Choosing the right size Dubia roaches for your animal(s) is a simple and straightforward process. However, there are a few things to know that can make selecting the ones you need even easier. Each feeder insect has its own set of nuances, and Dubia roaches are no exception.
For example, Dubia roaches aren’t like crickets, which grow very fast at roughly the same rate. There is more size variation among Dubia roaches of the same age. They’re also not like mealworms, which reach a predictable size quickly and then stay that size for a while. Dubia roaches grow more slowly, and their growth rate and final adult size depend on variety of conditions, including food and environment.
So here is what you need to know when choosing Dubia roaches:
- Dubia roaches grow fast, especially small ones. And the smaller they are, the faster they grow. The lesson here is when in doubt, it’s better to underestimate what size roaches your animal can handle than overestimate. If you underestimate, the roaches will grow quickly and you can feed them off at that time. If you overestimate, the roaches will grow quickly, and you will still have roaches that are too big for your animal.
- In general, people tend to overestimate the size Dubia roach their animals can handle. When in doubt, estimate smaller, or…
- Buy just a few Dubia roaches to start or try our Dubia roach size sampler. You get a few roaches in two consecutive sizes, which helps you figure out what size works best with minimal waste. Or…
- Buy Dubia roaches by weight rather than exact size. We sell Dubia roaches in broad size groupings like “small” and “medium”, and we also sell them in more precise sizes, like ¼ inch, ½ inch, and so on. If you underestimate the size roaches your animal needs and you bought them by weight, there is no waste. Your animal eats a larger number of smaller roaches.
- Expect a little size variation between roaches. Not much, but some. This is another reason to underestimate the size you need. If you go with the maximum size Dubia roach your animal can handle, you may end up with some that are too big. In this case, underestimating gives you some room for error.
- If these measures fail and your roaches are too big, you can shrink them. Dubia roaches can be made smaller by letting them go without food and water for a few days or a week. This is because they have huge stomachs that elongate when full, which adds substantially to their actual and perceived size. If your animal won’t eat a stuffed roach because it’s too big, you may have better luck when it’s hungry and smaller. If you’re concerned about what this will do to the roaches, don’t worry. It won’t hurt them. They can survive weeks without water and months without food. Cockroaches are famous for this, actually.
- When you have right size Dubia roaches, you can maintain their size by keeping them between 50ºF and 70ºF. They will still eat and drink at these temperatures, but they will grow much slower without the heat they need for full growth and reproduction. At the lower end of this range, they may grow as much as ten times slower than normal.
- Species specific Dubia roach sizing is something we’ve addressed in various places on our website. For example, our article about bearded dragons and Dubia roaches provides information about how to choose the right size Dubia roach for your bearded dragon.
So these are our basic tips for how to pick the right size Dubia roaches. As we said, it’s pretty simple, and we hope this information makes it even easier. Of course, feel free to contact us if you have questions. You may also post your questions or comments below.