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Anyone have a good solution to cleaning vegetables and fruits


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I bought a head of romaine lettuce at the supermarket the other day, threw it in with the hissers and had 25 dead the next day. I googled and it seems romaine is high on the vegetables that have pesticide residules. This is the second occurance with romaine in 2 years. I've heard rinsing with water will not remove all contaminates.

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Man I am sorry that happened to you. I don't think you really even need veggies for roaches. Dog food, fish food "koi pellets are work well" and mazuri tortoise chow really gets them going.

I messed around with a lot of stuff molasses, honey, agave nectar, bananas, mangos, lychees, papayas etc..... None of that stuff makes them breed faster or perform better.

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I agree with Alex, you really don't need to feed them vegetables, especially lettuce; they are basically just water. Feed them some veggies and fruits you can easily peel, like carrot, apple, banana, citrus.

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Depending on the pesticide used, you may not be able to wash it off. There are many popular insecticides that are known as systemics. They are applied to the soil, seeds, or the plant itself and are taken up by the plant as it grows and distributed throughout its tissues.

For those with cats or dogs: think of the popular flea and tick treatments - Frontline, Advantage & Advantix, and Revolution. Those are examples of the exact same systemics used on animals. The pesticide circulates through the animal's entire body and persists for a number of days from application at one site.

Best to be cautious of feeding many fruits and veggies unless you grow them yourself. Luckily if you do, and have plenty in the summer, you can freeze fruits and veggies for winter use. The roaches won't care much about texture changes from freezing.

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Being an entomologist it shouldn't surprise me that vegetables are having residual pesticides. And most of the produce imported from other countries is probably sprayed withcompounds not used in the U.S. I think Africa still use DDT for malaria control.

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Being an entomologist it shouldn't surprise me that vegetables are having residual pesticides. And most of the produce imported from other countries is probably sprayed withcompounds not used in the U.S. I think Africa still use DDT for malaria control.

monocrotophos is incredibly toxic...I met a farmer from british Guiana who has used it he told me any insects, birds that land on plants coated with it would just die within the field and the fields would stink with dead animals..and the reason why they use it.....it is cheap.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Organic doesnt mean insecticide free, there are lots of insectcides which are "natural"- sulphur, rotenone, etc.

I never had a problem with organic romaine. I would just rinse it as I would do to any produce. Often my roaches (various species of hissers) would start having babies after eating romaine for a week or so!
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I never had a problem with organic romaine. I would just rinse it as I would do to any produce. Often my roaches (various species of hissers) would start having babies after eating romaine for a week or so!

I thought I was imagining a population increase after feeding romaine, now I'm glad to hear someone else has the same experience.

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with the person 2 or 3 quotes below who suggested giving them fruits that you can peel. When I give my German apples, I make sure I get rid of every tiny bit of peel, rinse off the part I'm gonna give them, and sometimes even rinse the knife afterward for the next time. Plus make sure you change the fruit daily. Ripening fruit emits a gas called ethylene which is toxic to them. I'm sorry to hear about your loss also. Loosing pets is hard no matter what kind. Over 20 years ago, I lost three big colonies to my landlord's exterminator at once! Good luck with the rest of them.

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I have some caterpillars and some other inverts that have to eat fresh greens. Nothing is green here in MN yet, so I am stuck purchasing and washing. I think my caterpillars got a bit of Bt in something I did not wash sufficiently well :-( I lost a bunch of them awhile back. My roaches get the wilted/munched greens after the more picky species have had their chance at them. It seems to work out well.

I also have a supply of apples that I picked last fall. They were along a road, so they had exposure to exhaust, but not pesticides. The roaches like them, in small quantities.

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