It is well-accepted that the sight of a roach, whichever kind it may be, sends shivers up the spines of most people, and we’re not being gender-specific here! However, these silent, agile creatures can make excellent pet feeders. Read on to know more about how to breed and raise Dubia roaches.
Did You Know?
A Dubia roach can live headless for almost a week as it does breathe not through its mouth. Its nerves continue functioning in the absence of a brain, because it has an open circulatory system, thus enabling it to survive without a head.
Blaptica Dubia, commonly known as Dubia roaches, are considered to be excellent feeders for fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds that eat insects, spiders, tarantulas, scorpions, and the like. Some other common names for the Dubia roach are the Argentine roach, the orange-spotted roach, and Guyana spotted roach.
Dubia roaches are sexually dimorphic, meaning, one can easily differentiate between a male and a female roach. The male Dubia roach has full wings that cover its body, while the female has small wing stubs. Both, however, cannot fly, which makes them easier to raise. Let us take an look at why these roaches are good for your pets and how to raise them.
The Dubia roach is medium-sized, and grows to approximately 4-4.5 cm in length. It is one of the darker colored species of the cockroach family, with colors ranging from dark brown to black, and a lighter pattern which may be visible only in bright light.
The difference in their coloring depends upon the environment they are raised in, as well as their diet. The Dubia roach is famous for its soft exoskeleton (an external skeleton that supports the body), which makes it an excellent source of food for your scaly pet.
Benefits Over Other Feeders
Dubia roaches are known to provide approximately 35% protein to your pets, while crickets provide around 20%. They have a 1:3 calcium to phosphorous ratio, which helps reduce the risk of bone-related medical conditions in your pet. Their soft exoskeleton makes it easy for your pet to digest them.
If raised in appropriate temperature and humidity levels, female Dubia roaches can produce as many as 20 nymphs a month, more or less, depending on their habitat and health conditions.
Dubia roaches are not restricted to any one kind of food, which makes it easier to raise a Dubia roach colony. They eat most food items, including fruit, vegetables, grain, seeds, leftovers and even the remains of other insects.
Even though this may be hard to believe, Dubia roaches spend a significant amount of time in grooming. Dubia roaches can easily survive in humidity and hardly emit any smell, as long as their surroundings are properly managed, and their diet is taken care of.
They are silent insects
Dubia roaches are silent insects, unlike crickets. They move about very quietly and don’t chirp or make other sounds at night.
Dubia roaches have a fairly long life. Adult males live up to ten months approximately, while females can live up to even eighteen months. Their life span is largely dependent on the management of their habitat, as well as the diet provided to them. However, it has been largely observed that female Dubia roaches live longer than males.
They don’t infest homes
Anyone scared of roaches infesting their house may heave a sigh of relief, as Dubia roaches cannot survive in an environment that does not provide them with their required temperature and humidity. Hence, they do not infest homes or restaurants.
Dubia roaches need a tropical environment to live in and unless their surroundings are largely similar to the tropical rain forests of Central and South America, they will die out.
There are many reasons why Dubia roaches are better feeders than crickets or meal-worms. To avoid buying roaches every few days, you can set up a Dubia roach colony in your own house. These colonies are easy to set up and maintain. Read on to know more about how to set up and maintain your own Dubia roach colony.
Setting up a Dubia Roach Colony
★ First, decide upon the number of roaches. Bear in mind that they breed easily and consistently. The male-female ratio should be 1:4 or 1:5, as one male can impregnate several female roaches.
★ The next step would be creating a favorable living environment for the roaches. A glass tank, a plastic tub or any other container with smooth sides will work perfectly for your roach colony, as Dubia roaches cannot climb such surfaces. The idea is to create an environment similar to the wilderness of the tropical regions, with enough heat and humidity.
★ If you are using a glass tank, make sure to paint the tank exterior in a dark color, as roaches prefer the darkness. If you decide to use any other kind of container, make sure it is dark-colored. Even though it isn’t required, it would be a good idea to get a cover for the top of your tank.
★ An ideal environment for Dubia roaches would be one with enough heat. Even so, make sure that the roach colony is well-ventilated. Small holes can be made in the cover of the tank for this purpose. Dubia roach colonies ideally need a temperature of about 80°F during the day and about 70°F at night.
★ Dubia roaches need about 30-50% humidity for their habitat. Water crystals or the occasional spraying of mist will do the job and maintain the proper humidity level required for the roaches to mate and breed.
What Should You Feed Them?
To be honest, taking care of their diet is no difficult task. As we mentioned earlier, Dubia roaches eat most food items, ranging from leaf waste to fruit, from vegetables to scraps from your kitchen.
However, do make sure to not let any scraps decay in the colony, as mold can harm your roaches to a great extent and even kill them. Another dietary option for your Dubia roaches would be special roach chow, which is easily available online.
Let us take a look at some food items that you may feed your Dubia roaches.
- Lettuce leaves
- Fresh fruit
- Vegetables (free from pesticides!)
- Roach chow
- Kitchen scraps (avoid decaying food, uncooked food and milk products)
- Leaves from your garden (please make sure they are free of outside pests)
- Whole grains
- Dry cat food/dog food
- Fruit and vegetable peels
Along with the right kind of food, make sure to supply them with plenty of water. However, a water bowl or dish will not work here, the roaches will simply drown in them. Breeders have found wet sponges and water crystals to be good sources of water instead―they don’t cause a mess, and don’t invite decay or molds either.
After perfecting the habitat for your colony, all you need to do is buy Dubia roaches. Let them into their enclosure and keep the tank in a dark, dry place. Make sure to clean it regularly (about once a month, depending on the size), maintain the adequate temperature, feed your roaches the right food, and watch your colony grow!