View Full Version : Want to get a colony started...

09-08-2010, 05:36 AM
but....my boyfriend is scared of roaches. lol, he would rather raise crickets. What are the pros/cons of roaches? what do you prefer? where is a good place to buy them?

09-08-2010, 06:36 AM
Hi rinaann. Welcome to our Tegu forum family. The Dubia Roaches are better than the crickets because they are much better in nutrition, they don't climb and they don't make all that noise. Here is a link for you to check out on how to raise the Roaches. The guy in the video also has a store ( website ) where he sells the Roaches. You can pm ( on his youtube account and see if he has any left ) if you want to. Hope this helps. Oh, I almost forgot. Most places are out of large crickets because there is a cricket virus going around.


09-08-2010, 06:41 AM
From what I've read, roaches are easier to raise/breed in general and they aren't as aggressive as crickets.

09-08-2010, 06:48 AM
Everything txrepgirl said is true. But. There is also an irrational, emotional factor at play here. If your BF hates roaches or is afraid of them, chances are this won't just go away. Roaches are one of those categories that trigger a phobia or at least strong feelings of repulsion in many people. It's not logical, but it's real. Unless your BF is willing to really work at it and master a reason-over-reflex thing, I would not underestimate this as a problem. I know because I find roaches fascinating in someone else's enclosure or in a museum, but am unable to bring myself to bring them into my house. There are plenty of different kinds of worms and small prey alternatives.

09-08-2010, 07:26 AM
I'm going to side with your boyfriend on this. While roaches are easier and better in the long run. The idea of them potentially getting out and then having free roam of my home is too much to bare. I and I"m sure HE Understands there is nothing to fear, I'm sure he has logically thought about what could possibly harm him. But I'm sure he can also think back to some movie Simular to Archnaphobia which scarred many young poeple like myself so early on.

I used to be a poor white boy who shared his home, parents vehicle, and food with roaches. The idea that with one slip up that could happen again makes me feel like little legs are crawling all over me while I try to sleep.

But.....Don't raise crickets, the smell is GOD AWEFULL, they are supercannibles, get out and will be running around, and the chirping will haunt you. Also if your find a good pet store you can normally get flat rates on them.

09-08-2010, 09:01 AM
Hi Rinaann, It's very understandable that your boyfriend is not so keen about cockroaches but actually a few varieties of cockroaches (like most feeder roaches) are considered not to be pests and it's a good way to not drive to the pet store every week and buy a few hundred crickets. It's cost effective and time sufficient to raise a colony of roaches on your own. There is a lot of info I found on the roach Ranch web site that I hear are very well thought of distributors of feeder cockroaches that you might want to check out. It might make your boyfriend think a little differently about rising cockroaches ;)

09-08-2010, 11:40 AM
If you keep the roaches in a tank with a lid and some clips on it they can't get out.

Hi LovleyLin. Welcome to our Tegu forum family :) .

09-08-2010, 03:58 PM
Roaches, are by far, easier to breed and a better source of food for your reptile. Plus they don't hiss and aren't good climber. We used to keep many of them at the reptile farm, and they weren't any top of the cage due of their pitiful climbing skills.

Cricket, in other way are very messy and die easily. Plus the smell is horrible and you'll need a big amout of it to feed one adult reptile compare to roaches.

Superworm, easy to breed to, easy to get adult, but you need to be extremely careful when it comes to the temperature and lighting. Plus in a lot of substrate to eat, a couple of pieces or apple can make them live for a very very very long time.

Butterworm, well as I read, they are irradicated so it's impossible to breed them and aren't a good source of food because they are high in fat.

Silkworm, pretty expensive to breed due of the ''exceptionnal food'' they need. Sadly, they are an excellent source of food for lizard.

Personally, I would go with the roaches, but before making a colony, I think that you should bought an adult one and show your boyfriend that these little guy are pretty friendly and not aggressive at all.

09-09-2010, 05:51 AM
Just speaking for myself here, regarding the roach fear thing. It's not that I'm afraid they'll bite me or carry me off to be a slave or something. I just see them as filthy, disease-carrying, ultra-high reproductive rate colonists of human environments.

At a recent reptile show I looked at the exhibits from roach sellers and spent a long time checking out the dubias. It made so much sense to start a colony for all the nutritional reasons mentioned, plus I could imagine setting Hernando loose on the whole colony. I have the spare terrarium with a slide-locking lid, blah, blah, blah.

