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How can I keep roaches cold for the winter?


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Hi everyone :)

I have some wood roaches and just found out that they need to stay cold throughout the winter for a dormancy/resting period. But I live in a mobile home in Michigan so I am rather limited on what I can do.

I don't have a cold room to put them in. And on my porch they would be exposed to the harsh Michigan winters, where it can get to 10 degrees F on uncommon occasions.

I was thinking of maybe putting them in a small cooler (a few air holes drilled in the lid) and have ice packs in the bottom. I would have extras in the freezer so every day I could change them and make sure they stay cold. Would that work?

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To keep Parcoblatta you will need to cool them for quite a few weeks. When I was raising my local species I had success with using my refrigerator. I know that may creep people out, keeping live roaches in the fridge, but it works great. It's cold, but not freezing, and it's slightly humid. If you can't do that maybe try your method. They are picky though, you can't let them dry out or freeze for too long. Good luck.

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My mom won't let me put them in the fridge, that would have been easy though.

I will try getting a cooler and trying my idea out and see how the temperature stays in it.

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Parcoblatta don't require a cool period.

I'm under the impression that they do... Mine take forever to moult to adulthood if they don't have a cooling period. If they even do. Everything I've read also suggests this. Do you have a decent success rate with them Orin? My numbers are very low to start since they are wild caught and somewhat scarce for me so I want to do what will work best for them.

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I have read on another thread on this forum that if they don't have a cold period, then they will not molt and will die. But then on that same thread it said that they would do fine without a cold period.

Maybe it depends on the species being kept, and how they are being kept? These are native to Michigan so they should be used to the cold, but if they don't need it I would just keep them warm all the time and it would be much easier on me.

Maybe we could keep them outside after it cools off in fall/autumn, but bring them inside in the warmth before it starts freezing?

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I moved them back indoors in my room then :)

How do you keep them? I have mine in a plastic container with coconutcoir/fiber substrate, then a couple pieces of wood from the log I found them in to climb on (I think birch). And then their food items, carrot, apple, and assorted dry foods like cat food.

I will be getting them a 2.5 gallon tank when we have enough money left over, assuming I can find them for cheaper. The only place I have found 2.5 gallons at was a local pet store and they wanted $18 just for the tank, then I would have to get the lid and everything.

Now if I knew that they couldn't climb up tape or something then I could just put them in a critter keeper and call it good ;) But I would rather them be in a glass tank with a tight fitting lid than had really small screen.

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Its going to be fun keeping the roaches contained ;):P:D

Here are some pictures I just shot of them:

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Their so cute! :D

It took me a couple minutes to get those pictures, they move insanely quickly for little roaches.

I am pretty sure they are all nymphs right now

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I have a 2.5 gallon glass tank and lid being held for me at a local pet store, most stores want about $20 for a 2.5 gallon but I found some for $12 and the lid is $5-$6.

I am hoping to catch some more from my aunts house, and maybe my friends house as he told me there is a lot of rotting logs at his house and thought that he saw some of the roaches.

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They are definitely nymphs, they will likely not molt to adulthood until early spring during their natural mating times. It may happen earlier if they do molt out without the cooling period. You'll need to keep us informed because you're one of the few that raises these. I just found half a dozen P. pennsylvanica in my bee hive this week, I'm going to see how they fair without a cooling period as well.

Your species is unknown currently, they don't look light enough to be virginica, and are likely too small to be pennsylvanica. Maybe lata or americana? We will need to wait and see what the adults look like.

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Zephyr was thinking P. virginica or P. uhleriana, but like you said we will have to wait until they molt to adults.

I really hope I can find more, a colony of three isn't very much ;)

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I can find P. virginica pretty easily around my house. I just took a trip to my woods today and found about 2 dozen nymphs and an immature northern widow. If you can't find more let me know and I'll see what I can do.

P. pennsylvanica are harder for me to find and I've never seen any other Parcoblatta in the area beyond those two. I'm sure they are here, just haven't found them yet. They are one of my favorite Genus because they are true natives. They are really unique when you compare them to almost every other type of cockroach as well.

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I am hoping I can find more, tomorrow I am going to find out if I can go to my friends house.

I will be going to my aunts house this coming weekend and looking around, but I doubt I will find very many, I looked pretty well the last time.

If we did work something out would you be interested in me paying for the shipping + some extra money? I don't have much roach wise to trade with.

These are very cool roaches, they are the only roaches I have seen in the wild, or even in person except for those in shows and stores.

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We can work something out like that. I can find them, it all depends on how many you need. It does take some time to wander thru the woods until I find spots they will be hiding.

When you're searching flip over dead and rotting logs and anything that may be slightly damp. Old chunks of plywood are great spots to look under. Otherwise you may need to dig open rotting logs to find them. (I find the most in and under rotten logs)

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I am going to my friends house this weekend, as long as nothing happens. He said his yard is full of maple and oak logs so I can collect some for my beetles while I am at it :)

We can wait until I look around some, incase I find a bunch more.

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I didn't find any :(

I am going to send you a PM about possibly working out something to get the ones you offered earlier.

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