Dubia roaches are exotic insects. Adults are delicate and temperamental, and they require specific conditions for productive breeding and good health. However, nymphs are hearty. By comparison, they are easy to keep and feed. You don’t need anything extraordinary to keep our Dubia roaches as feeders for your animals. The effort is minimal. Just provide food, housing with a few dark spaces to hide, and warmth. In return, they’ll be nutritious feeders your animals will love.
Getting set up to house Dubia roach feeders is just as easy as crickets, mealworms, and other insects, and Dubia roaches are more nutritious. The initial effort is minimal, and the benefits are many. In our view, they’re well worth it!
Here’s what you need to keep and store Dubia roach feeders:
First, you’ll need something to store your Dubia roaches in. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy — just a place to keep the roaches while you feed them off. Dubia roaches can’t climb slick surfaces like glass or smooth plastic, so many plastic containers will work fine. We recommend plastic over glass because it’s more durable. Just make sure the plastic is see-through and not opaque. Opacity is sometimes achieved by creating a rough surface, and this texturing can sometimes provide a foothold for the roaches. If in doubt, find a clear, smooth plastic container, then test it out. If roaches can climb the sides, you’ll know.
A lid is a good idea, though it’s not required. If you use a lid, drill, cut, or punch some holes in the top. You can cut a section of screen material and glue it over the holes if you like, but it won’t be necessary if the roaches can’t climb the sides of the container and/or you cut small holes. The screen can help keep unwanted things like pets out and prevent escape if the container is knocked over.
Place a few pieces of egg carton, crumpled paper, or cardboard in the container. These provide a place for the roaches to hide. Dubia roaches don’t like light, and they prefer to not be disturbed. They will appreciate it if you give them substrate to crawl around and hang out. If you feed them off right away, a substrate isn’t necessary. If you feed them off over a period longer than a week, some harborage will keep them happy.
Feed the roaches healthy foods — preferably those containing nutrients you want your animal(s) to consume. This can be anything from apples and carrots to cooked foods like oats or rice or a specialized Dubia roach chow. What you choose is entirely up to you. Dubia roaches will consume a wide variety of healthy foods, so find one or several that work for you and give it/them a try.
If you’re curious, here’s what we feed our Dubia roaches.
Just prior to feeding time, you may consider providing your roaches with a gut load designed for reptiles and other insectivores. Gut loading is a common practice and something to look into if you’re interested, but it’s not always required.
A note on storage
Ideally, store your Dubia roaches in a warm, dark spot until feeding time. They’ll appreciate it, though it’s not absolutely necessary. You can keep them out in the open at room temperature for about a week without affecting their quality.
However, it’s best to give them some darkness and warmth if you keep them for more than a week or if you want to provide them with some comfort. Between room temperature and 80°F or so is fine. For darkness, keep the container in a dark spot during the day.
You can read our Dubia roach care sheet for more information, and if you still have questions, let us know!