Then I saw this one big female just kick off an egg capsule that shot across the enclosure. I pictured that thing sticking to my shoe or dropping into the cuff of my pants as I walk into the kitchen. The lady selling roaches assured me that this species would not survive in my kitchen. But I just can not make the leap. I could not bring myself to pick one up, let alone buy a trial jar. They are vile, disgusting, filthy vermin. It's not like I would go screaming and running if one touched me. I wouldn't go into a panic attack or anything. But I, too, have lived with them (the flitty little German kind, and another non-native species that flies in huge flocks when they migrate--and I was living and working outdoors) and I think I would slide into a dark cloud of misery and dispair if I were ever cohabitating with roaches again.

09-09-2010, 08:36 AM
So I'm not a big fan of creepy crawlies either, however I'm an even LESS fan of dealing with crickets. ;)

Crickets are loud, stinky as all heck, expensive (depending on how often you're going to the pet store to buy them), great climbers and escape artists, die very easily, and IMO, just a pain in the butt to deal with. Dubia roaches, on the other hand, are hearty and prodigious breeders (which makes them easy to establish), quiet, have little to no smell, are HORRIBLE climbers (and really, it's only the cute little baby ones that can do anything remotely like climbing anyway), can't fly, have a much higher "meat to shell" ratio, and will save you untold amounts of money in the long-run.

The Boyfriend and I just started our dubia roach colony a few weeks ago, and we can not wait until they get established so we won't have to deal with any more darn crickets. ;) They just seem like such a valid and logical choice for us and our reptiles. I would suggest that you and your BF sit down and do some reading on them, and then discuss the possibility with him. However, if he truly is scared of them, like as in a way that he won't be able to "get over" or rationalize his way through it, then I wouldn't put him through the stress of dealing with roaches; it wouldn't be fair to him in the least.

Here are some great informational pages, and two sources for the actual roaches themselves:




Good luck with everything!! :)

09-09-2010, 03:51 PM
Maybe it's because I live in Florida where roaches are just like birds around here....there are just so many. I don't have them in my house (thank God!) but I keep hissers in my garage. I do have Palmettoes in my garage so I avoid it at night, and I think some Germans have invaded my backyard because road construction is pushing them out of the woods behind me. Then you have those little black cockroaches that are always ion the grass.

You know, cockroaches don't carry their own diseases, it's just that they live and feed on decomposing matter. If they hang around our rotting trash, then they carry our rotting trashy germs. If you keep them in a clean environment and feed them fresh food, then they are clean. However, I have found that I am allergic to either the chitin or tropomyosin in insects and crustaceans. I can't even handle the cockroaches any more and have thought about giving them up completely. If I touch them even briefly, I get red and burning skin. Superworms are like that, too, but crickets are not too bad yet. :(

09-10-2010, 11:38 AM
Thank you Txrepgirl :) I love your youtube videos by the way :D

09-11-2010, 11:06 AM
Your welcome ;) . Awww thank you :) . I'm glad you enjoy watching them. I'm going to try to make some new ones soon ;) .

09-12-2010, 05:10 PM
I tried the Dubias and they are wonderful. Love that they don't smell,don't make noise, and I have them in a very large rubbermaid bin. When we pull some out for feeding we take our time and go slowly so we never drop one. It's funny cuz when I put them in the Beardie tank they sit pretty still ...not knowing something is hunting them. I think they are easier for the lizards to catch than crickets. Oh and when my beardies poo, which stinks like death...when they eat dubias barely no smell!!! Proof is in the pudding!:) (I know lame joke!)

I still have crickets for my Geckos. I hate -hate crickets! They are vile! The smell makes me wanna barf and yea even if they are fed and watered good they still eat each other and I know they would attack my lizards given half the chance. Eww and they jump!!! Vile I tell ya!!!:)

the enigma
09-12-2010, 10:54 PM
Yes cricket stench tends to be brutal....roaches tho....If i didn't need to go in there to get some for feeders I'd probably forget about them! No smell, sound, etc. great bug!

09-13-2010, 12:11 AM
I have to say again about the smell of crickets. Even if I just buy a few, if I leave them in the baggie they come in for too long the smell knocks me back. I don't even want to IMAGINE the smell of a colony in somewhere other than a big store. I've got a colony of hissing roaches not even 4 feet away from me most of the time, I have them set up in a office organizer bin thing on the cable box. lol. They don't smell at all, only make noise if you piss them off, and even though they can climb up glass and whatnot it's easy enough to stop with some vaseline. I think only one little baby has ever gotten out. Even if by some crazy chance one does escape, they aren't invasive and wont infest your home. About a month ago, I had to traumatize my gecko trying to get a stupid cricket out of it's enclosure because it was chirping all day and night. I put it in a bottle to save for the tegu in the morning. :x Actually, my husband was and still is scared of them but from seeing me hold and interact with them he's been a little desensitized. Honestly, I feel much more icky after holding a cricket than I do a roach. Maybe it's the smell and the poo that they get everywhere.

