roaches and the ewww factor

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Ravyn

Member
The noisy crickets are driving me batty! I was looking into other feeders and the only thing that really stood out for me was the roaches but here is the thing....ewwwwww. If a cricket gets loose in the house I can deal with that, but if a roach gets loose I may have to move out. How do you get past the ewww factor when working with live feeders. I really hate bugs *shudders* :lol:

Ravyn
 

zooeymama

Hatchling Member
I was the same exact way. Now I hate dealing with crickets. I love dubia roaches! Crickets stink- roaches do not. Crickets bite- roaches do not. Crickets can jump- roaches do not. Crickets are hard to catch- roaches are not. Crickets die off at alarming rates- waste of money. Roaches? 2 months and nary a dead one. Not one. Crickets are lower in protein- roaches higher in protein AND calcium. Crickets are cheaper- but I did mention they die off fast right? Throwing away money. Dubias life cycles are longer and they grow slower- so even buying baby dubia roaches after weeks of having them they are still edible size for my little gal. And I have to mention this one more time because it bears repeating- I did crickets for 2 months. Nasty stanky hard to clean and you have to clean frequently. Sometimes they can be loud too. They smell like rotting death.

Now Dubia roaches? They can't climb well at all. When young they look like rollie pollies. I have cleaned their tank once in the past 6 weeks? It stays dry, they just don't smell and I don't pick out dead bodies all the time. Feeding them is easier for me too. They a roach chow and whatever raw veggies I have in the fridge that I know my beardie can eat- raw carrots, pear/apple cores (oh goodness they will pick those clean!), all sorts of greens and salad greens...they are very healthy. ;) I can now not only handle them, but each of my 4 kids (ages 3-10) love to hold the big ones.

We keep them in the house in a 30 gallon fish tank and the kids like to walk buy and check them out from time to time. And hold them. They lovvvvve holding what we call the 'molties' which are the freshly molted dubias and they are snow white. And my beardie LOVES eating molties. :D

Just try a few- you will see they aren't creepy at all. Dubias though. The turkish ones are different- they do climb!
 

Ravyn

Member
Original Poster
So, umm, you touch them? LOL, I was thinking a hazmat suit and tongs would be minimum to do the job for me. Do you breed them or just buy by the bulk when need them? I don't think I am down for this if I have to breed them myself, but if it is cost effective for me I may be able to just buy a few hundred at a time. My fella is a bit over 2yrs so he doesn't eat as much bugs as a baby would.
Ravyn
 

zooeymama

Hatchling Member
Ravyn":27u5mht4 said:
So, umm, you touch them? LOL, I was thinking a hazmat suit and tongs would be minimum to do the job for me. Do you breed them or just buy by the bulk when need them? I don't think I am down for this if I have to breed them myself, but if it is cost effective for me I may be able to just buy a few hundred at a time. My fella is a bit over 2yrs so he doesn't eat as much bugs as a baby would.
Ravyn

No I don't breed. I'm afraid I will end up with more roaches than my gal could eat. I don't want to deal with a surplus personally. I have too much on plate to manage selling those off. I buy 1000 at a time. I use the cardboard egg crates for them to hide in on one side. The other side of the tank has a water dish (filled with moist silica beads), roach chow in one corner and I put scraps near the water dish. (I don't want wet scraps to touch chow and form mold). This has been working fantastic for me. I have large ones and baby ones in my roach tank (you can use a storage tank- I just happen to have an old fish aquarium we weren't using) and a screen lid. I was the water dish once a week and replace the water beads with fresh ones. Really low maintenance. I found the crickets to require much more maintenance than the roaches. Honestly though the Dubia roaches really aren't all that creepy. Some roaches are but these guys are not.

You don't really have to handle them too much if you prefer not to. Cut the egg crates in to 6x6 in squares or so and stack them up. When it's supper time- grab a piece gently and tip it upside down to drop the dried bits of poo (they look like tiny little dry black beads) and you can carry the entire crate piece to beardie's tank and gently shake a couple into the tank OR just set the entire thing in the tank and beardie might just eat them off the crate. When done- gather the runaways if they are any and put them back in their tank. If Beardie will eat off the carton though- the roaches will often stay on them so you won't have to do much search and rescuing. ;)

You will find what works for you!
 

