Anyone who owns an insect-eating lizard as a pet knows the advantages of feeding it animal protein. Animal proteins are essential for the health and wellness of insect-eating lizards, such as bearded dragons. Generally pet owners will provide their lizards with either crickets or dubia roaches to satisfy their animal protein requirement. Dubia roaches are a better choice for feeding a lizard for several reasons.
Breeding and care
Dubia roaches are easy to breed and care for. So, they are are a great option for lizard owners who are looking for a safe and economical way to provide animal protein. Dubia roaches are sexually dimorphic, meaning it is easy to distinguish males from females. Also, these roaches are unable to climb smooth surfaces, essentially trapping them in a breeding area. If an owner of a pet lizard wishes to have lots of dubia roaches on hand, it is fairly easy to do so. Trying to breed crickets on the other hand, is a little bit trickier and requires more hands-on work to complete the process.
One major advantage dubia roaches have over crickets is smell. Crickets emit a foul and unpleasant odor. Actually, the smell does not come from live crickets, but rather dead ones. Odor is a bigger issue with crickets than with dubia roaches primarily because of lifespan. A cricket only lives a few months compared to two years for the roaches. Further, crickets have an easier time dehydrating than dubia roaches do, leading to a higher risk of death with the crickets.
Dubia roaches are fairly low-maintenance creatures. They require minimal supplies to keep and the supplies they do need are easily obtained. They require a minimal amount of water that can be obtained through water crystals or even carrots. Their food requirements are simple. They can eat just about anything except potatoes. There is even roach chow that can be purchased at pet stores.
Dubia roaches are house-friendly. There is a low occurrence of these insects infesting humans' homes as if they happen to be removed from their enclosure; it is impossible for them to live very long.
Crickets are jumpers. This quality makes it easy for crickets to escape their enclosures. Once a cricket escapes it can easily make a home for itself for the rest of its lifespan within the home of the pet owner. Dubia roaches, on the other hand, cannot jump, climb, nor can they fly so escaping the enclosure is nearly impossible for them. If the dubia roaches do escape, it is because of human error in handling them and they would not be able to survive for long outside of the enclosure, regardless.
Dubia roaches grow slowly. It takes several months for a dubia roach to reach full maturation size. Crickets grow quite quickly so they may become too large before there is a chance to feed them all to a pet lizard. Also, since dubia roaches grow more slowly there is a greater chance that the feeders all remain similar in size. This is helpful for lizards such as young bearded dragons as eating an insect that is too big can be deadly.
Anyone who has ever had a cricket in their home can attest to the noise just one of the creatures produces. When keeping them as lizard food, the noise can be unbearable. Dubia roaches are silent creatures throughout their lifespan.
Crickets are biters; dubia roaches are not. So, to avoid getting bitten fingers when feeding your insect-eating lizard, it is better to use dubia roaches rather than crickets.
As stated before, insect-eating lizards require animal protein as part of a healthy diet. Crickets provide only 18% of a lizards required protein while dubia roaches provide 61%. So, ounce for ounce, dubia roaches give a much better "bang-for-the-buck". Further, roaches are a meatier variety of insect than crickets are. So, one roach can do the job of three to four crickets. Aside from protein, dubia roaches provide more calcium, fat and ash than crickets do. All of these nutrients are essential for the health of an insect-eating lizard. So, clearly, nutritionally dubia roaches are a much better choice for feeding lizards.
Dubia roaches are a great option for providing animal protein to insect-eating pet lizards. They have so many advantages over crickets. Owners of bearded dragons or any other insect-eating lizard would be wise to choose dubia roaches, which are easier to care for, less smelly, and healthier for the lizard.
Check out all the different sizes of Dubia Roaches we carry here at ABDragons.