Blaptica dubia roaches have recently become a common feeder insect for various animals, due to the ease of culture, cleanliness, fast reproductive rate, high protein to chitin content, nutritional value, and size range of Blaptica dubia. Blaptica dubia roach cultures do not have an odor when maintained properly. Blaptica dubia roaches cannot climb smooth surfaces or fly, making escapee Blaptica dubia roaches unlikely. Blaptica dubia roaches also do not make noise, a pleasant bonus when compared to the traditional feeder insect, the cricket.
Blaptica dubia Roaches, also known at the Orange Spotted Roach or Guiana Spotted Roach, are native to Central and Northern South America. Blaptica dubia roaches are larger roaches, measuring from 1.5-2 inches. Blaptica dubia roaches are sexually dimorphic, with male Blaptica dubia roaches possessing complete wings, and female Blaptica dubia roaches possess wing buds.
Here at Josh’s Frogs, we keep our Blaptica dubia roaches in large opaque Sterilite brand plastic tubs. Darker tubs allow Blaptica dubia roaches to remain active 24/7, resulting in faster growth and reproduction. Because Blaptica dubia roaches cannot climb smooth plastic, a top is not needed, and allows for proper ventilation. Glass aquariums work, just note that Blaptica dubia nymphs will climb silicone, so a tight-fitting screen top is a must when culturing Blaptica dubia in glass containers.
Heat is provided by a 150w ceramic heat emitter positioned above the culture. Another option to heat Blaptica dubia roaches would be a heating mat. Keeping Blaptica dubia roaches warm is important, as the warmer Blaptica dubia roaches are kept, the faster Blaptica dubia roaches will reproduce.
High humidity is also important, which we provide by providing a substrate of 2 inches of coco bedding that we routinely add water to. You do not want the Blaptica dubia culture to be soaking wet, but you do not want it to be dry. We find that Blaptica dubia roaches breed faster, smell less, and are just as easy to maintain by providing a substrate in the Blaptica dubia culture.
Cardboard Egg Crate provides places for Blaptica dubia roaches to hide and give birth. Blaptica dubia roaches will spend most of their time hiding in the egg crate. The egg crate can be positioned vertically or horizontally in Blaptica dubia roach cultures, but we find simply laying the egg crate horizontally works well. Excess debris can be cleared from the egg crate by gentle shaking. Blaptica dubia roaches tend to cling to the egg crate when it is picked up, and ca be removed by shaking. Larger Blaptica dubia roaches tend to fall off sooner than smaller Blaptica dubia roach nymphs, and can be sorted by size in this manner.
Blaptica dubia roach cultures may need to be cleaned every 6-8 months. At Josh’s Frogs, we recommend seeding the substrate of Blaptica dubia roach cultures with springtails, a small soil isopod that breaks down organics. This significantly reduces the chance that mold will grow in the Blaptica dubia roach culture, which can kill Blaptica dubia roaches. Most of the substrate should be changed in Blaptica dubia roach cultures every 6-8 months; when doing so, make sure to add some frass (roach waste) back into the cleaned culture. Frass in an important dietary component in Blaptica dubia roach nymphs, and is needed for a healthy culture. Fortunately, Blaptica dubia roach frass does not smell.
At Josh’s Frogs, we feed our Blaptica dubia roaches a special diet that we formulate and make ourselves, Josh’s Frogs Roach Diet. Several years in the making, Josh’s Frogs Roach diet provides proper levels of protein and other nutrients essential to the health and growth of a Blaptica dubia roach culture. Josh’s Frogs Roach Diet also functions as a gut load for Blaptica dubia roaches, rendering them much more nutritious than Blaptica dubia roaches fed lower quality diets.
Blaptica dubia roaches also need to be provided with a moisture source. At Josh’s Frogs, we use polymer water crystals to provide water to our Blaptica dubia roaches. Polymer crystals are by far the easiest and most convenient way to provide moisture to your Blaptica dubia roaches. They are inexpensive, easily stored and made ready for use, and do not go bad, unlike fruits and vegetables.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can also be provided to Blaptica dubia roaches. The use of springtails (link) in a Blaptica dubia roach culture help to insure that vegetable matter does not mold over and threaten a culture.
Blaptica dubia roaches will become sexually mature at around 4-6 months. Blaptica dubia roach females will give birth to 20-40 live nymphs once a month for the rest of their 1-2 year lifespan.
One male Blaptica dubia roach can service multiple females, so adult male Blaptica dubia roaches can be fed out of a culture without significantly impacting the reproductive capacity of a Blaptica dubia roach culture.