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What Do Dubia Roaches Eat?

Jeremy Smith

Well a lot of individuals online will tell you that you have to feed your roaches particular feeds etc for them to live. But that is not the case. If you are simply keeping your Dubia Roaches alive just to feed them to your exotic pets, then you do not need to worry so much about them eating a particular feed. If you are trying to breed them, grow them, etc then you do need particular feeds with specific ingredients to help your colony flourish. 

Dubia Roach in the wild would eat lots of greens, fruits, vegetables. They generally would be able to find everything they need scavenging on the rainforest floor. If you ordered around 50 Dubia Roaches that you simply plan on feeding to your exotic pets over the next week or two, then you can use things like carrots to feed them. This has necessary vitamins you want to pass on to your exotic pets that eats them and also have the necessary moisture the Dubia Roach needs to live. This will save you from having to invest in things like water crystals as well as they will get necessary moisture from the vegetables you feed them.

If you are trying to raise Dubia Roaches or maybe you just order a bunch or extra smalls with intentions of growing them to size to use as a feeder for your exotic pet, then you will need to find adequate Dubia Roach Feed. You will want enough protein to promote growth, calcium to be passed onto your exotic pet that eats them, moisture, etc. Protein should be around 20%. Some people sell feeds with 50% protein but this actually kills Dubia Roaches over time. This is some peoples way of keeping you from being able to breed Dubia Roaches. In turn this can also kill the pet that eats the Dubia Roaches. In one study it actually was found to have give a bearded dragon a type of liver cancer. Also too little protein will result in underdeveloped Dubia Roaches as well. 20% protein is the perfect balance between both.

Fresh vegetables and fruits should always be available to Dubai Roaches to give them the necessary vitamins for growth, breeding, and to be passed onto your exotic pets that eat them. This ensures good health in your Dubia Roach Bins and in your exotic pets that eats them as well.

Moisture is necessary for Dubia Roaches growth as the need to molt (shed skin) a couple times each month. Without proper moisture the Dubia Roaches will not be able to shed their loose skin and will die in it. The fresh vegetable and fruits will help with this. Also giving them Water Crystals will ensure they always have the opportunity to get more water necessary for their survival.

Some people claim they give their Dubia Roaches cereals, breads, desserts, and just about any other scraps they find around the house. This will keep them alive but as mentioned before, if your doing this you may find your Dubia Roaches underdeveloped and same for the exotic pets your feed them to. You should always be cautious about what your feeding your Dubia Roaches and monitor their Health when trying new feeds. 

Can Dubia Roaches Climb?

Jeremy Smith

Dubia Roaches are great feeders for your exotic pets. But what about housing or storing them? What are the risks? Do you want them in your house? What does it compare to? What happens if they get out? Will they infest my home?

Dubia Roaches are incredibly easy to take care of compared to other feeders. They need to be store in an area that between the temperatures or 68-95 degrees fahrenheit. Their bin should have vent hole for air to pass through.

They make virtually no noise at all. In a rare occasion you may hear one fall in its container.

Dubia Roaches cannot fly. They can climb so if they are kept in a container with smooth surfaces (Tupperware container or storage box) they will not be able to climb this. Their legs do not have claws and are basically nubs so this makes smooth surfaces impossible for them to climb. The new born babies may be able to get a foot in some containers so packaging tape could be use at the top of the containers to create more of a flat surface to ensure theres no way for them to get out.

Breeding temperature for Dubia Roaches are between 85-95 degrees fahrenheit so the idea of them getting out and reproducing and infesting your home is almost impossible. Also they tend to die in temperature colder than 68 degrees fahrenheit. So during winter months any survivors would perish in your home.

Also food would be difficult for them to find. Even in they did get loose in your home they would have trouble getting to the food and they have difficulty climbing.

Lastly they need high humidity for they to molt (shed skin) which they do a couple times each month. If they don't have the proper humidity to molt they would get stuck in their skins and die. So unless you have your home set up with rainforest like conditions, you will never have an issue with Dubai Roaches producing in your home. 

