Blaptica Dubia Roaches are usually smaller than Discoid Roaches and Orange Headed Roaches, making them an all around great feeder roach species. Dubia Roaches are slower moving but not nearly as shy as either the Discoid or Orange Headed Roaches. Of the three species, Dubia Roaches have the softest exoskeleton making them an excellent food item for arachnids and small lizards. However, the adults are not as meaty as adults of some of the other roach species. The Dubia Roach is a live bearing roach species that can not climb glass or smooth plastic, making them easy to work with. In fact, they seem to be exceptionally poor climbers.
This species is sexually dimorphic, the adult males have full wings while the adult females have small wing stubs. They are easy to tell apart at a glance. Once the Dubia Roach colony has established, it is recommended to use the extra males as feeders, leaving a ratio of one male to every three females. As the colony matures, the excess males just take up food and space and create more competition for resources with the females. The males do seem to be more short lived than the females.
For an enclosure, use a glass aquarium, plastic critter keeper, Rubbermaid type plastic bin or garbage can. Dubia Roaches can not climb so choosing enclosure is simple. Place cardboard egg flats in the bin or tank for hiding places. Stacking vertically works best as it allows all the debris to fall to the bottom of the enclosure. Use no substrate, it is not necessary and only makes cleaning more difficult. Some people use a substrate such as bran for bedding but that only makes it harder to keep the enclosure clean. Besides that, it’s always especially difficult to get the baby roaches out of the bedding that they hide in.
Unlike crickets, roach enclosures do not smell and can be kept clean with a little attention to housekeeping. Sweep or scoop the bottom of the enclosure as required, usually only every few months.
Provide a high protein food such as dry cat food or roach diet at all times. Also try whole grain cereal, baby cereal or fish flake food or pellets. Dubia roaches especially seem to like sweets such as dry breakfast cereal and breads. Food can be placed in the corners directly on the container floor or in a shallow dish.
Water should be supplied by water gel as it does not get stinky the way sponges will. Using water gel insures against immature roaches accidentally drowning. A dish of water gel also raises the humidity inside the enclosure so that misting the sides of the tanks is not necessary. Blaptica dubia are more tolerant of a lack of moisture, more so than most other species as evidenced by a lack of dying. However, these roaches prefer more moisture than many other species and consequently breed better.
Offer your roaches fresh fruit or vegetables at least once a week. Carrot, apples, oranges, fresh leafy vegetables and fruit are all eagerly accepted. Remove any fruit or vegetables that are not eaten in a day or two to prevent mold. Mold is a threat to your roach colony, so best to feed only what they consume in a short while. Make sure any dry food such as roach diet or cat chow stays dry, easily accomplished if you are not using substrate or misting.
Keep your feeder roaches at a minimum temperature of 68 degrees. Dubia Roaches are Tropical Roaches and need to be kept warm. If you want them to breed, keep them warm. Day temperatures between 85 to 95 degrees are preferable. Humidity levels should be mid range. Unless you live in a very dry area of the country, there will be enough humidity at 90 degrees.
Blaptica dubia Roaches are easy and reliable breeders. If your adult Dubia Roaches are not producing young, then you are keeping the temperature too low. If roaches die during incomplete molts, then the humidity is too low.
It is best to allow your roach colony to become fully established before feeding heavily out of it. Once colonies are well established, you will have roaches of all different sizes to offer lizards and arachnids the exact size they need.