Welcome to our latest blog post at Better Than Crickets! Our aim is to provide the best care and information to Dubia roach breeders and enthusiasts, so we decided to tackle a common question many of our customers and readers ask: "Why does my Dubia roach colony smell and what can I do about it?"
Firstly, let's dispel a myth. A healthy and well-maintained Dubia roach colony shouldn't produce a strong or unpleasant odor. These roaches, in fact, are known for their relatively odorless nature compared to other species of feeder insects. However, if you're noticing a foul smell, it's typically a sign that something may be off balance in your colony's environment.
The Smelly Culprits
Overcrowding is a frequent cause of a smelly roach colony. When too many roaches inhabit a confined space, waste, shed skins, and dead bodies can accumulate rapidly. As the colony grows, this build-up compounds, leading to a distinctly unpleasant odor.
Roaches are efficient scavengers, but if their waste, dead bodies, and uneaten food aren't regularly cleaned, they can start to decompose, creating an unpleasant smell. Furthermore, these leftovers are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which can harm your roaches and contribute to the odor problem.
Dubia roaches require a certain level of humidity to thrive. Ideally, a relative humidity (RH) of 30-40% is best for keeping smells down in a Dubia roach colony. However, excess humidity can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, creating a musty, unpleasant smell.
What to Do About It?Now that we know the culprits, let's dive into some practical solutions.
Monitor Colony Size
Maintain an optimal roach-to-space ratio to prevent overcrowding. If your colony is growing too large for its enclosure, consider moving some roaches to a new one or selling them. Guidelines suggest a maximum of 25-50 adults, 100-200 large nymphs, or 500 small nymphs per egg flat.
Clean your roach bin at least once a week. Remove any waste, uneaten food, and dead roaches promptly. It's important to use safe cleaning products that won't harm your colony. A diluted vinegar solution works well for cleaning and neutralizing odors. If you experience an unsual amount of dead Dubia roaches, check out our blog post here - Why Are My Dubia Roaches Dying?
Regulate the humidity levels within the enclosure by using a digital hygrometer. If the RH reads higher than 40%, consider improving ventilation or reducing the size of your water source.
Use Odor Absorbers
There are several safe odor-absorbing products on the market that can help reduce smells without harming your roaches. Some options include odor-absorbing gels or charcoal-based products.
In conclusion, maintaining a smell-free Dubia roach colony is quite achievable with a bit of proactive management. Regular cleaning, proper humidity control, and avoiding overcrowding are key steps to a fresh-smelling roach bin.
If you're still struggling with a smelly colony, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Better Than Crickets. We're always here to help you provide the best environment for your Dubia roaches, ensuring they are "better than crickets" in every sense. Happy roach farming!