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Everything posted by Axolotl

  1. Axolotl

    Cleaning enclosures

    Little Kenyans eat some poop. I don't notice the frass build up with most species. I did replace my B. lateralis substrate recently after 2 years as it was no longer really substrate but more empty ooths and fine particles. I did a change on my dubia once as well. None of my other species have needed it yet, though I do add new substrate to the top if I notice it turning into finer particles. I think (not certain) the fine particles are the result of A. diaperinus breaking down food, dead roaches and poop.
  2. Axolotl

    Fungus Gnats

    I feel your pain! I had an immense outbreak last year. There were thousands and they started migrating out of the roach room into my houseplants. Collembola help as they out-compete the gnats, but to really get them under control I had to set up yellow sticky boards in my bug room. You can find them on Amazon or at hardware stores. It's a little weird, but here's how I tackled them: - Hung up sticky boards by light fixtures. - Stuck small pieces of sticky board on the underside of enclosure lids ONLY with non-climbing species. - Stuck a sticky board to the outside of a nightlight — so the light showed through the board — and let it attract gnats in the dark. This was surprisingly one of the most effective ways to lure them to the boards. - Collembola in all of my damp roach enclosures. - No roach chow or moist foods in the damp enclosures - just carrots. - Let everything dry out as much as possible without jeopardizing the roaches. - Smashed all of them that I came across (RIP little fellers). - Be patient. It took a good 3 months of vigilance to eradicate them in my bug room. And now that it's summer, I'm starting to see a few again. I think it's inevitable. But they are cleaning up fungus in the enclosures, so they're not all bad. Hope this helps!
  3. Axolotl

    Halloween hisser care?

    I keep mine bone dry and about 85-90 degrees. They get water crystals, but only occasionally do I mist them. I keep them on a mix of coco fiber and shaved aspen (snake bedding) with A. diaperinus for clean up.
  4. Axolotl

    Cheap Egg Crates

    I get mine from the local Big Boy restaurant. They go through dozens a day. I just called the manager and explained the situation. They were happy to save the empties for me. In 2 weeks I ended up with a stack about 8' high. That was well over a year ago and I still have plenty remaining. They're just trash to most restaurants, so just ask around.
  5. Axolotl

    roach racks

    I'd love to read the results from your studies as well. Maybe you could post links when you publish?
  6. Axolotl

    Cleaning enclosures

    You can use cleaner crews to help keep the substrate free of mold, fungus, mites, gnats and odors. I use A. diaperinus in dry substrate and Collembola in damp substrate. I also use Blaberidae "Kenya" with larger "moist" species like A. insignis and B. giganteus. Aside from that, I just hand pick any food remnants, exuviae and dead roaches — maybe stir up the substrate every once in awhile. As long it remains odor-free I typically don't do much cleaning... I do however spend a lot of time fussing and maintaining the aesthetics of my natural enclosures... lots of moving bark, swapping out branches, mixing in new leaves ... you know, the fun stuff. 😉
  7. Gotcha. It's the first I've seen of him ... which is strange, because I tend to keep a pretty close eye on the ebay roach market. Must be his bad spelling and incorrect categories. And yeah, I've noticed a lot more people trying to pass off a range of things as "feeders." I guess everybody eventually gets eaten by someone. Thanks for the heads up!
  8. Just curious... which policies? I'm not well-versed in eBay's guidelines. Probably should read up on that... I just assume eBay is like the wild west — anything goes. 😉
  9. So I thought this would be a fun thread. What unusual things have your roaches eaten? By this I mean things not on the typical menu. I'm forever trying new items and have had good success with: Dole dried fruit snacks (100% fruit) Hardboiled eggs (including the shell) Almonds & walnuts Canned haricot beans Acorns* Hibiscus flowers* Wild dandelion flowers & greens* Red clover, white clover & alsike clover (but not hop or trefoil clover)* Fresh maple leaves (hissers go nuts for these)* And finally... Nacho Cheese Doritos Loco Tacos (supreme) from Taco Bell. My lats got a whole taco last year for Christmas, and they went insane. Ate everything except the sour cream. Things they won't eat: dried cranberries, tomatoes and kefir grains. What interesting things have your roaches enjoyed? * Obligatory warning: These items are sourced from my property, which is pesticide-free, herbicide-free, fertilizer-free and large enough to avoid run off from neighbors. Use great caution and wash thoroughly before feeding any wild items to roaches.
  10. Ah! That makes more sense. I just read it wrong. I thought that was a risky endeavor. 😉 My adult male beardie loves hissers, especially E. javanica adults, and my assassins take the nymphs as well... But then again, I think they'll eat just about anything that moves. I had a nymph catch an adult male dubia the other day and drag it up to the top of a perch. I was actually quite astonished.
  11. Any luck on getting the beardie to eat assassin nymphs?
  12. Axolotl

