usually need to be fed (because they are feeding on the frass), but they do need water. If you are keeping them in their own enclosure, mist them lightly every day—just take care not to make their substrate too soggy. If they are in your roach colony, the regular water and moisture you provide your roaches (like water crystals or sponges) should meet their water intake needs. Just to be safe, you may want to supplement their water supply in those initial days after introducing them into your colony.
- They need a place for larvae to burrow. This can be as simple as putting a small piece of cardboard or styrofoam in the roach enclosure.
- They do need to be monitored. In some cases, you could take a “set it and forget it” approach to your cleaner beetles, and they would probably do just fine. But we recommend keeping an eye on their numbers and activity levels—for example, you may need to reduce the number of cleaner beetles in your colony every so often.
ABDragons Black Cleaner Beetles Review
Little Bugs That Make a Big Difference
“I have a pretty established dubia colony that is growing monthly. Every single week prior to ordering these cleaner beetles, the bottom of my bin would collect lots of dubia poo. Our bin was disgusting but we didn't want to clean it too much to disrupt the breeding cycle. We just got 250 cleaner beetles and after about a week, nearly all the poo is gone. They all arrived on time and alive. Will definitely order again!” - Landon S.
If you are ready to add a cleaner crew to your Dubia roach colony, feel free to reach out to our team with any questions.