Jump to content

Roaches in CA?


Recommended Posts

So after a fish and game warden came barging into my work place on my day off at the local pet store, she apparently said "I will not have any roaches in my county" and that they are illegal to own/sell and confiscated all of our G. portentosa (and I am sure killed them). My boss doesn't like messing with people and would rather not fight over roaches and so he let it go. When I found out this angered me and makes me wonder if she even knew what she was talking about because I never heard of any laws against roaches in CA (especially with DoubleDs, James/Blaberus, Kenthebugguy, etc being over here). He told me she had "legal documents" and said some are not allowed in this county (funny how my rural northern county would not allow it but the warm southern counties would). Does anybody else (especially in CA) know the legalities of these things, if there are any? I know we have some silly laws here in CA but this seemed ridiculous! I have a feeling she didn't know what she was talking about. We've had problems with some of the fish and game wardens and their big egos before in our area, especially since we are the only pet store in the area for many miles and they have nothing better to do than to watch us like a hawk.

Additionally, I never see pest species for sale. Is this because a sale of an animal that is everywhere is pointless, or are there laws behind that also?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

???

That is odd. There are (seem to be) a whole lot of bug people in California, Utah, Iowa, Wisconsin and New York, and the only state I have ever heard or seen laws concerning those are in Florida. ...then again there are alot of 'dont ask dont tell' keepers too....

I would email the afore mentioned dealers and see what they may know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will definitely do so. It's just a shame because my boss no longer orders hissers. Another reason I am a bit worried is because I go around to elementary schools and do presentations on 'bugs' with displays, and for the next few I would like to bring lots of roaches for the first time so that the kids can actually have some hands on experiences. Being in a very small city, stuff like that hits the newspaper the next day and so a few pics of hissers may catch their attention, IF it is in fact a problem. I looked ALL over CA's and Fish and Game's site and found nothing on roaches. I keyword searched every area with no results. However, elsewhere on google I found a site that mentioned one must have a permit from the department of agriculture in CA to have roaches. It said nothing more than that. I again checked the AG site, and nothing. I'll contact James and see what he says. Ken might know too. If I cannot get anything from them then I will have to contact fish and game and find out from them directly I guess...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh. :o:(:( I think that hissers are actually a special exception to that rule! If so, you could actually sue if you wanted to, but it's probably not practical. If I was in your situation, I'd just get a permit. Are your other roaches alright???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has nothing to do with my personal collection, so maybe it was a good thing I was not there! My boss only had the hissers and that is all they freaked out about and took from the pet store. He carried them on and off for the longest time until that happened but now he doesn't bother. I would love to get a permit just in case because usually they are cheap and a permit although some would say is pointless; I display stuff to the public, do educational presentations and get a lot of attention being the 'bug man' in my area, and so I wouldn't want negative publicity over some quote "illegal roaches"!!! Additionally I know a permit would be a beneficail prerequisite for college (I am minoring in entomology, and plan to use some of these bugs for that purpose too) I just pmd James and am e-mailing KTBG. Like I said I will have a word with the Dept. of Fish and Game too. I have a funny feeling this was a misunderstanding between the newbie warden and my passive boss. I can't understand why roaches that barely breed (if at all) under 70 degrees would be illegal in my northern "county" yet are bred and marketed in big numers by many individuals throughout the rest of the state :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Without mentioning any names and without excsessive detail, I found out that technically it IS illegal to own roaches in CA without a permit from the Dept of Agriculture. I was told that this law is hardly enforced, especially to people with personal collections (hard enough to find them anyway) and fish and game simply doesn't care 99.9% of the time. It's the Dept of Ag's business (fish and game has much bigger priorites). A permit would simply draw attention and if at for any moment the Dept. of Ag decided they basically didn't like you they would void the permit and take your animals. Also, they require that if you have the permit/animals they perform a routine inspection from time to time. Anyway the responder sent me a pdf of all of the legal bugs to import/own in CA without a permit. B. orientalis, B. germanica, B. giganteous, and all Gromphadorhina spp are void of needing a permit (can't wait to tell my employer!). Apparently anything not on this list is "illegal" making ALL other roaches "illegal without a permit". Tarantulas are not on there but there are no illegal tarantulas. It's funny B. giganteous is just thrown in there, I bet they wouldn't mind any Blaberus spp for that matter. Attached is the list for anybody interested and for those who reside in Cali...

exempt_insects_1_.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How stupid. Are you gonna try for a permit? I'll pray for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh I don't think it is that big of a deal. The people that run this can tell me the genotype of a cherry tomatoe plant but probably won't see the difference with B. giganteous and B. fusca. Or they would just walk away convinced if I said "no those are beetles and exotic rollie pollies". I often wonder if true entomologists decide which species are not allowed and whatnot and help them regulate and enforce these laws and so maybe one day in my future college years I can persuade the Dept of Ag to broaden the amount of species allowed being that they don't care if one imports more pests already established here but not the harmless exotics that can hardly reproduce under 70F. That's like importing tigers and banning kittens :blink: If that list has B. giganteous on it then it should include all Blaberus spp. Additionally, I won't let the other species leave my house other than the hissers. I'll have to clarify but I think too if they are used as "feeders" they may be void. If so, then ALL of my roaches are feeders considering I would feed off all excess for population control, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might recommend looking into this a little more deeply before trying to get any permits or second-guessing what they may or may not know.

