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Tons of male and young female roaches are dying. help!


milo0
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My Dubia colony has been doing amazing the past few months with maybe 1-2 deaths at the most per week (there's about 250 females, 60-80 males last time I counted) but something terrible has been happening. I had a 2nd bin with large nymphs and each time I had a new female mature, I would move them into the adult bin, only to find them dead a few days later. No visible signs of death either, but it was always the ones I had just put in. So I waited a bit until I put them in (until they were larger) and I had less deaths, but I threw the remaining large nymphs in just 2 days ago, and today I found 3 young females dead, as well as 3 males. My males are also dying at an alarming rate... I've had up to 2 die everyday... I'm not sure if it's age, because I got them last year from a person who owned them before so I'm not sure how old they are, but it's like all of a sudden they're just dying. The female's are confusing me the most though... I've only had a few large ones die, but about 80% of the new ones have died for unknown reasons.

hey are kept in a dark plastic tub-ware with a wired screen for ventilation and egg crates. They're kept outside in the garage so it's in the upper 80's/lower 90's usually. I feed them a ground dry mix of high protein dog food, oats, and fish food, as well as oranges, veggies, fruits, and any left over greens from my bearded dragon. I make sure to take out any fresh food no later than a day, and their dry food is kept away from any moisture. I don't have a measurement of the humidity, but I don't think that's the problem since I've seen no shedding problems, and they always have a source of humidity in the bin. I clean them out whenever I need to harvest the babies, so usually it would be every 1-2 months. I replace the egg crates and usually just scoop out most of the poop and leave some in there for future baby nymphs, but I don't disinfect it or anything. There are no mites or other bugs in there besides those gnats sometimes but they're harmless.

Any one know what's causing this? I didn't save nearly enough large nymphs for restocking the dying adults so I'm afraid my colony is going to crash if I don't figure out what's killing them.

Please help!

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Are they Red Runners? I have problems with my Red Runners in that they die off. At first a few months ago not very many would die off and they would not change to brown in a short time. Now they turn brown soon after they die. I have heard about bacteria killing roaches and turning them brown after they die. My cockroach containers stink probably because of the thing that is killing them. I am doing better with them now. When I keep moving them into new clean containers fewer of them die.

Another person with a similar problem.

http://www.blattodea...read.php?t=1136

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Well I didn't move the large nymphs, I had bought s bunch for my bearded dragon but he never got a chance to eat the majority of them. I sold of most of them, but had a few left and decided to throw them in. Recently I've been sorting the adults from babies a lot more (to sell) like, twice or so in just a few weeks and I know how it can stress them out a lot... I have to tap them off the egg crates into a large container, then pour them into a box with holes. I try to be as gentle as I can but... it's impossible to be 100% gentle with thousands of roaches. Is it possible they underwent maybe like, internal damage or something from this? I know the process was a bit rough but I didn't think I was being THAT rough with them.

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I use an actual screen in the small bin they were in, which now is where the babies are (so they can't escape) and I use wire mesh for the big bin. I've had them that way since I got them with no problems. This all just started when I added the new females and of recently, I'm losing so many.

Also, the young females that are dying are a lot smaller than the ones I've had... I thought they would grow over time, but they die before getting a chance. The smallest ones are about an inch long and very black, while the bigger ones tend up to 2 inches and more brown/orange. That's one of my concerns, as well as the issue with my males. A bunch of them are getting their wings torn/chewed and I haven't got a single clue why. The deaths aren't related because I've had the same number of ones with torn wings and normal wings, but it might be causing something overall. They aren't overcrowded and I have the ratio of of 4:1 females to males, and they get fed properly... So not sure why they're doing this, and if that has anything to do with the deaths at all. Or I'm thinking the females and males may have been inbred and they're genetically just messed up, causing them to die? I'm just very confused...

Luckily no deaths today but I found one of the small females close to death, and another small one acting a bit lethargic.

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If I remember rightly, inbreeding can cause smaller roaches, so maybe it would be an idea to cull the small ones and buy in some new stock to strengthen the colony. if you do this, a new supplier would deduce the chances of the new ones being related to your current ones. it would be a shame to lose them, but I'm stuck for other ideas.

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Lately I've noticed a few posts on the Forum talking about protein being bad for roaches. I think they need SOME, because otherwise they chew on each other's wings. But you're feeding high protein and they're still chewing on each other. I like SLE18's comments that inbreeding may have gotten the best of them and that your colony could use some new additions/change-outs!

Good luck - I hope you get this one figured out, deaths like this are really worrysome :(

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I think you're right, inbreeding might be my problem. I'll try to get a few pictures of the size differences because they are greatly noticeable. Luckily no deaths today, but the almost dead female hasn't recovered and will probably die. The other one was a little more active so she went back into the bin. I'm trying to observe and see if it's either an illness, genetic, or something in husbandry. I've had lethargic females in the past who were near death that I was actually able to save, but this one now is just very sluggish, same as most of the small ones I've lost. Very weird... Well I'm growing about 300, maybe even 500 babies currently for my main bin so I can add onto it even more and just keep the stock in place. Would this encourage inbreeding though? I honestly didn't think it even mattered with roaches... but I'd rather not keep them and have them all produce small, unhealthy roaches in the future.

