View Full Version : Phobic, but sick of crickets

03-21-2008, 05:18 AM
I have a phobia of roaches. Grew up in FL with Palmetto Bugs, and I'm guessing those monsters started it. ):

Currently going through about 50 crickets a week, which means there are always tons of courting boys singing in my tanks, killing each other off left and right, and smelling horrible.

Can someone enlighten me on the joys of roaches?
Right now, it's hard for me to ever imagine myself being able to reach into a tank of cockroaches and catch one like I can crickets. Are they quiet, cleaner, and more hardy?

edit: Maybe it's worth noting- I once came across a green banana cockroach that I didn't have a problem with in the slightest. Actually scooped the little guy up and let him fly away outside.
If I could find THOSE available as feeders, that would be nifty. :roll:

03-21-2008, 07:33 AM
Well, most don't make any noise apart from scuttling around and darting to hide when you open up the lid.

They don't smell too bad usually. There is a noticeable smell with any humid environment, especially when there's loads of breeding going on, but it's nothing at all compared to crickets. Crickets are amazingly horrible for being so small. I tried breeding those and the smell of their crap and death lingered in my clothes for two weeks. No noticeable smells in the room from my roach bin.

They have longer lifespans than crickets by far. Some more so than others, but 1-2 years is average.

They're really not so bad when they aren't the infesting kind.

If you want my recommendation, get either Orangeheads or Lobsters, depending on the size you want. I've found Orangeheads to be particularly hardy in the right environment. They just need it hot and humid to grow and breed, otherwise, you get nothing.

03-21-2008, 10:31 AM
Do those species have the auto-run reflex that common house roaches have? That darting movement would scare the hell out of me, and longevity doesn't do me any good if I end up too afraid and just waiting for them to die off. :lol:

More concerned about finding a species that doesn't act like a roach, for now, to get me over my fear of them.

Beetles would be a good alternative, too, if there were any variety commonly sold as food. Or maybe just superworms.

03-21-2008, 11:04 AM
Well, they all act like roaches since they are roaches, but the Orangeheads aren't quite as quick as the pest species.

Beetles are crap. They're hard-shelled and the larval stages probably won't help with breeding and raising them as feeders. Too much to think about. Superworms are better, but they bite. Roaches don't.

03-21-2008, 12:57 PM
If you want my recommendation, get either Orangeheads or Lobsters, depending on the size you want.

Anubis pretty much explained the plus side of roaches over crickets.

I would recommend the Discoids. Dubia or Orange Head (Eublaberus prosticus). I do not recommend Lobsters. They do breed well, but they also climb smooth surfaces, which means possible escapes. Since you fear the roaches, that would be bad.

Discoids, Dubia and Orange Head Roaches will not climb smooth surfaces (like glass), do not fly, etc.

Orange Heads will nip at each other (kill each other) if you are not exact on your care. Dubia are good and breed well, but they are a bit small for a large lizard. Discoids are my favorite.. They are good size, I have never had one escape from thier bins (which are tall clear plastic Sterilite bin with no cover), they have little to no odor, they make no noise (other than rustling of the egg crates as the move around, and honestly.. for a bug, I think they are rather cool looking.

My wife also hates roaches, partly because she was raised where roaches are common too. I am from Maine, so I had never seen a roach until I ordered some.. lol - My wife has gotten used to them.

Here is some info on Discoids..


Here are some pictures of Discoids (not my pictures)



03-21-2008, 11:11 PM
I started a colony of dubia about 4 months ago and it's going strong. I feed them regularly to my 30 inch Tegu and he eats them like they're the best thing since, well since other bugs. I find them better than crickets, but I have to agree with Rick, they are a bit small and I can imagine as my tegu gets bigger it will be harder and harder to satisfy him with the little suckers. I've considered hissers, but I think in light of all I've read I'll be starting a Discoid colony next.

I also recommend superworms. I buy them in batches of 100-200, fatten them up and feed 20 or so 2-3 X week. My tegu goes crazy for these guys, not as crazy as he does for the roaches, but not by much. Just another option.

Also, LLLReptiles offers feeder lizards which my tegu seems to enjoy as a treat as well.

Food for thought.

03-22-2008, 09:53 AM
I have a 10 gallon tank with 3/4" crickets ( they don't make any noise yet because they are still juvenile ones.I put some white paper towels on the bottom of the tank and than some paper towel rolls or egg cartons and two glass dishes in there.One that has the water gel in it and the other one with the dried cricket food.I read some where that they have to be in a dark place because they get stressed out when they are around bright light.So I put all of my life feeders on a shelf in the hallway closet with the door a little bit open so fresh air can get in there.Since I have been doing that non of my crickets die and they don't smell either.The super worm I also have them in a 10 gallon tank with a lot of oatmeal in there so they have a place to hide and they eat the oatmeal,too.
Thank you Rick for the info on the roaches.I'll be getting me some,too.

03-22-2008, 12:45 PM
8O 8O 8O , I admit I have done some things with mice so Angelrose would eat them......... but I absolutely have to pass here

03-22-2008, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the informative replies!
Will try to address everything.

Superworms- Mine won't touch them. She looks, smells, and walks away. She's turned her nose up to all types of worms, as a matter of fact.

She's currently on a steady diet of baby food (for some vegetables. She's a columbian and is starting to turn down more and more of them,) ground turkey, pinkies, minnows (I know the risks with feeder fish. I trust my source,) cooking scraps, and crickets.
So really, the bugs are just a supplemental thing, so small roaches would work. Wish she's take superworms, those were so easy to keep.

Now.. feeder lizards?? I never even thought of that.
For that matter, I do have those agamas lying around..
(Joking! ...they're much too big. :wink: )

03-22-2008, 04:52 PM
what is the age of your colombian ? how big ? I went thru many stages with Angelrose as she grew maybe I can help you :D . Colombians are really meat eaters :P

03-23-2008, 08:03 PM
She's about 3months, now.
Angry, voracious, tiny baby. lol