Some species, while they may be in the same genus, are banned because of thier point of origin more than what that individual animal can do. They ban specific species because of thier ability to (if wild caught) bring in potentially harmful organisms like tiny mites and fungal properties (externally) or general protozoa, worms, amoeba, ciliates, bacteria, etc. (internally). These micro-organisms have been documented to cause millions of dollars in damages to our agricultural systems (cotton blight on cotton crops, or utter cysts in cattle that cease milk production) (etc.), the list is very, very long.

So when considering what appears on the surface to be governmental nonsense (which there is quite a bit of) you especially then need to look into the root of the issue to know how plausible it is. Some rules are very outdated and others aren't. Government personnel have no way to know what is captive born and what is wild caught when it comes to roaches, so they have to assume the worst as part of thier job.

I am not trying to jump to the defense of our government, but I have been looking into these laws for a few years now and you really need to think carefully and pick your fights accordingly before taking action.... it can be very costly to the individual (which is the ultimate inequity of it all).

I could go on but you probably get the idea.... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't really think of it in that much depth...thanks. The only thing is you say to look into it more and I am not exactly sure how to do that at this point. Information on the internet seems to be very limited on this subject, I don't want to draw a ton of attention to myself by asking for a permit I am supposedly unlikely to get, but I don't want to break the Dept. of Ag's code. I am pretty sure if the roaches were this dangerous to agriculture then they would NOT be allowed period except for maybe a scientist looking directly at those problematic and threatening organisms that ride along with them. I am unsure why they don't bother checking out tarantulas though, they too have a wide array of organisms living with them symbiotically and sometimes as parasites (I've purchased WC animals that came down with mites, nematodes, and other problems). Come to think of it, every organism has it's own bacteria zoo. Also, what you say if I am correct is what happened to the A. gigas millipedes from Africa (carrying mites that were a potential threat and were therefore banned). However they are still available CB. I wonder if there was some sort of proof that the roaches were many generations CB and kept secluded the entire time if this could "legalize" them? Anyway, are there similar laws in TX at all?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I may add my 2 cents:

The only thing is you say to look into it more and I am not exactly sure how to do that at this point.

Contact the agency directly, they are pretty helpful just be careful what laundry you hang out on the fence…see?

I don't want to draw a ton of attention to myself by asking for a permit I am supposedly unlikely to get, but I don't want to break the Dept. of Ag's code.

Anything posted on the internet is public, I have seen state agencies scan the internet and have found people with illegal pets and then went and confiscated them along with issuing the appropriate fines. Whether or not it is a FORUM post originating from a PERSON with things that may not be legal in certain areas or private emails and such.

I am pretty sure if the roaches were this dangerous to agriculture then they would NOT be allowed period except for maybe a scientist looking directly at those problematic and threatening organisms that ride along with them.

Like Matt K said if someone comes into my friends house and sees he has an animal that isn’t native they can’t tell where he got it, it doesn’t work that way. They do pretty much issue permits for importation of insects only for scientific use for that exact reason, it’s very unlikely a random person will receive permits other wise. So they thought of that one already.

I am unsure why they don't bother checking out tarantulas though, they too have a wide array of organisms living with them symbiotically and sometimes as parasites (I've purchased WC animals that came down with mites, nematodes, and other problems). Come to think of it, every organism has it's own bacteria zoo.

Maybe they didn’t think of that one already. There are many more tarantula breeders out there that ‘roach breeders that would raise a fit if they tightened down too much. Plus T's don't have the stigma 'roaches do. I've had probelms with people just because I had a 'roach, if it had been a scorpion, spider, beetle, even something dangerous like an invasive catapillar, they wouldn't have batted an eye. What can I say...it's hard for blattaphiles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So to sum it all up:

Such are the complexities and paradoxes of the regulations governing invertebrate livestock. Much of it has reason despite its appearance of not making sense, and some of it is vice versa....

As for the AGB milli's....they carry a comensurate mite that is not a problem. However wild caught ones carry a couple of additional mites when caught, and one of those prefers to feed on cotton plants more than anything else, hence the problem with AGB millis....

The laws are similar across the country, but in Texas these roaches are sold as feeder roaches at reptile shows, etc., and if you happen to culture a variety of them .... For every law or regulation you have to think to unfold its reason, and find many layers back why it was actually put in place to know if it is senseless or not, and if it can be changed or not....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. The only problem is that I am not even technically a legal adult yet and that makes a TON of this even more difficult. Now on the other hand if I can convince a college to allow me to use the roaches for research purposes then I am sure the Dept of Ag would issue the permit. We'll see. I was just happy to find out that hissers are completely ok and so I already let my boss know. Unfortunately they are no longer on his price lists :(

Now Matt you say that in TX the roaches are sold as "feeders", are you saying that that is what keeps them out of trouble? At all of the reptile shows here there are many invertebrate dealers, not to mention that we have strictly invertebrate shows. There are ALWAYS roaches and ALWAYS fish and game wardens at these. As I said before they don't usually care but maybe the reason they don't is because they think they just serve as a food supply for other animals. In actual truth that is what mine are for too.

