Overview & General Tips
Thankfully for us, Dubia Roaches are incredibly easy to care for! There are a few tricks, however, which we had to learn the hard way — hopefully these will help you avoid the pitfalls we experienced!
- Ensure the habitat that you’re keeping the Dubia Roaches in has good air flow, but also provides dark spaces / hiding spots; if you are leaving them in the plastic container they were mailed in, find a closet or shelf you can store them while not in use.
- The roaches can and will eat just about anything; we recommend researching good staple feeders for your individual pet, as they are excellent ‘gut loaders’, and an excellent way to transfer the nutrient from plant to pets. You also need to be careful, though, as some common plant foods that your Dubias may love could make your insectivore sick!
- We recommend using a vegetable filled with water rather than water crystals or a sponge, as they can spill and mold over – but if you just leave a few baby carrots in with the roaches, they’ll eat and drink from them! If not fully eaten by the next time you check, just knock the roaches off of it, then throw it away.
Dubias require a warm, slightly humid environment to survive. They can’t survive in temperate climates, being a tropical species, and if left out of their enclosure for long, they’ll die. This is part of the reason we love them so much – there’s no fear of them infesting your home, like American cockroaches and other pest species.
- Egg crate is always a solid choice for housing – just make sure that you are feeding your roaches regularly or they will start eating through the egg crate. It isn’t harmful to them, but it’s certainly not a very healthy gut-load for your insectivore to consume.
- Using a container with a lid is our recommendation. A plastic bin with sheer walls will be perfect for containing them, or really any container with smooth walls – Dubias cannot climb very well, so as long as you’re keeping them in a container that doesn’t have footholds, they can’t escape. A ten gallon glass tank, or a thirty or forty quart plastic container will be more than enough for breeding. Anything smaller will be fine for shorter-term insect keeping. Ensure it has some air flow, as if it is allowed to get too humid in there, food will begin to rot and mold.
- A heat pad underneath the container isn’t an absolute necessity, but it very much helps, especially if your intent is to begin a colony of your own. The heat pad doesn’t need to be powerful, just consistent. Too much heat will kill them, and so will too little. They survive just fine at about room temperature with some humidity, but require high humidity, around 50%-60%, and heat around 90F to properly breed.
As stated above, the roaches will eat just about anything that they can ; they’ll eat the egg crate inside their enclosure if they’re not getting enough nutrition elsewhere – and while it won’t really hurt them, it’s not a great thing for herps to consume afterward. We recommend looking up foods that are good staple feeders or treats for your individual pet species to gut-load your roaches with ; safe choices, usually, are baby carrots and organic dandelion greens.
- We offer our roaches dry foods and foods with moisture at the same time, checking the bin after a day or two to check for any rot or molding, at which point any leftover wet foods are promptly removed. These foods are usually vegetables or fruits with plenty of moisture, so if they are left unattended, it may end up filling the bottom of your bin with a layer of rot that is very difficult to remove.
- The roaches tend to do better, we’ve found, with access to both moisture and dry food for feeding at the same time ; do not house them with open containers of water – they’ll fall in and drown themselves. Sponges and water crystals, in our experience, have spilled out and molded over and caused far more trouble than they were worth, so our recommendation would be to save the money and stick with the veggies.