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if the 300-500 you're raising are from your colony, then yes. I know a 1:4 male:female ratio is recommended, but think how many of those 4 females could be mating with their dad/brother! I haven't found much on this topic, but I have plenty of experience of what bad breeding can do to other creatures, like my first dog, who was inbred and dangerously untrainable, and my chinchillas' teeth getting too long due to genetics. will attach a pic showing an x-ray similar to how mine would have looked. I don't mean to be nasty here; inbreeding has caused a lot of upset in my life, and is the main reason I got more dubia.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSC_IHDYEt9bpugS5log4ISNsGI9pn_2Av9KWP1GTRtAiMYpg4VJQ a chinchilla

http://chinnitude.com/assets/images/dentalside.jpg and http://www.mypetsdentist.com/sites/site-2442/images/Rodents%20rabbits/b3cb8790-7f00-0001-0432-c36033028ac7.JPG show the condition. You also hear of people and animals with health conditions, incorrect limbs, etc, due to severe inbreeding. The small roach problem I have read can be due to inbreeding, but thats it. Sorry to rant. Luckily roaches don't seem AS affected, but maybe lack of knowledge is why this is such a common problem.

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Wow, thanks for the info, I've never even thought of that. I thought the liklihood of it happening were slim. The roaches I bought from the guy that all turned smaller than normal must have all been inbred... I'll try separating them and see if they benefit that way, and maybe throw a male of mine in there to see if it affects their possible offspring. Also might try to either trade my small nymphs for someone else's, so I'll have new blood for my colony's future production. Or would you recommend just buying a bunch of new males? They're pretty cheap, and I could maybe feed off the current ones? That way I could grow my nymphs, and won't have to worry about future inbreeding with the new females...

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Here's a picture of the size difference. As you can see, the super small one at the top (which was the same size as the others who died) is incredibly small. I also have 2 males in the picture that have the chewed up wings, and I noticed today that I also have a few very small males, about the same size as the small female. Very strange...

14341w9.jpg

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Here's a picture of the size difference. As you can see, the super small one at the top (which was the same size as the others who died) is incredibly small. I also have 2 males in the picture that have the chewed up wings, and I noticed today that I also have a few very small males, about the same size as the small female. Very strange...

14341w9.jpg

Looks like they are starving, perhaps the weaker individuals that couldn't get to the food. Try separating them and give oranges and white bread and cat kibble if they improve you know its that.

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I really don't think they are starving or that I'm neglecting them... There's always leftover food from the day before each time I go in to feed them, and I usually put 2-3 slices of oranges for all of them. They never are able to finish even that much. Everyday I check them out, remove any dead ones or separate the sick ones. All of them are super fat and healthy (those don't die, and if so it's very rare) but it's just the new guys who haven't done well. I have the small one separated with water gels and food but she acts the same way the other small ones have. Lethargic, weak, barely able to walk... And with the others, they will run away if I try catching them or touching them but with her, she doesn't budge. As of now, I don't even know if she's eaten the food or water I provided, and I've tried putting her on the food too... No idea what else to do to prevent all of the new ones from dying.

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Well the female died even after I tried isolating her with food and water. No more deaths so far, since I think all of the new small ones have died off...

I'll be gone for a week so I'm not looking forward to the aftermath of not being cleaned out for that long. Luckily someone's here to give them food and water though so lets hope I don't have a ton dead. Hopefully this was all just a random occurrence with that many dying at the same time on top of them possibly being messed up genetically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really don't think they are starving or that I'm neglecting them... There's always leftover food from the day before each time I go in to feed them, and I usually put 2-3 slices of oranges for all of them. They never are able to finish even that much. Everyday I check them out, remove any dead ones or separate the sick ones. All of them are super fat and healthy (those don't die, and if so it's very rare) but it's just the new guys who haven't done well. I have the small one separated with water gels and food but she acts the same way the other small ones have. Lethargic, weak, barely able to walk... And with the others, they will run away if I try catching them or touching them but with her, she doesn't budge. As of now, I don't even know if she's eaten the food or water I provided, and I've tried putting her on the food too... No idea what else to do to prevent all of the new ones from dying.

That small one at the top of your photo is fully grown? Wow. In addition to the food suggestions above, you may try giving them Fluker's Cricket Quencher water gell. It's in most pet shops. I have no experience with this species. There is a book written by our member Orin and Ricky Willis that gives instructions on the care of different species. It'd be good to ask Kyle Zephyr at roachcrossing.com for advice also. He seems to be an expert.
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