There are many methods to care for your roaches, and lots of information when you look hard enough for it on the internet. I am going to use this to tell you how my husbandry works here with my roaches. I will start with the Dubia Roaches, as those are what got me interested to move on to more exotic roaches. Most of which I never knew existed. Thanks to great people that I have met over the internet and in roach forums, I have listened to them, and learned so much about these wonderful creatures. The hobby of collecting Exotic Roaches is a very small group of people, that enjoy raising, watching, and learning all about their roaches, just as I have been doing. My son in law and I raise many different geckos. We have Crested Geckos, Leopard Geckos, Tokay Geckos, assorted odd ball geckos and Chameleons. I have a pair of Mali Uromastyx also. The cricket feeding was getting crazy expensive, and they were so smelly and most died before we could even feed them to our geckos. I had it with the crickets! I looked into other feeding methods, and a pet store that I frequent told me about the Dubias. I reluctantly bought a handfull of them to try. Well.. my geckos went nuts over them! After I got out of Freak Out Mode over them, I went back to the store to talk more about them with the owner. Finding out how easy keeps they were, I bought about 20 of the adults he had, to start my own colony. It was taking a long time! I needed the little ones for my geckos, the adults are to big to feed. I went online. I ordered from the first guy I found selling them. Bad Mistake. They were badly shipped, most were dead . He never answered my emails. Went to another guy.. same thing. Bad shipment. I had ordered a hundred each time, and maybe 1/2 that survived. I gave up. I just went and bought little ones from the pet store (at a premium price...) until mine started to produce. About a month later I found we had babies! Things really took off after that. I let my babies grow and now, I have thousands of Dubias! My housing for them is in a big tupperware tub. The kind on wheels... a big one. I have air holes and a screen cut out on the top. It has a heat pad underneath. I went from lots of substrate to no substrate after I found out how hard it is to catch them when they have coco fiber to hide in . Their tub is full of tubes and lots of hiding places. There are some pieces of upright wood for them to hang on to dry their wings. (important) I spray them about once a week. They have water crystals and pleanty of food. I use a ground up mixture of dog food, low protien cat food and pond pellets for fish. I offer all these whole as well. (gives them something to knaw on!) Usually every day I give them fresh food. They love oranges, apples, romaine lettuce and carrots (washed). Remember what you feed your roaches, will go into your reptiles. My Dubias are the Garbage Disposals of my collection. They eat everything! I even give them left over cereal that has gone stale. They love that! What my fussy eaters don't eat in a day, I toss to the dubias.
Where found: French Guyana, Brazil, South America. So you can imagine the climates they like.
One thing is they do not like to be disturbed. This also can cause loss of productivity. I try not to bother mine, and when going in to get them for feeding, I take the ones off the top boxes and tubes. I leave the rest alone. Cleaning day is very traumatic for them. I make it as quick and easy as possible. They like it dark! The tub they are in is a dark gray tub, and believe me.. they run to hide as soon as that lid is lifted. I have written a little simple care sheet, and just did a quick copy paste here. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and if I can help you set up your Dubia Roach Colony!!
Dubia Roaches (Blaptica dubia) are live-bearing tropical roaches native to Central and South America. They reach a maximum size of up to 2” and are very popular as feeders since they have no odor and don't climb or fly. They tend to be fairly slow moving roaches.
Housing: Dubia Roaches can be kept in any ventilated container. This can include an aquarium or a plastic tub with screen cover. Although they do not climb, it's recommended that enclosures be covered to keep inappropriate substances or hazards such as household pets out.
Substrate: Roaches do best without a substrate, which facilitates cleaning and sorting babies from adults. They do need places to hide and surface area to stand on. This is best accomplished by using stacked egg crate flats, cardboard sheets in the shape of commercial egg containers.
Heating: Dubia Roaches can tolerate temperatures as low as 68 degrees F, but require much warmer temperatures to thrive and reproduce. A warm side of 85-90 degrees is recommended. This can be accomplished by using an under tank heater (UTH) on one side of the enclosure or a ceramic heat emitter. Dubia Roaches require a moderate amount of humidity: provide bowls of water crystal gel or mist the sides of the enclosure periodically.
Lighting: Dubia Roaches do not require lighting.
Food: In order for roaches to be nutritious for the reptiles that will eat them, they need to be “gutloaded” with nutritious food. This includes powdered grains and nuts, cereal, fruits and vegetables. Be sure to remove fruits and vegetables before they mold, as this can be fatal to the roaches. Place approximately 1/2” of gutload in shallow dishes at the sides or bottom of the enclosure. Although Dubia Roaches may get adequate hydration from the fruits and vegetables they eat, it's best to provide a few dishes of water crystal gel as an additional source of moisture and humidity.
Breeding: Dubia Roaches are relatively easy to breed. Since they are live-bearers, no particular breeding medium is required. Mature females will produce 20-30 nymphs (baby roaches) at a time as long as the heat and humidity are adequate. The babies may take several months to reach feeding size. For best results, maintain a ratio of 1 male for every 3 females (males have fully developed wings and females have wing stubs). In order to keep track of the colony population, roaches can be sorted by size.