A cheaper and easier alternative to crickets for feeding your insect-eating pets is feeders roaches.To establish a breeding colony of roaches, you need to house them in a dark environment that is warm and humid, and give them a good diet.
Step 1: Pick a roach species.
The easiest roaches to breed are Dubia roaches.They are not able to climb up smooth surfaces.They are large enough to be fed to most animals.Dubia roaches are easier to breed than other roach species.Most stores that sell reptiles will sell Dubia roaches.If you don’t have a local place to buy roaches, they can be purchased online and shipped to you.You will pay $20-$30 for 100 roaches.
Step 2: Purchase more female roaches.
For ideal breeding conditions, the female-to-male ratio should be 3:1 to 7:1.You can tell a female from a male.Females and males have different wings that cover their bodies.
Step 3: Purchase 100 roaches.
A good base for a sustainable colony is 100 roaches.It will take less than 100 roaches to start a colony.You can start a large colony with more than 100 roaches.How big your colony is going to be depends on how many animals you want to feed.
Step 4: There are two plastic bins with lids.
The bins should be at least 18” in size.Large plastic storage tubs are ideal because they provide darkness for the roaches and have smooth sides that they can’t climb.When you clean the first bin, you have to put your roaches in the second bin.Aquariums don’t provide a dark environment and are harder to heat.
Step 5: Put a hole in the top of the bins and cover it with a metal screen.
You have the option of cutting one large hole or several smaller holes.The roach colony will benefit from this.The holes should be covered with a metal screen.Attach the screen with hot glue or duct tape.The fiberglass screen can be chewed through by Dubia roaches.The screens will keep your roaches out of the holes.
Step 6: The harborage should be put in the bins.
Harborage is where your roaches can hide and breed.Egg crates have many ridges and degrade very slowly.toilet paper rolls, newspaper, or other cardboard or paper products can be used.The harborage should be placed in the plastic bins.Glossy magazine paper can be used for harborage.There are chemicals in this type of paper that can harm your roaches.
Step 7: You can heat the bins.
Dubia roaches require a temperature of around 90 degrees for idea breeding.There are many ways to heat the bins.Purchase a reptile heating pad and place it under the bin.The bins can be left in this area if there is a spot in your house that stays consistently around 90 degrees.Space heaters can be used to provide heat, but they are less precise than reptile heating pads and will require you to keep a thermostat in the bins to monitor the temperature.Don’t put the heating element in the bin.It’s better to keep it underneath the bin or on the side.
Step 8: Introduce your roaches.
Release your roaches and seal the bin.They will quickly find places to hide and begin the breeding process.
Step 9: The bin needs to be misted with water.
humidity is needed to survive by Dubia roaches.The roaches will do well if the humidity stays above 40%.You can mist the inside of the bin with water.You may need to mist more often in dry environments.If the humidity drops below 40%, place a hygrometer in the bin to monitor it.Before misting, remove any food from the bin.This will prevent the food from getting wet.
Step 10: The water crystal dish is in the bin.
Synthetic material absorbs water and is used in water crystal dishes.They will allow your roaches to drink water without being drowned.Water crystal dishes can be purchased at reptile stores.Your roaches will be able to get most of their water from the water you use to humidify the bins, but a water crystal dish ensures they will not get dehydrated if you miss a mist.
Step 11: Dry food should be added.
Roaches are not picky about what they eat.Dry food will not rot or grow mold that can smell and harm your roaches, so it’s ideal for their main source of nutrition.There are good options for dry roach food.Put the dry food in the bin.When the supply is low, add more dry food.A cup of dry food can last a long time.
Step 12: Fresh fruits and vegetables can be added.
Additional vital nutrition for your roaches will be provided by these.You can eat lettuce, carrots, bananas, and apples.Fruits and vegetables can be placed in the bin on a small dish.The dish should be left in the bin for two days.The food will not rot or develop mold.If you leave fresh food in the bin, mold can grow and kill your colony.
Step 13: The roaches should be moved to the second bin.
Lift the harborage by removing the lid from the first bin.The harborage should be put into the second bin.Take the food and water dishes out of the first bin and put them in the second bin.Lift roaches by hand if they remain in the first bin.
Step 14: The first bin needs to be washed with soap and water.
To clean out the bin, remove any solid roach feces.It doesn’t have to be clean.Excess frass and dead roaches can be removed from the bin.When you are done, dry the bin thoroughly.
Step 15: The bin should not be cleaned too often.
It is important to allow small amounts of frass to accumulate in the bin.If the bin produces a bad smell, only clean it when dead roaches have begun to accumulate.If you notice a smell from the bin, it is time for a cleaning.
Step 16: Don’t let the roaches breed.
Between twenty-five and thirty baby roaches are produced by healthy female roaches every six to eight weeks.Within seventy days, any new females that are born will mate and begin to bear their own offspring.After two reproductive cycles, your colony will be well-established.
Step 17: Feed your animals.
roaches can be used as food for your pets after your colony is established.It should be able to replenish itself with every seventy-day breeding cycle if you don’t deplete the colony below 100 roaches.Purchase more roaches to fill in the gaps if you reduce the colony below 100 individuals.Purchase 25 new roaches if you change the colony to 75 people.
Step 18: Sell or share excess roaches.
You can either give excess roaches to other pet-owners or sell them.If you cannot find local buyers for your roaches, you can sell them on eBay.