Storing Dubia Roaches is unlike any other feeder. Its incredibly easy but also very safe if any of them got out. They don't make noise and cannot fly or climb out of containers with smooth surfaces. Even if the container got bumped over and some got out, they wouldn't be able to survive the conditions in your home. Dubia Roaches are a better choice for your exotic pet and a safer choice for your home.

Can I Feed Dead Dubia Roaches To My Pets?

Jeremy Smith

Feeding dead Dubia Roaches to your pets can be a risky scenario. It best not to if at all possible. Most of the time its hard to determine when the roach died or why it died. If its a Dubia Roach that didn't have enough humidity and died, the animal that eats it would be missing that moisture as well. If the Dubia Roach has been dead for a few days (reason for death unknown) this could be risky to the pet that eats them if they don't normally eat dead things in their diet. They could carry illnesses or even harmful pathogens that grow on them due to the warm temperatures in your bin during the decaying process.

The old saying comes to mid that reads "You are what you eat". It's incredibly risky feed Dubia Roaches to your pets if it's are not already in their diet to eat dead things. Generally theres a lot invested with exotic pets that ingest Dubia Roaches so it's safe to say its not worth risking your investment to feed them a few dead Dubia Roaches just to get all you can out of them.

This is also why its so important to remove dead roaches from your ins so they wont resort to cannibalism eating their dead and passing illnesses around to the rest of your colony. A clean colony is a healthy colony.

Setting Up Grower Bins

Jeremy Smith

Grower bins are for new baby nymphs they you want to put on good healthy wight fast so they can be used as feeder for your pets. First thing to consider with a breeder bin is the container you will store them in. Baby Dubia Roach Nymphs are generally very good climbers since their feet are so small and can fit into the smallest cracks or holes. You will want to make sure the bin you choose is incredibly slick and smooth with vertical walls to prevent them from climbing. You can also add packaging tape to the top 2-3 inches of the bin incase they do climb that high, they will touch the slick packaging tape and slide off.

Baby Nymph Dubai Roaches generally hide under stuff or in the darkest places to hide from predators. If you want to accommodate them you could use a bin thats very dark inside. You also want to add proper ventilation by cutting holes in the bin lids and hot gluing aluminum screen mesh to the tops of it so no unwelcome visitors will come into your grower bins. Temperature of your grower bins should range between 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that Dubia Roaches metabolism increases when they are in higher temperatures so the warmer the bin, the more they will eat, gain weight, and grow. 

Since we are talking about weight, lets talk Dubia Roach Feed. There are so many sites and food choices online. So what do you do? You could either try them our and see if you notice a difference, or you could make your own. Keep tracking of how long it takes you to make your own if you do this. Generally 10 pounds of feed could take hours to prepare fully. Dubia roaches in the wild would eat all sorts of vegetation so as far as keeping them alive you don't need to get crazy. But if your want your growing bin to thrive you will want necessary feed with all the essential protein, calcium, and vitamins necessary for your Dubia Roaches and the animals you feed them to.

Protein should be at least 20% for your Dubia Roaches to grow fast. You cannot exceed 40-50% protein. Some sites will sell feed with this much protein in it to hurt customers Dubia Roach colony. The result is that the high protein in Dubia Roaches turns into uric acid which is transferred to your pets that eat them and it can kill them or in one study it gave a bearded dragon a type of liver cancer. The uric acid is the roaches way of creating its own protein if food ever got low, they could turn the uric acid into necessary protein to go weeks without food. Too much of this can result in death of your Dubia Roach colony as well.

20% is a healthy amount of protein for your Dubia Roaches. You can add more but as mentioned before, if your bin temperatures are high enough, it will raise your Dubia Roaches metabolism causing them to eat more anyways. You should add occasional vegetables or fruits sliced into the grower bin to give them necessary vitamins for growth, health, and ultimately to be transferred to your pets.

