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natebugman

Pest Roach Rearing Help

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Rearing pest roaches (American, Oriental, German) is a part of my job. I've just recently taken over the assignment and am trying to improve the set ups of our roach colonies. I am having difficulty choosing containers and barriers that will work well for these colonies. Previously all of our colonies were in 10 gallon glass aquariums covered with stockinette. I found it difficult to do maintenance in these aquariums due to the stockinette. I am in the process of moving all of our colonies to plastic storage bins, but I am having difficulties with escapes and airflow.

For the American and Oriental roaches I chose Hefty 72 Qt Lidded Plastic Storage Tubs (http://www.target.com/p/hefty-hi-rise-pro-72qt-plastic-storage-container/-/A-50262280?lnk=rec|pdpipadh1|related_prods_vv|pdpipadh1|50262280|1) with two 3" holes cut in the lid and one 3" hole in each end. Each hole is then covered with aluminum mesh mosquito screen. I coated the sides of each container with Fluon. The Americans have shown little difficulty overcoming the Fluon barriers.

For the German cockroaches, I have placed them in 18 Qt Lidded Plastic pails with one 3" hole in the center of the lid. The hole is covered with a piece of very fine brass screen. I've coated the upper walls with Contain Bug Barrier (www.readyreptilefeeders.com). The hole in the lid seems insufficient for airflow, as the dry food I place in the containers becomes moldy very quickly. Also, the Bug Barrier only seems to slow the roaches escape when I open the lid to do maintenance/collect individuals.

Does anyone have any recommendations, tips, suggestions? Does anyone have experience with these species?

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One of the most secure are Sterilite's gasket box containers, here's a link to them http://www.sterilite.com/search.html?refresh=053659, there are pretty cheap and can be found at Target. Silicone grease, I hear, is also one of the best barriers, CapeCodRoaches sells it here: http://capecodroaches.com/products/2-oz-slick-silicone-grease

The Orientals love humidity so be sure to keep them pretty humid. The Germans like it pretty dry, so be sure to give them some more ventilation and keep their substrate( I assume you are keeping them on a substrate) relatively dry. The Americans like it moist, but don't need to be kept quite as moist as the Orientals.

Good luck with raising you roaches! :)

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What size container would you recommend for the German roaches? I'm not using any substrate...it seems like it would make sorting of nymphs and cleaning more difficult. What are the advantages of substrate and what kind would you recommend?

As for the silicone grease, I believe that is what the Contain Bug Barrier actually is.

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The medium or the large would work well.

Substrate generally helps with smell and also provides moisture so the roaches aren't dehydrated. If you're going to be sorting, I would recommend packing down the substrate as tight as you can. A mixture of sand, coco fiber and potting soil tend to work really well.

Vaseline also works pretty well as a barrier.

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One thing that helps with air flow is cutting a hole into the side and using a laptop fan to pull the air out. There's plenty of youtube vids to show you how to connect a laptop fan to an outlet.

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