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BeetleShelf

Clean up crew questions

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Hey everyone!

My colonies have gotten to the point where I think I should start using some clean up crews. Isopods seem like the easiest option. Can I just place them in there as is and they'll clean up? Or do I need to add anything to the enclosure? I mainly want to use them for my G. portentosa. Also, how do I tell that I need a clean up crew if I can't directly see the feces? I have a ton of G. caffrorum nymphs, and I'm wondering if they are doing their own clean up or not.

Any advice would be appreciated!

- Spencer

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18 hours ago, BeetleShelf said:

Hey everyone!

My colonies have gotten to the point where I think I should start using some clean up crews. Isopods seem like the easiest option. Can I just place them in there as is and they'll clean up? Or do I need to add anything to the enclosure? 

I honestly would always recommend springtails as a clean-up crew as opposed to isopods since they're more inconspicuous most of the time and there's no risk of them chowing down on your roaches like there is with isopods. But if you were to use them as a clean-up crew, I recommend staying away from at least Porcellio spp. (more likely to much on the roaches) and Porcellionides spp. (way too prolific). You can indeed just throw them in without any extra care besides maybe tossing in a tad of extra food each feeding.

18 hours ago, BeetleShelf said:

Hey everyone!

Also, how do I tell that I need a clean up crew if I can't directly see the feces? I have a ton of G. caffrorum nymphs, and I'm wondering if they are doing their own clean up or not.

Any advice would be appreciated!

- Spencer

Roaches will clean-up their own enclosures to some degree by partially-wholly consuming their own dead bodies, but don't mess with the feces at all. As to how you would know if you need a clean-up crew or not, that's hard to say. Some people show allergic reactions if waste builds up too much, but in general , the roaches themselves only really have issues if dead bodies accumulate, which can cause bacterial blooms and lead to infection (with some Epilamprids being outliers). Feces are really not much to worry about for the roaches and, in fact, I have multiple colonies of Pycnoscelus literally swimming around in their own feces right now and they're still doing magnificent. 

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