Cnochur

Hatchling Member
Roaches rule. If my dragon wasn't such a tool insisting on crickets, I'd use them every day. Unfortunately I liked them more than he did.
 

zooeymama

Hatchling Member
And you certainly would not buy as many as I do. I buy smalls still and she eats 60+ of those things a day. Of the big ones- you would be fine to get a couple hundred. I'd get some mixed sizes though so you have some and different growing rates. :D Maybe 100 to start with so you can see if it's something you can manage?
 

prone2

Member
Dubia's don't get out and take off like crickets! if one hits the floor it is slow moving and easy to catch. My Mrs. was the same way at first. Now she has no probs at all with roaches. Plus NO smell, NO noise and NO PINWORMS!!
 

Ravyn

Member
Original Poster
All right, you all have convinced me. The noisy crickets are driving everyone in the house insane, and although Gnomeo seems to love hunting them down and scarfing the heck out of em (I swear he makes nom nom sounds when he eats them) he is not a fussy eater so he should take to them. Tomorrow I will order a thousand of them and see how they work out. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and suggestions, I just want this little man to have a good life with me. He is already 2yrs old and hasn't been out of his viv or held much so we are working on that as well.

Ravyn
 

zooeymama

Hatchling Member
Ravyn":79iupa32 said:
All right, you all have convinced me. The noisy crickets are driving everyone in the house insane, and although Gnomeo seems to love hunting them down and scarfing the heck out of em (I swear he makes nom nom sounds when he eats them) he is not a fussy eater so he should take to them. Tomorrow I will order a thousand of them and see how they work out. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and suggestions, I just want this little man to have a good life with me. He is already 2yrs old and hasn't been out of his viv or held much so we are working on that as well.

Ravyn
Good luck! I was reallllly nervous myself. I am such a girl! But after a while you get used to them and I personally find them less icky and gross than crickets.
 

MrWhite

Sub-Adult Member
Ravyn":ikhgl8hp said:
All right, you all have convinced me. The noisy crickets are driving everyone in the house insane, and although Gnomeo seems to love hunting them down and scarfing the heck out of em (I swear he makes nom nom sounds when he eats them) he is not a fussy eater so he should take to them. Tomorrow I will order a thousand of them and see how they work out. Thanks for all the help, encouragement and suggestions, I just want this little man to have a good life with me. He is already 2yrs old and hasn't been out of his viv or held much so we are working on that as well.

Ravyn

keep in mind that if you order small nymphs, they are REALLY small, like 1/4 to 3/8 inch. If I were you, I would order a mixed size for your adult dragon. That way you'll be getting a range of 1/4 all the way up to 1 1/4.
 

Ravyn

Member
Original Poster
keep in mind that if you order small nymphs, they are REALLY small, like 1/4 to 3/8 inch. If I were you, I would order a mixed size for your adult dragon. That way you'll be getting a range of 1/4 all the way up to 1 1/4.

I didn't think of that. He is a big dragon and eats large crickets. I got him some worms and he has to eat twice as many of those to fill him up as he does the crickets so they turned out not to be cost effective except as a treat to keep him on his toes. Now that we have his enclosure dialed in to the correct temps he is a whole new Gnomeo. His appetite is HUGE!!! He eats two salads a day and about 20-30 crickets coated with calcium and gut loaded with calcium cricket food every other day plus worms for treats every day, then gives me the 'but I'm still starving look' when it's all over.

Ravyn
 

MrWhite

Sub-Adult Member
Ravyn":1mbqm5mb said:
keep in mind that if you order small nymphs, they are REALLY small, like 1/4 to 3/8 inch. If I were you, I would order a mixed size for your adult dragon. That way you'll be getting a range of 1/4 all the way up to 1 1/4.

I didn't think of that. He is a big dragon and eats large crickets. I got him some worms and he has to eat twice as many of those to fill him up as he does the crickets so they turned out not to be cost effective except as a treat to keep him on his toes. Now that we have his enclosure dialed in to the correct temps he is a whole new Gnomeo. His appetite is HUGE!!! He eats two salads a day and about 20-30 crickets coated with calcium and gut loaded with calcium cricket food every other day plus worms for treats every day, then gives me the 'but I'm still starving look' when it's all over.

Ravyn

yeah, you'll definitely do much better with larger roaches. I guess the rough estimate is one large roach is about equal to 6 crickets. so, with these numbers, you'll only be using about 5 or 6 large roaches every other day. Large/adult roaches tend to be a lot more expensive, that's why people breed them. It takes about 4 months for a roach to become an adult.
 
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