Dubia roaches offer many of the same benefits (and drawbacks) as feeder crickets, but they have a longer lifespan. Generally speaking, as long as you follow our dubia roach care guidelines, you can expect the roaches to live for many months.
If you’re seeing untimely deaths after being under your care for several weeks, here are some potential issues you may need to address.
Mold, bacterial, and fungal overgrowth are one of the most common issues for the uncommon problem of a roach die-off. Poor ventilation leads to unsanitary conditions where harmful microorganisms can flourish and kill an entire dubia roach colony.
A glass aquarium with a screen lid makes a great holding container for your feeder roaches because there’s plenty of ventilation. A large critter keeper may work, too, depending on how many roaches you have and what size they are.
Only adult male dubia roaches can fly, and poorly at that. They can’t climb smooth sides, either. If you’re using a tall plastic bin, you may want to consider ditching the lid. Otherwise, you’ll need to cut or melt large holes and secure mesh or screen material to cover the holes.
Replace paper-based climbing materials as they become limp or damp. Avoid substrates that can hold onto moisture, like soil or coconut fiber. Try to only offer as much produce as your roaches can eat within 24 hours, and remove any uneaten moist foods after a day.
If all else fails, consider running a fan or a dehumidifier in the room where you keep your feeder roaches.
Dubia roaches are insects and thus are naturally susceptible to chemical residues on food - like insecticides.
Many unfortunate reptile keepers have experienced a mass dubia die-off after unknowingly feeding their bugs contaminated commercial foodstuffs, like conventional quinoa or sprayed vegetables.
Your safest bet is to feed only organic produce, produce that you grow (organically), and dry foods intended for feeding insects.
Properly caring for roaches and keeping them alive entails:
- Feeding them or checking their food level daily. They can go without food for a day here and there, but it’s not ideal.
- Checking their hydration source daily. Dubia roaches will quickly die without access to water or moisture in the form of water crystals, gel, produce, or a sponge.
- Removing dead roaches ASAP to prevent the spread of pathogens.
- Cleaning the holding enclosure monthly.