After trying many types of plastic bins to house roach colonies, I have found the bin that is perfect for my 13 colonies. I thought it might be helpful to pass the information on, as well as a few pointers on customizing the lid for ventilation.
As I began to acquire climbing and flying roaches, the need for a secure lid became apparent. No regular plastic box tops sealed to keep flying adults and climbing nymphs in the box…a real problem I needed to solve. Zip Lock makes clear plastic containers that have a sealing lid, with a foam gasket, so I bought some. The problem with the Zip Lock box is the top is not flat, so cutting a large ventilation hole in the top became too difficult. I found that the Sterilite Gasket Box containers with the same sealing style lid with a foam gasket, has a flat top, and they have 4 clips to secure the lid-no escapees, finally!
Sterilite makes a 20-quart Gasket Box that I use for small colonies, and a 54- quart Gasket Box for my larger colonies. Sterilite also makes a larger Gasket Box with the sealing lid with the gasket, but it would not fit my rack system.
Cutting the lid ventilation hole
A razor knife is not a good choice; the plastic is tough and hard, too much pressure and the plastic cracks. The best cutting tool is the Roto Zip, using the cutting disc, not the toothed blade. Cut the hole to take up most of the lid; if you want to hold more humidity, just cover part of the screen with a towel. With too small a hole, you may get excessive moisture in the box, this will lead to problems in most roaches.
How do I screen the ventilation hole?
First I tried hot-gluing the fine screen on to a wood frame, and then hot-gluing the frame around the hole. Although it worked for a while, the flex of the lid as I took it off and on popped the glue loose. So I built a matching wood frame and placed it on the underside of the lid, and bolted the 2 pieces of wood together with 4 bolt-nut combinations. To eliminate the gnats and fruit flies access, I sandwiched a sheer piece of material above the screen; gnats and fruit flies were gone in 2 weeks, as they had no food source.
If you are looking to contain your feeders, the Sterilite Gasket Box will do it!