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Hisserdude

How to reduce smell.....

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My Rhabdoblatta formosana cage has been stinking up my room lately, and my family members are starting to complain... what can I do to reduce the smell? I'm pretty sure it's coming from the dead bodies in the cage, of which there are a lot of, (old adults, not nymphs or anything).

I already have a TON of Porcellio scaber breeding in the enclosure, and they have been doing OK with eating the dead bodies until now. I don't know what else I could introduce into the enclosure to eat the bodies.

I recently reduced the ventilation in the cage, which is probably what made it smell so bad, however I greatly increased the ventilation a couple of days ago and it still smells, maybe it needs a few more days to air out?

Any advice on the matter would be very much appreciated, while the roaches are doing just fine, the smell is really bugging my family. (No pun intended. :lol:)

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Maybe Dermestid beetles?

Would they thrive in a moist enclosure though? If they would I would totally try and get some, they may work nicely...

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Dermestid beetles do OK wet conditions from what I hear. They're very hardy. You could also try introducing Alphitobias diaperinus, as those will eat the dead bodies.

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If there are so many dead bodies that your current cleanup crew can't deal with it, I suggest doing some cleanup and removing the dead ones. Cleanup crews will help remove some of the dead bodies, but they'll only eat so much at a time.

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Dermestid beetles do OK wet conditions from what I hear. They're very hardy. You could also try introducing Alphitobias diaperinus, as those will eat the dead bodies.

Ok, I may have to get some of those then. I have some A.diaperinus, however I thought those did better in a dry setup? Plus, many of the dead bodies are in the eggcartons, so I need something that will climb around in search of bodies, like dermestids.

If there are so many dead bodies that your current cleanup crew can't deal with it, I suggest doing some cleanup and removing the dead ones. Cleanup crews will help remove some of the dead bodies, but they'll only eat so much at a time.

I may have to do that, seems my isopods just can't keep up with all the bodies. It's gonna be a pain though, especially with the roaches trying to get out, the males of this species are real jerks man, they don't stay still lol. <_<

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Sucks your scaber can't keep up, my laevis are ravenous and will go through a cricket in less than a day. I'm still debating on using them as hisser cleanups crews as I could see them preying on nymphs...

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Lesser mealworms have always done well for me. They can thrive in both humid and drier conditions.

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Ok, I may have to get some of those then. I have some A.diaperinus, however I thought those did better in a dry setup? Plus, many of the dead bodies are in the eggcartons, so I need something that will climb around in search of bodies, like dermestids.

The lesser mealworms will do well in both humid and dry conditions as stated above. I've seen them climb eggcartons, but I think you're right in the fact that they'd stay in the substrate and eat whatever's down there.

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I almost forgot about the lessers. Yep, they will make short work of anything dead/uneaten by your roaches. Mine accumulate in my roaches food dish every few days, and I toss them out to keep them from trying to outcompete my roaches.

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Sucks your scaber can't keep up, my laevis are ravenous and will go through a cricket in less than a day. I'm still debating on using them as hisser cleanups crews as I could see them preying on nymphs...

P.laevis may be a little too aggressive for a cleaner crew, I think dermestids or lesser mealworms will be the way to go.

Lesser mealworms have always done well for me. They can thrive in both humid and drier conditions.

The lesser mealworms will do well in both humid and dry conditions as stated above. I've seen them climb eggcartons, but I think you're right in the fact that they'd stay in the substrate and eat whatever's down there.

I almost forgot about the lessers. Yep, they will make short work of anything dead/uneaten by your roaches. Mine accumulate in my roaches food dish every few days, and I toss them out to keep them from trying to outcompete my roaches.

Ok then, I may use those since I have some. Do they eat up eggcartons like crazy? There are quite a few bodies down at the substrate level, so they may be of help even if they won't climb to the higher levels.

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The larvae will bore through egg cartons. They don't destroy them really but they do create fluffy debris on the bottom of the enclosure. The beetles and some of the larvae will climb so they may be able to help with the dead roaches in the egg cartons.

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The larvae will bore through egg cartons. They don't destroy them really but they do create fluffy debris on the bottom of the enclosure. The beetles and some of the larvae will climb so they may be able to help with the dead roaches in the egg cartons.

I suspected as much, well hopefully they won't chew through too many of them, most of the stores round here don't have extra eggcartons available, so they are kinda hard to come by lol! Looks like I'll be adding some lesser mealworms to my Rhabdoblatta enclosure, will let you guys know how it goes!