    Cockroach jewelry?

    Late to the conversation, but there is a good amount of roach related jewelry on Etsy, including some really nice enamel pins and vintage jewelry.
  13. Axolotl

    Pseudoglomeris (Corydidarum) magnifica

    Loved this video. Is that pollen on the palps or is that the natural color?
  14. Axolotl

    American cockroaches as predators?

    That is pretty mind blowing, at least for me. I have a whole new world to explore. I wonder if they need to be at a certain hunger level to catch live prey or if they're opportunistic and will grab any extra they can even when they have a steady food supply. I'm going to do a few experiments with my B giganteus. That's my only real meat eating species at the moment, but man do they go nuts for fresh cooked hamburger and canned cat food. Thanks for sharing the videos.
  15. Axolotl

    American cockroaches as predators?

    This is fascinating. I've seen my B. giganteus eat live (but dying) dubia, but I assumed they were just incredibly hungry and/or excited for the meat. I don't think they're hunters, but it's an intriguing idea. With the breadth of species, I wouldn't doubt that some have evolved to take advantage of hunting to survive. I'd love to hear more about this. Any chance you could catch the hunting on video?
  16. Axolotl

    Thanks to the community :)

    I love that I'm not the only one naming my roaches. After awhile it's not feasible to name 1000s, but I still have my favorites — mostly aggressive male hissers I've had to pull from colonies, like Red the male A. insignis who just emerged and was about to receive the full wrath of Goldie, the reigning male. There's also Wickwicki the last surviving member of my P. vanwaerebecki hybrids and Fuzz, the last of my G. oblongonota hybrids who is currently battling a fungal infection. They all have such unique personalities... it's hard to not get attached.
  17. Axolotl

    Bronx Zoo Valentine's Day Roaches

    I got the enamel pin this year, and it's really nice quality. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm looking for the plush roach if anyone has one to sell.
  18. https://www.cnet.com/news/ai-helps-grow-6b-roaches-at-chinas-largest-breeding-facility/
  19. Axolotl

    Hemiblabera tenebricosa care tips

    That's a good question. They get the usual assortment of fruits, veggies, fresh and dead leaves and chow. I'll throw in a few pieces of dog food, and see what happens. They aren't meat eaters like B. giganteus are they?
  20. Axolotl

    At what point should you get Lateralis?

