The following is information and advice for USPS, FedEx, and other mail carriers in the event a package containing Dubia roaches ruptures in transit or is abandoned by a customer.
What are Dubia Roaches?
Dubia roaches are harmless tropical cockroaches originally from South America. In the U.S., they are typically used as feeder insects or “feeders” (like crickets and mealworms) for pets like reptiles, amphibians, and other insectivores. They are popular among pet owners because they are nutritious, easy to keep, widely available in the U.S., and more. Dubia roaches do not bite and are not considered pests in the areas from which they originate.
Dubia roaches are different from the American cockroach and other common roach species in several important ways. First, they are not pests, they move slowly relative to other cockroaches, and they are fragile. Second, with little exception, they cannot reproduce on their own in the United States. Dubia roaches require tropical conditions for breeding, and can only survive within a narrow range of temperatures. They cannot live on their own in almost every location in the U.S. Two possible exceptions are Hawaii and Southern Florida, and these states restrict Dubia roach importation. Our policy is to not ship Dubia roaches to either of these two states.
Dubia roaches are not known to be disease vectors. They are not known to harm people, other animals, or property.
Dubia Roach Shipping
Dubia roaches rarely present a problem during shipping. They can go a month or more without food or water, they prefer darkness and small spaces, and they are equipped to handle low oxygen environments.
However, problems do occur. Shipping in very cold temperatures often requires heating packs, for example, and customers are advised to purchase heat packs when appropriate. When they ignore our suggestions, insect death may occur. Other problems can include package damage leading to rupture and escape.
If Dubia Roaches Escape
When Dubia roaches escape they usually die within hours or weeks. The temperature range they need for survival is narrow, and it’s even narrower for breeding. For example, the temperature must remain a constant 85-95°F in order for Dubia roaches to breed. They also require high humidity (50% and above) and an abundance of food. If any of these are inadequate, they cannot reproduce. When temperatures dip below this range, they slow and eventually stop eating. When temperatures are at or near freezing, they die quickly.
Dubia roaches that escape will seek warmth, darkness, and moisture. In addition to being intolerant to cold, they cannot survive high heat. They will die when temperatures are sustained above about 95°F, especially if humidity is low.
Dubia roaches are not known to be destructive to property. They are not burrowing insects and they do not tend to chew through materials. They may chew paper, but usually only if it is moist and they are seeking hydration, or if it contains food.
If Dubia Roaches Die
Escaped Dubia roaches that die tend to dry out quickly or be eaten by other insects or rodents. In these cases they typically do not present a problem. However, when a shipment of Dubia roaches is exposed to conditions extreme enough to kill them, like very high or low temperatures, they may all die at once. Due to low air circulation in packages, dead roaches may become foul. Dead Dubia roaches have a uniquely bad smell. Consider disposing of them quickly. We suggest sealing them in a plastic bag and placing them in an outdoor trash bin or another location appropriate for the disposal of dead insects.
Please feel free to email us with questions or if you need to contact a customer.