Breeding and Raising for Discoid Roaches
How to Raise Discoid Roaches
Discoid roaches are a great staple feeder for larger reptiles. Geckos and other smaller reptile species can still be fed discoid roaches, as long as they are size-appropriate.
Roaches have a high meat-to-shell ratio and will fill your reptile's appetite. Although they have a higher meat ratio, they do have a harder shell, so try not to feed small hatchlings of juveniles too many roaches. The hard shells could possibly raise risks of impaction on younger reptiles. Overall, roaches are great for larger reptiles.
Although adult discoid roaches have wings, they are a non-climbing and non-flying species of roaches. These roaches are burrowers. So, you do not have to worry about loose roaches flying throughout your home. Do take caution if you have your reptile on loose bedding. Do not leave any uneaten roaches in the enclosure; you probably don't want an infestation. These insects are fast, little critters, and that speed should be taken into account when choosing your feeders.
Materials for Breeding
- Plastic tub
- Bedding (optional)
- Egg cartons
- Heat source (optional)
Set Up a Breeding Colony of Discoids
Bedding is optional for the discoid bin, but you can use Bed-A-Beast blocks or another brand of compressed dirt that you can find at most pet stores. Lay the bedding on the bottom of the plastic Rubbermaid storage bin with torn egg cartons; this makes for a great simplistic enclosure for discoid roaches.
Because these roaches are diggers, they will burrow in the bedding. If you opt not to use bedding, that is fine too. Not using bedding in the bin allows for easier clean-up, as you do not have to take closer care to not trash any roaches.
Discoid roaches do prefer heating. So you may want to set up a small wattage bulb or an under tank heater, depending on the size of your plastic storage bin. Discoids will be fine at room temperatures, but they do survive and breed better at higher temperatures.
Feeding and Diet Tips
You can purchase a commercial roach feed for the roaches. This is great to ensure that the roaches are eating healthy, as the roach feed is typically formulated for optimum growth and health of the roaches.
You may want to consider using fresh carrots, apples, and potatoes, for both moisture and nutrition. Otherwise, you can purchase cricket water crystals for moisture. Make sure to remove uneaten foods and any scraps after a few days to prevent mold and fungal growth.
Make sure that the roaches are fully gutloaded at least 24 hours before you feed any of them to your reptiles, but try to limit using breeding roaches for feeders as it will deplete your colony.
More Tips for Successful Breeding
Discoid roaches have been one of the more common feeder roaches in the pet industry for the past few years. They usually reach adulthood in 3–5 months and then will live another 10–14 months. Both males and females have wings, but they are a non-climbing and non-flying species.
Use the basic setup as described above to start your breeding colony. This is where having the supplemental heat source will come in handy. When roaches have the extra heat, they tend to produce more babies, whereas without the heat, they produce fewer. If you notice that after a few months that they have not produced any young, you may need to add a heat source or up the wattage.
Handle Them Minimally
Do not bother the roaches. The more you fiddle with the substrate (if you choose to use substrate) or egg cartons, the less successful your colony will be. Try to keep two separate containers—one for breeders and one for feeders.
Roaches are usually very successful breeders in captivity, as long as you take care as to leaving them alone. They are the fastest producing feeder insects, yet. You do not need to incubate the eggs, which makes breeding them much easier.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.