Humidity is incredibly important n grower bins! Your Dubia Roaches will molt (shed skin) several times and each time growing larger than before. If humidity is too low it will cause the Dubia Roaches to not be able to get out of their skins and shed them and ultimately die in their skin. If humidity is too high it can cause mold or fungi to grow which in turn will kill off large numbers of your Dubia Roach colony. The keys to controlling humidity levels are ventilation, air flow, and a water source. As mentioned before you need a proper sized hole cut into the lid of your bin to allow air to exchange with aluminum screen mesh hot glued on it to prevent unwanted visitors from mixing in with your bin. If this is not enough you can also add a vent on the small side of each bin (lower third) that allows sir to flow through the bin, you could also add a small desk fan to one side to assist the air flowing through the bin (use on low and set back far enough that it doesn't disturb them).

Also if you need more humidity (which is generally the issue) you can use water crystals. Use these in a small container that scratched up with at least 60 grit sandpaper to allow the Dubai Roaches to climb in and out as they wish. If you need even more humidity you could add a jar of some type with a sealed lid on top of it with several small holes poked in it. Once water is added to the jar mount it somewhere in the box that it can get bumped over or split and as the water heats with the bin it will evaporate causing more humidity in your bin. 

Lastly, room to grow is important. You can have everything perfect in your bin and keep dumping new babies in it but eventually you will reach a level of maximum occupancy in your grower bin where you notice more and more dead in your bin (You need to clean these out). You can gain a little more room by using ever square inch in your grower bin. Dubia Roaches love to climb etc so you can stack egg crates and flats all the way up to the top (leave at least 2-3 inches from the top to prevent any from escaping). Do leave the area around their feed dish opened. Stack crates around and eventually over it. This will ensure you get all the extra room you can out of your bins. 

Growing bins are not as temperamental as breeder bins but they do require upkeep and constant monitoring to ensure a healthy growth rate so they can quickly become feeders for your pets. Be sure to maintain cleanliness by cleaning your bins bi weekly or monthly. This will help ensure less deaths in your bins. You could get away with a few roaches in one bin by waiting up to 6 months without cleaning but the roaches will not be very healthy and thats what you would be feeder your pets that eat them.  

Setting Up Dubia Roach Breeder Bins.

Jeremy Smith

First thing to consider with setting up a Dubia Roach Breeder Bin is mapping out a plan for the cheapest and best solutions for raising your own colony of Dubia Roaches.

1st The Container: Your container should be a good size but not too bin for the amount of Dubia Roaches you will be adding to it. You will notice if you put few Dubia Roach breeders in too large of a bin that the males and females will have difficulty finding each other and will not breed as quickly as you would like for them to. Also if you using egg flats in your bin you want to be sure the height of the bin you purchase is over 15 inches tall. Egg flats are generally 11.5 inches tall put you want to be sure they cant reach the top of the bin where they could get out. Also look at the sape of the bin. Try to find one that doesn't have ledges at the top that make a step for them to pull themselves out of the bin. Also look to find a bin that more vertical. When bin shopping you will find some bins are almost oval'd so when you put egg flats in there they will keep falling down because they have little or no support. This is annoying and pushes the egg flats inside of each other causing them to leave little room for the roaches to roam. Also just like any other bin you have for your Dubia Roaches, be sure you add proper ventilation to your bin by cutting appropriate sized hole and hot gluing aluminum screen mesh over the holes to prevent other unwanted guests from entering your bins. 

2nd The Temperature: As you may already know Dubai Roaches cannot get under 68 degrees fahrenheit. They may live but they enter a hibernation like state and will not grow or breed. The ideal temperature range for Dubia Roaches is 85 to 95 degrees fahrenheit. There is some speculation to temperature controlling the sex of the Dubia Roaches offspring but this has not been proven. Dubia Roaches do tend to grow at an accelerate rate with higher temperatures. So if your breeder bin is in the same room as your nymphs, you may want this warmer in that temperature range to be sure your roaches mature more quickly. Your Dubia Roaches will breed in temperature under 85 degrees if you cannot find ways to get their bin temperature warmer. The downside to doing this is that the Dubia Roaches may not breed as quickly as their full potential could be.