Roach Pros:
-Better nutrition
-Little to no smell
-Hardy, VERY easy to care for
-More for your money
-Can sustain a larger animal with fewer critters
-Aren't as sneaky or likely to escape
-Don't jump
-Easier to handle
-Breed pretty quickly and easily with right temps

Roach Cons:
-It can be a little expensive to buy the buggers at first
-They bug people (pun intended. :p )

Cricket Pros:
-The jumping might help some animals trigger the feeding response (my cats prefer them to the roaches, lol.)
-Squishy and easier for little animals to eat

Cricket Cons:
-A huge pain to keep alive
-Eat each other
-Have to clean enclosure regularly if you want to go in that room they're in anymore
-A pain to get a hold of when it's feeding time
-Very noisy
-Can be harder for the animal to catch

I think that's good enough. :)


09-13-2010, 02:00 AM
i cant remember, but those the ones i was selling? if so they look good and bigger.
If not then never mind (i looked thru my mail and i empty it every other month and lost the PMs to who they went to)

the enigma
09-13-2010, 02:25 AM
I had Hissers for a bit...I think I'll get some again

09-13-2010, 02:27 AM
Yeah they are Pikey. :D

09-13-2010, 05:38 PM
Did anyone of you all have/had a Tegu that didn't like the Roaches ?

09-13-2010, 06:04 PM
nope all of mine LOVE roaches (even my 3yr red would eat adult hissers as a treat/snack)
the blue sky prefers roaches over anything else

the enigma
09-13-2010, 08:04 PM
I took Zilla a few times before he liked them

09-13-2010, 08:19 PM
@rinaann - So, did you decide on if you're going to go with the roaches or stick with crickets?

We're still waiting for our colony to establish itself so we can start feeding them off. It's a shame that neither The Boyfriend nor I are very patient people; the waiting is killing us. ;)

the enigma
09-13-2010, 10:07 PM
my colony is just starting to get on a role. In my opinion its about time! Its been three months now.

09-14-2010, 01:07 AM
yeah i prolly got 2000+ in my dubias & only 200+ in my discoids (<--- those where Mr. Satan's favorites)

Yes what is the out come of the idea?

09-14-2010, 05:31 AM
Just how long DOES it take a colony to get started? We bought a mixed group of 260, that included two pairs of breeding adults.

09-14-2010, 07:17 PM
it depends on temp, food, & water. I use the powder from the bottom of my Mazuri rat food bags mixed with about 1/4 Kitten food (put in a blender), i feed organic baby food, home grown carrots, lettuce, & swiss chard. i also give fresh mellons. Oranges really seem to trigger breeding.
(i just checked my breeding tote last night i prolly have 3000+ in there) i only had 500-700 3 months ago.

09-15-2010, 04:42 AM
Holy crap. We're obviously doing it wrong. ;)

When we bought our "starter kit" from theroachguy.com, we also purchased a 10 pound bag of their roach food, as well as a BUNCH of the water crystals. We had a 25 gallon (I think) Rubbermade bin laying around that we converted into their enclosure, slapped a heating pad underneath one side (we've got hard wood floor that can get chilly), and added a IRH emitter that hangs over the mesh cut-out top. The temps have been great. We've got lots of egg cartons for them to hide in, and keep a couple bowls (that they can climb on and in) of the water crystals and of the roach feed in there at all times. I read that they love cantaloupe so we cut up a bunch of it and placed it in there with them, and they seemed to love it. We're definitely going to have to add some of the things that you feed yours!! ;)

the enigma
09-16-2010, 01:42 AM
i agree I am going to start giving them some of that stuff to. I had a feeling something wasn't quite right

Digby Rigby
10-20-2010, 12:31 AM
To help determine the size colony one needs you have to first determine how many feeder insects you use. Then get a starter colony that is apropriate. We have been selling dubia for years and now sell them exclusively in bulk lots. We have never had a client tell us they bought too much. generally when you have at least two generations of producing adults you can start feeding off the colony. Dubia and blaberus species will not infest the house. To say one does not like roaches is the same as saying "I wont have cats because lions are dangerous". There are over 3500 secies of roaches maybe 12 species are either pests or have the potential to be. Check out our galleries also there are much larger species that can be even more suitable for tegus.

Digby Rigby balboa28279@mypacks.net