Thanks for the advice everyone, I really appreciate it! :D

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I've had this problem with my Rhabdoblatta colony too! Seems that adults are short lived so I'd get piles of dead adults every once in a while, which caused phorid fly outbreak and nearly destroyed my entire colony! Since then I've been taking out dead bodies whenever I see one during feeding.

On a side note, I've noticed that nymphs do fairly decent job at eating dead bodies when they are hungry. lol

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I've had this problem with my Rhabdoblatta colony too! Seems that adults are short lived so I'd get piles of dead adults every once in a while, which caused phorid fly outbreak and nearly destroyed my entire colony! Since then I've been taking out dead bodies whenever I see one during feeding.

On a side note, I've noticed that nymphs do fairly decent job at eating dead bodies when they are hungry. lol

Yeah the bodies definitely and go come in waves, guess I'll add some lesser mealworms and take out bodies when I see them.

Unfortunately my nymphs don't seem to like eating their own dead as much as yours do, I like colonies that just eat all the dead bodies they produce, makes maintenance a lot easier.

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I was just thinking do the nymphs burrow? If so you could make the substrate deep where it would be moist beneath and the top inch could dry out. Or if they dont burrow only moisten one side of the substrate so theres a gradient. When an enclosure gets to wet for me i set it by a fan for a day. I dont have expiernce with these guys so im just guessing.

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I was just thinking do the nymphs burrow? If so you could make the substrate deep where it would be moist beneath and the top inch could dry out. Or if they dont burrow only moisten one side of the substrate so theres a gradient. When an enclosure gets to wet for me i set it by a fan for a day. I dont have expiernce with these guys so im just guessing.

Nah the nymphs don't burrow, and drying out the cage, while getting rid of the smell, only made matters worse, pretty sure I killed most of my small nymphs. :( I ended up removing the top layer of substrate, which was mostly dead bodies and frass, and picked out most of the dead bodies from the eggcartons, so the smell is gone and the roaches are doing better, I also added some lesser mealworms to the enclosure, hopefully they'll do their job.

I did notice some phorid flies, pretty big compared to the fungus gnats and actually kind of cool looking imo, hopefully they won't cause too many problems for me, they only eat dead or badly wounded roaches after all.

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Ive actually been slowly changeing over my substrates to a mix of compost, soil, and sand. Its so hard to maintain correct moisture with straight coco coir since the water sinks to the bottom and evaporates quickly.

Ive been having intense issues with fruit flys recently. I did serious thining out on my dubia colony recently and removeing the dead daily for a week to feed my earwigs. Once a day i find a dubia filled with fruit fly maggots its not like it was dead for weeks since i remove all dead daily. I think they are eating the eggs and the hatch inside. Flys are no joke gonna make fly traps tonight. I hope your phorrid flys dont get out of hand like these fruit flys have. Also the seem to old affect the dubia strangest thing.

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Ive actually been slowly changeing over my substrates to a mix of compost, soil, and sand. Its so hard to maintain correct moisture with straight coco coir since the water sinks to the bottom and evaporates quickly.

Ive been having intense issues with fruit flys recently. I did serious thining out on my dubia colony recently and removeing the dead daily for a week to feed my earwigs. Once a day i find a dubia filled with fruit fly maggots its not like it was dead for weeks since i remove all dead daily. I think they are eating the eggs and the hatch inside. Flys are no joke gonna make fly traps tonight. I hope your phorrid flys dont get out of hand like these fruit flys have. Also the seem to old affect the dubia strangest thing.

Strange, I have the opposite problem with the coconut fiber evaporation, the bottom seems to dry out first in my cages, even without any heat source on the bottom. The top layer drys out pretty fast too, the air here is really arid.

Well what you have are not fruit flies, as fruit flies don't eat rotting roach bodies. What you have is probably a type of phorid fly, those are attracted to rotting invertebrate bodies and can really infest a container. I don't think they harm healthy roaches, but they sure are annoying. They'll lay eggs around the bodies so even if you remove all the dead there are probably still larva wandering around waiting for the next roach to drop. How humid is your enclosure? Dubias can be kept pretty dry and phorid fly maggots will probably die off in a dry environment.

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Hmm well central texas is really humid which explains the coco coir evaporation and phoid fly survival. My dubia are kept in my closet so its prolly more humid the the rest of my house but its an open top bin so i thought it would be dry enough. They seem to go after the fruit i put in which made me think fruit fly as well as thier size and shape. Maybe i will take them outside for a few hours let the summer sun do its work lol

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