The Discoid Roach has always been a very popular mid size feeder roach and that’s not about to change anytime soon. They have been bred as feeder roaches for the pet industry for many years. Discoid roaches are a non climbing, non flying, live bearing species naturally found in the northern parts of South America. Because they can not climb grass or smooth plastic, they are easy to keep in their breeding enclosures and do not easily escape reptile enclosures when used as feeders. Shy roaches, Discoid Roaches breed best if not overly disturbed.
For an enclosure, use a glass aquarium, plastic critter keeper, Rubbermaid type plastic bin or garbage can. Discoid Roaches can not climb so choosing enclosure is simple. Place cardboard egg flats in the bin or tank for hiding places. Stacking vertically works best as it allows all the debris to fall to the bottom of the enclosure. Use no substrate, it is not necessary and only makes cleaning more difficult. Some people use substrate such as bran bedding but that makes it harder to keep the enclosure clean. Discoid Roaches especially like to burrow, so if you use bedding you will find even your adult roaches trying to hide in it. Plus, it’s always especially difficult to get the baby roaches out of the bedding that they are hiding in.
Unlike crickets, roach enclosures do not smell and can be kept clean with a little attention to housekeeping. Sweep or scoop the bottom of the enclosure as required, usually only every few months.
Provide a high protein food such as dry cat food or roach diet at all times. Also try whole grain cereal, baby cereal or fish flake food or pellets. Food can be placed in the corners directly on the container floor or in a shallow dish. Water should be supplied by water gel as it does not get stinky the way sponges will. Using water gel insures against immature roaches accidentally drowning. A dish of water gel also raises the humidity inside the enclosure so that misting the sides of the tanks is not necessary. A key to breeding success with Discoid Roaches is to always keep a constant source of moisture available.
Offer your roaches fresh fruit or vegetables at least once a week. Carrot, apples, oranges, fresh leafy vegetables and fruit are all eagerly accepted. Remove any fruit or vegetables that are not eaten in a day or two to prevent mold. Mold is a threat to your roach colony, so best to feed only what they consume in a short while. Make sure any dry food such as roach diet or cat chow stays dry, easily accomplished if you are not using substrate or misting.
Keep your feeder roaches at a minimum temperature of 68 degrees. Discoid Roaches are Tropical Roaches and need to be kept warm. If you want them to breed, keep them warm. Day temperatures between 85 to 95 degrees are preferable. Humidity levels should be mid range. Unless you live in a very dry area of the country, there will be enough humidity at 90 degrees.
Discoid Roaches usually take awhile to start breeding once they reach adulthood, but once they do, Discoid Roaches are steady and reliable breeders. If your adult Discoid Roaches are not producing young, then you are keeping the temperature too low. If your roaches die during incomplete molts, then the humidity is too low.
It is best to allow your roach colony to become fully established before feeding heavily out of it. Once colonies are well established, you will have roaches of all different sizes to offer lizards the exact size they need.
We sell Discoid Roaches.
Need some tips on how to heat your roach tanks? See Heating Roach Enclosures.
Is there any advantage to using substrates? See Substrates for Roach Enclosures for common substrates and whether to use them.
New York Worms, Long Island, New York