3rd The Bin Layout: You want to be sure your roaches have every square inch possible in the bin you select for them. You should have egg flats stacked across 100% of the bin incase and adult Dubia Roach flips on top their back so they can flip back over. This is the only downfall when using plastic containers as breeder bins because the adults could get stuck on their backs and die if they don't have something to help them flip back over. You also want the egg flats or egg crates stacked high as you can get them to give them plenty of room to get around. You have to keep in mind their will be several adult males in one bin that may cause them to be competitive with one another and may even harass the females some which could irritate them and cause them to abort their babies early not allowing them to be born. This will slow your breeder bin down if this is not done properly.

4th Adult Dubia Roaches: When selecting your breeders you can be a little picking to find the best looking ones to use for your breeders. But the most important thing to think about is male to female ratio. Too many males means the females will be harassed and will not give birth as frequently as they normally would be able to. Too few females means all your females will not have a mate to fertilize her eggs she carries. The proper ration should be 1 Male Dubia Roach to every 5 Female Dubia Roaches (1:5). Failure to do this will just be a waste of potential male feeders as they will compete and kill each other anyways, and the females will be overly harassed not producing the most they are fully capable of.

5th Food & Water: Although you can get away with not watering your Dubia Roaches by just simply adding fruits and vegetables to your bins and as the Dubia Roaches feed they get all the necessary moisture they need, this is not the best choice when you are setting up a breeders bin. You should invest in some water crystals to keep moisture readily available to your Dubia Roaches after all, this will be your replenishing supply of Dubia Roaches. These water crystals should be in a container of some sort in your bin thats climbable for your Dubia Roaches. You can scratch containers up with some 60 grit sandpaper  to make a container climbable for them. You also want your feed to always be available for breeders. If a female is too stressed about not having enough feed available she will abort her eggs and the babies will not be born. It also helps if you make your feed ground into a powder to make it as easy as possible for them to eat. As mentioned before the females can easily get stressed about food and water being available causing them to not carry through with their pregnancy. You should also add fresh fruits and vegetables at least twice a week to mix up their diet and help them to have all the necessary vitamins that are required for breeders.

6th Care: You will want to clean this bin out monthly minimum. If you have a small breeder bin with just a few few adult breeder Dubia Roaches (50-200) you can get away with cleaning it monthly but generally you need to do this weekly or bi-weekly. The purpose of cleaning the adult bin out is to manage the health of your breeder, count and replenish dead (adequately adjust male/female ratio), and to remove the new baby nymphs. As mentioned in one of our other blog's, Adult Female Dubia Roaches will protect their young. So instead of going out and breeding again right after giving birth, they will instead protect their current young until they are about 1/4 inch in size. This slows your reproduction rate and can actually throw off your male/female ration as this female will not want anything to do with a male. The baby nymphs will also wander around harassing the pregnant females which can stress them out and cause them to abort their pregnancy early which lowers your reproduction rate. The babies should be stored in a grower or feeder bin until they also become adult Dubia Roaches.

How To Tell The Differences In Male Or Female Dubia Roaches.

Jeremy Smith

As you can see in the picture, Dubia Roaches are very easy to tell the difference in Males and Females (Differences listed below).

Dubia Roach Adult Males: Have a dark distinct coloring to them. They also have large wings that expand across the entire length of their body (they cannot fly, these are solely for mating purposes). The males generally are lengthier as well. This is how you can tell them apart from females before their last molt (when they get dark coloring and wings). The males are skinnier with a narrower back end.They generally tend to be a lot more active are are harder to catch in a bin than the females. This makes them an exciting feeder!