    As an admitted lateralis addict, maybe I can shed some light. At what point did you decide you needed them? The moment I saw them. Are they really that worth it as feeders, specifically for tarantulas? Yes. They can't climb glass or plastic well, they reproduce at a rate that makes the colony a viable primary food source, and they add (in my opinion) a necessary variety to the diet of insectivores. BUT it depends on the tarantula. Right now I'm feeding slings the smallest P. pallida nymphs and Blaberidae "Kenya" nymphs, while my LPs are far too big and see the lats as more of an annoyance than food. What do you do with overpopulation, or do you have enough insectivores to keep it in check? I've been selling my extras on eBay. You're not going to get rich, but they are always in demand as feeder roaches. Alternately, you can freeze some ootheca so they don't hatch or feed off the females to prevent more ooths. How do you even catch these dang things if they're so fast?? Well... you get really creative and really good at anticipating their movements. For example, I had some small nymphs escape and set up shop under the plastic container that houses my well pump, but I was patient and lured them out with syrup. How often do you have escapes, and can they breed at room temperatures (68-75F)? I ask because of the pestiness controversy. Regularly and yes. I'm incredibly vigilant with them, but they are sneaky little buggers. This is my emergency plan: http://a.co/hYifpy6. I have it in all the dark and moist cozy spots in the house and it DOES work. I'm also lucky that I live in Michigan, so any to escape my house would not make it through the winter. The likelihood of them establishing in a home or becoming invasive increases the farther south you go. And I know I've asked this before, but seriously. Are there any other non-burrowing, practical feeder alternatives...? Would keeping a few smaller colonies of other species be practical, or is it not worth it? Again, yes and yes. I'm a firm believer in nutritional variety for insectivores. While you can control some of this with your feeders' diet, I think different species also contribute to a well-rounded and more natural diet. In addition to the Little Kenyans and P. pallida, I would recommend a hisser species (I like E. javanica for their ease of care and coloration). The nymphs vary widely in size, so you can feed a range of insectivores, and the adults make pretty fun companions. Also, they look less "roachy" and are easier to contain, which would help put your partner's and roommate's minds at ease. And finally, my recommendation: Don't get them. Despite the benefits, don't get lats if you're at all nervous about them getting out. They WILL. It doesn't matter what you keep them in, a few will find their way into your house. I once had an entire batch of freshly hatched nymphs squeeze through a tiny (<1 mm) cross ventilation hole that they accessed when a stick fell next to it. I've also had males fly out of the enclosure and run for their lives. I've even had a few females escape and found nymphs roaming the roach room some time later. It's not worth the stress and hypervigilance unless you really love the species. That being said... if you DO decide to get some, I highly recommend a natural enclosure for them (the bottom few photos: https://imgur.com/a/87KwB). They get really stinky using the eggcrate and plastic tote method. Plus, they can be incredibly entertaining. I've seen so many unexpected behaviors that I don't think I would have discovered using the typical feeder setup — females digging holes to bury ooths, covering the holes with moss, then other females stealing that moss for their own ooths; males scratching or smoothing their wings on branches above them; females carying bits of food 1/2 their size back to the burrows for the young. I could write novel on them, but hopefully this helps in your decision.
  21. Axolotl

    Hemiblabera tenebricosa care tips

    I also have a relatively new HT colony of about 15 nymphs. I got them in August 2017. They were between 1/4" and 1/2" at the time, and they haven't grown much at all. I keep my roach room at a steady 80-85F. The substrate is a mix of coco, organic compost, maple and oak leaves, sphagnum and coco mulch/bark chunks. It's moist with a gradient, and I keep the soil well turned so it's definitely not anaerobic. I assumed they were slow growers, but now I'm curious... I'm eager to see some adults, but they're still only 1" at most. Thoughts?
  22. Axolotl

    Hissers in film & tv?

    Damnation Alley and Godzilla (2014) ... you know, because of radiation. Because all roaches exposed to fallout become Madagascar hissing roaches, right?
  23. Axolotl


    I regularly mark my male hissers for the same reason. I have used acrylic craft paint in the past, but it seems to wear off quickly. So far, my best solution has been a metallic paint marker. I use a series of dots (on the horns, between the horns and lower on the pronotum) to distinguish between males. It does wear off, but it takes a really long time so I can mark again as needed. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects from using the markers. I love this idea! Going to go find myself one of those right now. That's insane... But strangely that sounds very relaxing. I usually use mine to scope out biofluorescent millipedes in the yard ... or adult B. giganteus escapees.
  24. Axolotl

    Bronx Zoo Valentine's Day Roaches

    Thank you for sharing this! I have a new addition to my roach pin collection.
  25. Axolotl

    Easy lids

    I've had success with inexpensive weed control fabric. Not the plasticy stuff, but the fibrous gauzy black fabric. It keeps tiny nymphs in too. I just use a glue gun on the edges, smooshing the fabric into the glue as I go.