This information is for USPS, FedEx, and other mail carriers in the event a package containing Dubia roaches ruptures in transit or a customer abandons their shipment.
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 reptiles, amphibians, and other insectivorous animals. They are popular among pet owners because they are nutritious, easy to keep, and widely available. Dubia roaches do not bite and are not considered pests in the places they originate from.
Dubia roaches are different from the American cockroach and other common roach species in several important ways.
First, they are not pests. They move slower than other cockroaches, they are fragile, and with little exception, they cannot reproduce on their own in the United States. Dubia roaches require sustained tropical conditions to survive and breed. They cannot thrive on their own in the U.S. with the possible exceptions of Hawaii and Southern Florida. Both Hawaii and Florida require a permit to import Dubia roaches, but other states do not. In fact, the US Department of Agriculture has exempted Dubia roaches from any Federal restriction (external link) due to their use in the feeder insect trade.
Dubia roaches are not considered disease vectors. They are not known to harm people, 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 thrive in low oxygen environments – all things they may encounter during shipping. Dubia roaches usually survive shipping and arrive alive and healthy at their final destination.
However, problems sometimes occur. Due to their fragility, Dubia roaches cannot survive exposure to extreme temperatures for very long. Shipping in very cold weather, for example, usually requires heat packs. We advise our customers to buy heat or cold packs as appropriate for their weather conditions. If they ignore our advice, insect death may occur. Another problem that may occur in-transit is package damage leading to rupture and escape, but this is very rare.
If Dubia Roaches Escape
When Dubia roaches escape, they usually die within hours or weeks. The temperature range they need in order to survive is narrow, and it’s even narrower for breeding. For example, a relatively constant temperature around 80-95°F must be maintained for Dubia roaches to successfully breed. They also need high humidity and abundant food. If these are inadequate, they cannot effectively reproduce. When temperatures dip below this range, they become sluggish and will eventually stop eating. When temperatures are near or below freezing, they will die.
Escaped Dubia roaches seek warmth, darkness, and moisture. In addition to being cold intolerant, they cannot survive high heat. They will die if the temperature stays above 95°F for too long – especially if humidity is low.
Dubia roaches are not known to damage 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 or food remnants.
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, such as very high or low temperatures, they may all die at once. Due to low air circulation, dead roaches inside a package may become foul. Dead Dubia roaches have a uniquely bad smell. If you have a package of dead Dubia roaches, consider disposing of it quickly. We suggest sealing it in a plastic bag and placing it in an outdoor trash bin or another location appropriate for the disposal of dead insects.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.