Dubia Roach Adult Females: Have a shiny dark distinct coloring to them. They also have little nubs for wings. They are generally wider in size than males. You will notice the females back end is almost the same width as their mid section. This is different than males as males are narrower. This is also how you can spot them before their last molt (when they get dark in color and show their small wing nubs). You will be able to spot female nymphs as they will be much wider than male nymphs. Females are also a little slower and less likely to run across the entire bin to get away from you. They are like this because they have an instinct to protect their young and even give their life for them. You will notice in their egg crates you store them in that the adult female Dubia Roaches will sit in the cubby with her young to protect them. In fact she will most likely not move out when you stick your hand in there. You generally have to pick her out or tap the egg flat on the side of flat surface to get her bumped out of there.

Having given this information you can determine the sex of some of your nymphs in your colony. It would be wise to feed off some of the obvious males before you go feeding off your females. This way if they have the chance to grow up fully and become breeders. It can take up to 6 months for them to become breeders and start having babies which could be time consuming. But if you have the time to do this you will have a replenishing supply of Dubia Roaches in your feeder bins.

How do I store Dubia Roaches?

Jeremy Smith

Storing Dubia Roaches in comparison to crickets is much easier. Unlike crickets, Dubia Roaches make vertically no noise. Also unlike crickets they have no smell. Dubia Roaches cannot fly and have no claws so they cannot clim smooth vertical surfaces. This is why storing Dubia Roaches can be easily done in a plastic Tupperware container or storage tote. 

Storing Dubia Roaches longterm can be done but does come as a little bit of a chore. They need a fresh veritable piece that they can eat to get their daily dose of water or you could use Water Crystals. Dubia Roaches should never have a water dish as they will drown. To grow properly Dubia Roaches need to have adequate Dubia Roach Feed

Ventilation: You want humidity in your container to be around 40%. In a small Tupperware container you could get away with several hole poked in the lid but several Dubia Roaches in a storage tote should have a large hole cut out in the lid to allow air flow to pass. These holes should also be covered with a mesh screen and glued down with a hot glue gun. This is not to prevent the Dubia Roaches from escaping but rather to keep fly's and other nuisances from contaminating your bin.

Temperature: This is a major factor when storing Dubia Roaches. Dubia roaches cannot live in weather much less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you cant think of a place to keep them a closet or furnace room normally stays warmer than the rest of the home. Most people store them in the garage but if you live in an area with cold winters this may kill off your Dubia Roaches. Garages generally are use to store insecticides so even with a screen over you lid ventilation you still could get small fruit flies cross contaminating your colony. 

Cleaner Bugs: Many sites will recommend cleaner bugs for your Dubia Roach colony. This is a very good choice to keep your colony healthy and clean when your unable to monitor them daily. Cleaner Crews come in several shapes and sizes but the most commonly use cleaned bug is the Buffalo Beetle. Is extremely small so when cleaning out the bin its easy to seperate them from the rest of your Dubia Roaches. If their numbers do get too high you can simply throw them out with the frass and the Buffalo Beetles remaining in the bin will quickly repopulate. They do not fly and similar to the Dubia Roach they cannot climb smooth surfaces making this cleaner a good companion for your Dubia Roaches.

 

Should You Use Cleaner Bugs?

Jeremy Smith

Buffalo Beetles, Dermetsides Beetles, Isopods... The list goes on. Many sites will recommend using "cleaner crews" for your Dubia Roach bins. Fact is that cleaner crews work even when your not looking in your bin. 

Buffalo Beetles are sold fairly cheap and reproduce very quickly. If you decide to experiment with these set up a small bin with a "counted number" of roaches and check them monthly. You will see the Buffalo Beetles will eat extra Dubia Roach feed so the rumors of them pestering Dubia Roaches will never happen. You will see for yourself that when buffalo beetles have cleaned up all the dead Dubia Roaches they will resort to Dubia Roach Feed but you will not have any issues with them harming your Dubia Roaches.

Eventually when their number grow too large (which happen very quickly) As you clean out your bin don't worry about Buffalo beetles and larvae that get thrown out. They will reproduce and make back up their number very quickly.

Dermetsides Beetles are good to use but they fly and you quickly notice them all over the room the bin is in every time the lid is lifted to check or feed your Dubia Roaches. You will quickly see these cleaners are more work to keep contained than if you were to just clean the bin out yourself.