Another thing that confuses me and why I don't have much faith in that list is because there are at least two or three other species of roach in my area and they are not on the list? I am sure that if the list was actually in depth they would have included other species living in CA since half the ones listed are "pests" living in CA already.

There's absolutely no way that list alone covers all insect species that are here anyway. I think it would have been more effective to list what is illegal instead of what is legal...By the way, being somewhat new to roaches, what percentage of roaches currently for sale are wild caught anyway?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very convoluted issue and can be discussed ad infinitum...

In Texas they are really not sold as feeders or pets, just sold. Generally with the assumtion of being feeders. I have fed a variety of species to my variety of lizards, and it works out great because some lizards eat indiscriminantly and others can be picky, so I have a roach for every occasion.

Since there are close to 5000 species of roaches, its easier to blanket all of them illegal to import and allow the few that have been. But to point: Most roaches in the hobby have originated from University collections or zoo collections, so the likelyhood of you buying one 'wildcaught' is pretty much zero. However, the government can't assume that since there is the occasional person who will try to import them or smuggle them in, so the best protection is to ban them all.

There are ways to make all of this alot easier on both the government and the civilian, but it costs money that is not in anyones budget. Its less expensive to make it difficult. The USA has over 40,000 billionaires living in it....maybe you could solicit one of them to do something philanthropic that would resolve this hobby angst.... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

It's fairly simple, really. A few words for the discussion...

Don't import because the ag. department doesn't like that. Species that are already here are not as great a concern to them...unless you make a big deal about it (which may include discussing it on forums). The more calls they get with people asking, the more they will be forced into a final decision.

When an official, federal or state, tells you that you can't have something, listen to them. There are plenty of other bugs and many of them native that are impressive for display. Until she tells you personally that you can't have them, share their beauty with as many children as possible.

Never release bugs that are not native to your area.

The agriculture department has been postponing a final decision on roaches for over a decade when "the Roachman" applied for permits. Let's not push them into a hasty decision. ;) Conversations like this are best held via PM because there will be people that read this topic and are NOT on your side! Last month a few of us heard directly from the man that makes these decisions. He seems committed to working on a list of 30+ species that we can keep, but I'd rather give him another decade to make this decision because it will be limited only to the species that they can really study in detail including all their potential effects. And we all know that they will really only study a handful!

If somebody with a badge tells you that you can't have them, the right thing to do is protect the hobby and give them what they want. Of course, the other side of the coin is the fact that B. lateralis is running all over the SW US now.

(this entire thread may one day mysteriously disappear from the forum.)

(huh, I thought he said tulip bulbs with the AGB mites)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, learning about hobby-conditions like these make a European feel somewhat lucky.

It sounds more like prohibition time... :blink:

What about roaches at fairs and sales-exhibitions?

How do you come about that?

BR/

Ole

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, learning about hobby-conditions like these make a European feel somewhat lucky.

It sounds more like prohibition time... :blink:

What about roaches at fairs and sales-exhibitions?

How do you come about that?

BR/

Ole

Any roach is rarely seen in that context within the USA. In very rare shows, there may be an invert dealer who among thier many tarantulas. scorpions, etc., may have a couple of roach species in small numbers, but that's it. Many such fairs and shows/exhibitions are sans roach of any sort. Sadly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any roach is rarely seen in that context within the USA. In very rare shows, there may be an invert dealer who among thier many tarantulas. scorpions, etc., may have a couple of roach species in small numbers, but that's it. Many such fairs and shows/exhibitions are sans roach of any sort. Sadly.

Taylor reptile show. I spice it up with a primarily roach-based table almost every month. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

most herps are illegal in TN. USA, and all turtles are banned her to even have wild in your yard, unless stated for food purposes. TWRA was even tring to make terestrial geckos illegal as they thought even leos would pose a pest problem. on the flip side of that coin, you can own any large mammal even tigers which go for five to six hundred for the bengal tiger cubs ive personally seen. all you have to have is a nine foot high, non topped chain link fence, with no trees withing so many feet of possibly providing an escape(think it was five feet). oh and some parrots are illegal here to, as they could blight the land apparently. havent found any inverts illegal though here. cant wait to move to the carolinas as soon as at all possible. we must have the most screwed up laws any were!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

most herps are illegal in TN. USA, and all turtles are banned her to even have wild in your yard, unless stated for food purposes. TWRA was even tring to make terestrial geckos illegal as they thought even leos would pose a pest problem. on the flip side of that coin, you can own any large mammal even tigers which go for five to six hundred for the bengal tiger cubs ive personally seen. all you have to have is a nine foot high, non topped chain link fence, with no trees withing so many feet of possibly providing an escape(think it was five feet). oh and some parrots are illegal here to, as they could blight the land apparently. havent found any inverts illegal though here. cant wait to move to the carolinas as soon as at all possible. we must have the most screwed up laws any were!

Dude. Are you joking? You haven't spent much time in CA or NY have you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...