Dubia Roach Care Sheet
Dubia roaches (Blaptica dubia) are native to South America and make excellent feeder insects for reptiles, amphibians, and other insectivorous pets. Proper care is essential to ensure their health and longevity. Here are some guidelines to help you provide optimal care for your Dubia roaches:
- Use a well-ventilated enclosure such as a plastic or glass tank with a secure lid to keep pests out and the Dubia in.
- To prevent escapes, make sure the inside of the plastic container is smooth like glass. Color does not matter.
- Provide hiding spots such as egg flats or cardboard tubes for the roaches to feel secure. This also increases the surface area allowing for more roaches to be kept in a smaller enclosure.
- Stack egg flats vertically to maximize the available space and provide ample surface area for the roaches. This also allows frass to fall to the floor.
- Depending on your needs, adjust the number of Dubia roaches per enclosure. Guidelines suggest a maximum of 25-50 adults, 100-200 large nymphs, or 500 small nymphs per egg flat.
Temperature and Humidity:
- Maintain a temperature range between 75- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius), as this is the ideal temperature range for Dubia roaches.
- Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and ensure it remains within the desired range.
- Consider using a heat mat, thermostat and digital thermometer gun to maintain and monitor the temperature of your colony. Read our in depth blog post about temperatures here - Proper Heat Management.
- Maintain moderate humidity levels, around 30-40%. You can achieve this by providing a fresh source of water and adding or reducing ventilation holes. The higher the humidity the higher the risk of mold and bad odors.
- Dubia roaches should never go without fresh water. Even short lapses can be fatal to the smallest of Dubia roaches. Only fresh, clean, translucent water crystals should be provided, replacing uneaten water crystals every 3 or 4 days.
- Offer fresh, clean water in a cricket waterer or with water gel crystals. Dubia roaches prefer natural water sources over water crystals, and it encourages faster growth.
- Ensure that the water source is accessible to all life stages of Dubia. Usually sanding the surface of the waterer with sandpaper is enough for everyone to be able to access the water.
- Replace the water regularly to prevent contamination and bacterial growth.
- Dubia roaches are omnivorous and can eat a wide variety of foods. Feed them a balanced diet to ensure the optimal nutrition for both the roaches and the animals that will consume them.
- Offer a base diet of high-quality dry pet foods, such as Dubia roach food, rabbit food, or chicken food, as they provide a good source of nutrients.
- Avoid low-protein (under 10%) and high-protein (over 25%) diets, as they can negatively affect the roaches' growth, survival rate, and odor/hygiene of the container.
- Supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. This helps improve their growth rate and overall survival. You should try to offer them fresh fruit or vegetables at least once a week.
Breeding and Colony Management:
- Adult Dubia are required for breeding. Adult males have wings, females are the largest stage of Dubia roaches and are dark and shiny.
- Maintain an appropriate male-to-female ratio for breeding purposes. A ratio of 1:4-1:8 (one male for every 4 to 8 females) is generally recommended.
- Avoid using CUC (Clean Up Crews) such as dermestid beetles and buffalo beetles or their worms to keep a colony clean. These are pests and will eat live roaches if they have nothing else to eat. Read more about pests on our blog post Pests and Predators in a Dubia Roach Colony: Maintaining a Pest-Free Environment.
- A kitchen colander or a bucket with holes drilled in the bottom are the best ways to separate Dubia roaches from their waste (frass). Read more about sorting here - The Ultimate Guide to Sorting Dubia Roaches.
Remember to regularly clean the enclosure, removing any uneaten food, feces, or debris (frass). Regularly monitor the temperature of your colony and never let your dubia roaches go without fresh water and food.