So what is the answer to a self cleaning bin that has high repopulation rates, smells clean, and makes it so you almost never have to clean the bin? Truth is this isn't as hard as it sounds. You could choose not to use cleaner crews and not clean your bin. Long as there is not mold, maggots, or excess fruit juices you could go a few months without cleaning your bin. But if you want the highest repopulation rate in your bin you need to clean your bin out monthly. Failure to do this will cause your dead to increase and your repopulating Dubia Roaches to breed less. The Buffalo Beetles will help maintain the bin in between.

Control Humidity In Your Dubia Roach Bins

Jeremy Smith

Fact is, humidity is a major factor in the survival of your Dubia Roach colony. If you have Dubia Roach fatalities for no apparent reason, 9/10 times its due to uncontrolled humidity.  How do you control your humidity? 

You can easily release large amounts of humidity by cutting a hole on the top lid of your Dubia Roach bin. This will allow moisture to escape the bin so it doesn't build up and cause mold or other fungi's that will kill your Dubia Roaches. Air flow in your bins is key. If you have a hole cut in the top of your bin with screen mesh hot glue over it, keep the piece of plastic you cut out of the lid. You can use this to lay over part of the hole on the bin to limit or let more air in and out of the bin to maintain a healthy humidity level in your Dubia Roach bin.

You want your humidity levels to be around 40% in your Dubia Roach bins. If you live in an area will very low humidity and you find your Roaches are on their backs unable to molt (shed skin) as they should, then this means you do not have enough humidity. This is easily fixed. If you have Water Crystals, then you can add a little heat to the bin to cause humidity to rise (put these in a dish of some sort that the Dubia Roaches can climb - this prevents waters from puddling and drowning them). Also Dubia Roaches sweat like human beings do so you will notice if you have heat pads or other methods for heating your bin you will notice your Dubia Roaches will sweat more and raise the humidity levels.

If you live in an area with too much humidity and you’re having trouble getting it lower than 60% do not resort to wood pellets or other ways of absorbing moisture... This contaminates the bin and when the Dubia Roaches eats parts of it you will notice them dying daily.  Cut larger holes in your bin with screen mesh hot glued on it. You may even consider putting 2 holes on opposite sides of the bin (small ends) to allow air flow to pass through the bin. You could also set a small desk fan on low to blow through the entire bin to dry it up a bit in there. You will find the fan cannot be too close as even on low the fan is extreme for the small bin size most Dubia Roach owners have and they will have trouble with temperature etc. 

There is a lot to consider with housing Dubia Roaches but as you experiment with them you will find the best solution to keeping them. Don't get discouraged. Most first time owners run into issues like this and they lose whole Dubia Roach colonies. They can be very temperamental but once you and your Dubia Roaches get on the same page you will see your colony thrive.

 

Why Feed Your Reptiles Dubia Roaches?

Jeremy Smith

Protein is essential to any reptile. Generally the go to choice for reptile owners is crickets or mealworms but to fully satisfy their protein requirement and keep them healthy it's important your reptile gets a larger amounts of protein. Dubia Roaches are extremely high in protein. In fact they are significantly higher in protein than substitutes such as crickets, mealworms, etc.

Protein: Crickets are generally only providing 18% of a reptile's needed protein were as Dubia Roaches provide almost all of your reptiles protein needs. So ounce for ounce, Dubia Roaches give you the “best bang for your buck”.

Dubia Roaches are  much larger than crickets and more nutritious so generally one roach can do the same job that 7-9 crickets of equal size could do.

Aside from protein, roaches are also high in calcium. So if your somone that has to sprinkle calcium over the cricket your reptile eats, Dubia roaches will save you of this chore so you can spend more time enjoying your pets rather than preparing their next meals.

Dubia Roaches are also high in fat, and ash. All these nutrients are essential for the health of your reptile and are not so plentiful in other feeders. Clearly, Dubia Roaches are the best choice for feeding reptiles.