Jump to content
Test Account

Are we keeping dung beetles?

Recommended Posts

A number of hobby roaches are known to eat bat guano in caves, where they reach immense population densities. It has been said that the dirtiness disappears after several captive generations, but I’m not sure how true this is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically as soon as a cockroach molts it has left all of the bacteria, fungus and parasites on its old exoskeleton behind. So if they are kept alone, molt, and are placed in a colony with others that molted then the colony would be clean after just one molt cycle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, vfox said:

Technically as soon as a cockroach molts it has left all of the bacteria, fungus and parasites on its old exoskeleton behind. So if they are kept alone, molt, and are placed in a colony with others that molted then the colony would be clean after just one molt cycle. 

Well, yes.

 

But complicated things are involved. If the roach eats its molt or frass pellets and walks around in its microorganism-filled cage after the shed...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 20/1/2018 at 8:57 PM, Test Account said:

A number of hobby roaches are known to eat bat guano in caves, where they reach immense population densities. It has been said that the dirtiness disappears after several captive generations, but I’m not sure how true this is.

Well... I think it's pretty possible that cockroaches, even after many generations, keep some of the bacterial flora from their original habitats... But maybe it shouldn't be considered dirtiness, for maybe this could even be good for them :-P (...who knows). I think, as soon as the cockroaches reproduce successfully there's nothing to worry about. 

Another topic could be the implications of keeping unsuspected cultures of foreign bacteria, this could be bad for other colonies you keep and... for the environment in general. But come one... all the time the human commerce is feeding back (in big scale) the bacterial flora of the whole world :-p 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter is still in diapers.  My youngest son gets constipated with short bouts of surprise diarrhea.  I have a 17 year old dog that can't go outside anymore and goes on pee-pads, then sometimes steps in it and walks around the house.  I have 20 rabbits in the back yard that make bunny berries all day long (easily 10 lbs a day), and its below freezing most nights so it doesn't break down in winter, and in summer it hatches tens of thousands of flies that go everywhere.  Every morning the rabbits eat some of their own poop to keep their intestinal flora healthy.   And now that it is cold, mice keep invading the house leaving little rice sized black and brown gifts for us.  My older kids keep leaving leftover food and dishes everywhere around the house, which of course the mice eat.  And BTW, I do have bats in the rabbitat in the summer.

What "dirtiness" are you talking about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Xenoblatta said:

Well... I think it's pretty possible that cockroaches, even after many generations, keep some of the bacterial flora from their original habitats... But maybe it shouldn't be considered dirtiness, for maybe this could even be good for them :-P (...who knows). I think, as soon as the cockroaches reproduce successfully there's nothing to worry about. 

Another topic could be the implications of keeping unsuspected cultures of foreign bacteria, this could be bad for other colonies you keep and... for the environment in general. But come one... all the time the human commerce is feeding back (in big scale) the bacterial flora of the whole world :-p 

Well, not all bacterial flora are human-harmful. The average flower-eating katydid is not of much concern, but I wouldn’t trust the Simandoa and Blaberus a bit, considering what they are up to all day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Test Account So if I'm getting this right, the challenge is to lick a cave-dwelling roach and see if you get sick? :P 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually for a while I've been contemplating feeding some of them rabbit dung. (The roaches, not the kids) I've found BSFL and superworms will eat it readily if it is fresh / damp.  The BSFL relish it soaked in stale beer.  And of course, various other flies and beetles live on it in their larval stage no problem so its gotta be good; some dogs eat it too.  I am also considering growing portabello mushrooms in the stuff; those are normally grown in manure.  Supposedly at least some of the fly larvae make the waste safer by consuming it.  My wife just made the point that some of her Chinese coworkers won't eat catfish or crayfish because they are poop eaters.  But chickens may also peck through poop, and you are eating the meat, not the stuff they ate to make the meat, so what is the problem?  (surprisingly logical for her)

That's not that I am commenting either way on anyone here frenching their roaches.  Love is love.  But if you take it farther than that, please, no pics!  At least not here.  Or at least post a warning first.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I live on a farm, manure is a constant. Pigs basically live in it. Cows stroll through it constantly. Chickens dust themselves in it. Tons of insects love it and predators will roll in it to mask their own scent. If you think eating vegetables is safe, think again, we spread that sh!t everywhere, literally. All the fields, liquid and solid. Like food? You've enjoyed the benefits of poop. Also look up bat guano fertilizer, it's some of the most fertile poop in the world and is a hot commodity for fertilizer mixes. You've very likely eaten food grown in it. I figure newly imported roaches may harbor some of the bacteria but it'll eventually work its way out of the colony since the conditions of captivity are different than any cave. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes yes yes, we live in a dirty world, yes, correct.

 

The thing is, bat-guano-filled roaches, unlike vegetables, cannot be washed very easily.

I also have plans to keep Periplaneta and carrion-dwelling beetles, and would appreciate not having a mini biohazard zone in the bedroom. Yes, the former can be found in innocuous-looking backyards, but even in its least-nasty habitat (rotted tree) there can be some nasty things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×