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roaches and your health


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Hi guys I was thinking of starting a colony of discoids but I'm wondering if there are any health risks involved with keeping roaches. I've heard that you can get asma from being around roaches, I was wondering if discoids can harm you at all in any way long term or short term even if they aren't carrying any sort of harmful diseases and such. :excl:

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Cockroaches are one of the cleanest animals on Earth. Their bodies create incredibly powerful antibiotics that allow them to thrive in sub-par environments. They will not carry harmful pathogens unless they are initially exposed to them (the same can be said for any other animal, including humans; if you get the flu, you're carrying the flu lol)

The only problems I have with roaches is cleaning old, dry bins with no substrate. The dust can get in your nose and make you sneeze, water, and itch a lot. However, the same thing happens to me when I clean mealworms or the lint on the lint-catcher on my dryer. Just put on a breathing mask when doing large cleanings.

Otherwise, roaches are very clean. The only other problem that can arise is when food is left in the enclosure too long and it molds. If this happens, it's your fault for not removing it, not the roaches'.

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Cockroaches DO NOT CAUSE ASTHMA, it is a myth perpetuated by pest control companies to sell poisons. One study in the United States concluded that people who ALREADY have asthma AND cockroach allergies have more severe asthma attacks if they live in an infested structure. Not new asthma attacks or more. Similar studies in other countries showed NO correlation. The conclusion is that in the United States only, cockroach infestations cause more sever asthma attacks if the person also has cockroach allergies. It's easy to see how this one study is twisted and made into a lie to sell product.

Some people are allergic to cockroaches and usually don't keep them as pets for very long.

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I have pretty bad allergies and I will tell you, just like Zephyr, when I clean the cages and cause frass dust of any sort I will get stuffed up and whatnot. As for being allergic to roaches...I can only note one species that gives me a dermal reaction. My Blaberus craniifer irritate the dickens outay skin with their toe hooks. No other species has ever caused that before so I'm not really sure why they do. My Blaberus discoidalis have never caused a dermal reaction, just poo dust causing me to stuff up. I hope you enjoy them, just watch out for their stinky defense odor! Lol. It's actually not that bad and only lasts for a breif moment, but man, I don't like it lol.

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Coincidentally to avoid the dust issues you can use a substrate of coconut fiber chunks and cypress mulch. Keeping the enclosure warm and moist and introducing springtails will break down the dust into harmless dirt. As a plus you have an on-hand supply of springtails at all times. lol

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Coincidentally to avoid the dust issues you can use a substrate of coconut fiber chunks and cypress mulch. Keeping the enclosure warm and moist and introducing springtails will break down the dust into harmless dirt. As a plus you have an on-hand supply of springtails at all times. lol

Hmm I never thought of springtails acting to clean the cage. Do you have them in all of your cages or just the ones with substrate?

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Hmm I never thought of springtails acting to clean the cage. Do you have them in all of your cages or just the ones with substrate?

I generally don't introduce them into the cages; they just sort of pop up. lol

In the warmest cages they thrive; in the cooler cages I see more mites than springtails. The mites help clean things by eating old food and dead roaches but the springtails are much better at it.

In the cages where springtails are present at high concentrations I have no problems with leftover food or dead roaches rotting and causing problems. There are enough springtails in my D. paulinoi bin to eat an entire dead adult male in a night.

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In my experience, you have to keep them decently moist for the springtails to really thrive. I'd say they do better with substrate, but can live fine without it too.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I don't ever have any problems with allergies or asthma. I have about 20 bins of various species, including discoids, in a 12x20' room. Some have substrate and some don't. I also agree with the above. They are as clean as their environment.

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I use substrate because maintenance is easier for some species with it.

For example, in my Elliptorhina sp. enclosures, their frass blends with the coconut fiber chunks and sphagnum moss in the substrate to make a very light, humidity-holding dirt, which has no odor and that the nymphs enjoy hiding in.

In other species, like my Gromphadorhina grandidieri "Tiger", the substrate molds over when I use it, so I keep them humid but with no substrate.

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with the tigers have you thought of using Isopods in there tank? just asking because ive never had a problem of mold and i have a vary large colony of Isopods in there with them.

You know, I may just try it once my dwarf white isopods get breeding well.

Hissers make a lot of poop, so I'll need a lot of isopods. lol

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lol ya i know, i just sort of threw in some of mine i think like 25 or so and it's crazy how fast thay reproduced in there because of the roach poop has to be my largest colony of them. also just picked up some of the dwarf whites recently too cool little guys.

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