How To Information
This page is periodically updated with information on the care of your Dubia Roaches along with How-To videos. We will go over what to feed them, how to house them, and tips to breeding them once they are mature adults. If you still have any questions, please contact us via our Contact Us page and we will be happy to assist.
You will need the following to keep and house your Dubia Roaches, whether they are small or adults.
- Enclosure – Rubbermaid/Sterilite tubs work well, especially ones with locking lids.
- Water/Food Dish – We like to use either food container lids, or the custom made dishes available here
- Roach Gel– Water crystals are very essential to hydrate your roaches. You can purchase water crystals for a fraction of the price of a local pet store from us
- Roach Food– Essentially any dry food with a good amount of protein will work, grains, cereals, etc ground up work well. Fresh veggies and fruits are good as well, be sure to clean out regularly to prevent mold. Remember what goes in your roaches ends up in your reptiles. You can purchase our Roach Chow here.
- Egg Cartons/Crate or Toilet Paper Rolls– We like to use egg cartons/crate, generally you can purchase them online or at your local farm store. Giving the roaches places to hide and climb is essential. Paper towel rolls work good also but do not provide much surface area. Even major food chains will have drink carriers and using them also works well if you're on a budget. Make sure that whatever you choose they are clean.
- Ventilation – Make sure that whatever enclosure you use, there is proper ventilation for the roaches.
- Humidity – keeping your enclosure humid really helps with the roaches and shedding, keeping roach gel in the enclosure is usually enough, but also misting them from time to time really helps also. Never keep an open water container inside as the roaches may climb in and drown.
- Warmth – Remember Dubia Roaches are from warmer climates and keeping them above 70 degrees is critical. Keeping them at lower temperatures lowers their chance of breeding when they become adults. If you are into breeding you will need to keep a warm spot of 100 degrees. Generally for feeders keeping them at 75-80 is perfect and they will slowly multiply. You can use a heat lamp or heated pad if your ambient room temperature gets lower than 70 degrees. Make sure the light is not bright and is a heat emitter or red light as roaches love the dark.
Basic Care of Dubia Nymphs
Keep your roaches in a dark, enclosed area; we like to use Rubbermaid/Sterilite tubs as they are cheap and easy to use. Make sure the sides are slick and for extra precaution get the Rubbermaid that has a locking top in case you knock over the container. Keep some food in there, we offer Roach Chow, but any kind of grain will work, cereal, oats, veggies, fruits, etc. Just remember anything you put in your roach will end up in your lizard. We feed our roaches a blend of nutritious grains (no cat foods or dog foods) for healthy growth. You will also need to keep them hydrated; again we offer roach gel, very inexpensive and makes 1 gallon of crystals. Easiest way is to dump our crystals into a 1 gallon water bottle and add water, within 30 minutes you will have water crystals that will last months (depending on how many roaches you have). Roaches will take a few months to grow, as they molt (turn white) they will grow out of their shell and start to get bigger until they are adults (black in color and about 2″ long). Make sure you give them plenty of room to move and hide, we like to use egg cartons and make sure to stand them up that way the frass (manure) drops to the bottom. Change their water every day or until your water crystals dry up. If you feed them any veggies or fruits remember to remove them after a day or so to prevent mold. Also keep their temperature above 70 degrees, if you are looking to breed them read below on specs for that. Raising or keeping Dubia Roaches is very easy and there really is not much to keeping them. They will not die off like crickets will and there is no stink or noise from them. Be sure to clean them every so often. You can usually expect to clean them every 2-3 months. If you have babies in your enclosure be sure to keep some frass (feces) in the bottom for the babies to eat.
Building Your Own Enclosure
- Rubbermaid/Sterilite with Locking top – 22 Gallon is a good size
- Screening Material for ventilation
- Duck tape
- Glue gun– optional added security for escapees
- Egg cartons– egg flats or egg cartons work well
- Heat source if you are going to breed them or your ambient room temperature gets below 70 degrees
- Food and Water dish
- Packaging tape
What you will do is cut a good size hole in the top of your enclosure with a utility knife. We generally cut about a 8″ by 8″ hole. Once your hole is cut we use some screening material and glue it down with a hot glue gun (this is optional). Once it is glued down we use some duck tape to tape the edges as an extra precaution in case for some reason a baby nymph climbs the side. Once you have that all set for an added precaution as baby nymphs since they are so small can climb a Rubbermaid if is has a porous texture to it, we will run a line of packaging tape around the top edge on the inside. That way there is a real smooth surface so they cannot climb on. Again, this is just an added precaution.
Once you have that done you have your basic enclosure done. Pretty simple isn’t it? You will want to get some egg cartons to stand up in side, you can lay them in there if you want, but the babies can burrow a little and might put holes in your cartons after a while. Keeping them upright allows for their frass (feces/manure) to fall to the bottom. Add your food and water dish and your basically done. If you are going to breed and your room temperature gets below 70 degrees you will need to add some heat. We like to use a heat lamp with a red bulb and we just lay it on the screening material. You can also use an under tank mounted heat pad as well, just be careful that it does not get too hot. If you do, also elevate your enclosure on some wood or something so that the air can get out.
Basic Breeding TipsIf you’re looking to breed your Dubia Roaches use the following tips to help you with along. Once you get a good amount of roaches breeding your will have an endless supply of feeders and never have to step foot in a pet store again and did we mention it will be FREE food.
Be sure to use the same requirements illustrated above with the following extras
- Starting Amount– Be sure to have a good amount of adults, it is best to have at least 5 females to start out with. Not all females will produce right away or every month, so having at least 5 should ensure you get at least 30-60 babies a month. Not all females will produce every month so to be conservative start out with as many females as you can.
- Identify– Remember that adults turn black when they are full-grown, below will be pictures of a female and male Dubia Roach
- Ratio Male/Female– Keep 1 male per 5 females. There is no need to have a bunch of males, once the female is fertilized it will remain that way for many months. The males will just start to eat everything and sometimes nip other males wings. If you end up with a lot of males feed them off, but keep a good ratio of 1:5.
- Temperature– Keep a warm spot for them at around 100 degrees works best. You can use under tank heaters or heat lamps. We prefer a heat lamp, you can get an inexpensive lamp enclosure at your local hardware store for around $8. Be sure to get a light that is not white, red lights work great that way you can watch the roaches and the light does not give off any bright lights as they do not like light. Keep a spot warm as you would any heat required reptile
- Hiding spots– Make sure you have a lot of egg cartons or hiding spots so that your roaches can feel safe and secure. Males tend to bother other roaches so having a good amount of space and hiding spots will aid in the production. Also, baby nymphs will have lots of hiding spots to go to
- Food/Water– Be sure to keep your food level high and water levels high, do not using standing water, and do use water crystals or fruits for a water source. We find feeding them oranges really helps with reproduction and they love them. They will eat it down in a day.
- Cleaning– For breeder tanks you do not want to clean them as often. The frass (feces) left behind is vital to the baby nymphs. Keeping a good layer of frass at the bottom is recommended. The babies will burrow and eat the frass left by the adults. If you do clean out the tank, be sure to dump some frass back in for them. You can can go 4-6 months between cleanings
As you can see, breeding them is not much more than keeping them as feeders outside of keeping adults together and maintaining a good ratio of males to female. Outside of keeping a hotter enclosure it is virtually the same. Breeding them is very easy and inexpensive, and adults can last 1-2 years doing the math each female can make 300-500 babies in its lifetime.
Be sure to Contact Us with any questions you might have.
Here are some videos we made to give you a visual representation of the care of Dubia Roaches.