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Hisser Huts


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My friend Frank Romboy used to make Hisser Huts that made it possible to keep much larger numbers of animals in a cage than normal. Far superior to egg carton and ideal for certain genera like Gromphadorhina and Opisthoplatia. Females of these species are less likely to abort or hold eggcases when they aren't stressed. The huts are made of pieces of masonite with bolts, nuts and washers and can be made with any number of levels and with narrow levels to house young hissers. You can make your own hut for specific cages and specific sized roaches. They are excellent for some species with the only drawback being some difficulty getting them out (primarily just the narrow levels with youngsters). They are fastened with wingnuts so they can be taken apart. They stand up to time though plastic or brass hardware may be a better choice.

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Nice Orin, I have seen this idea used a few times...it provides a huge surface area with limited cage space... I have always considered using it with larger colonies of feeder roach species... a great tip! Tahnks for sharing.

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This is a great idea! If you don't have the funds to make it out of masonite and hardware, you can take a little time to put together the same thing with corrugated cardboard and white glue. If you make them this way, although it can't be broken down, it sure does reduce stress on insects that like to be in contact with surfaces. I've done the same thing and made several "apartment buildings" for my crickets out of corrugated cardboard...they are much happier with them, then without them.

What I did:

Just cut out however many rectangles of the same size with an exacto knife on top of an old magazine (mine are about 4x6 inches), in order to make the different floors/levels. Then took about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide strips of cardboard the same length as the rectangles and glued them with a thin strip of glue on either side of the rectangle floors, building up the sides to however wide you want the levels to be...some can be thinner spaces for nymphs, and some can be thicker levels for adults. This took a whole lot of them, since most of my levels are between 3 and 4 layers of cardboard thick (which takes 6-8 strips total per level). Then put a heavy book on top when done gluing, for about 30 minutes, removed it and let dry an hour or two before using. :)

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The cardboard and glue sounds like it could make a great hut for the lighter bodied egg layers (Blatta, Eurycotis, Periplaneta, etc.) but if I put something like that in my hisser cage they'd have it dismantled in short order. What kind of glue do you use that doesn't come loose with the high humidity required for many species? Epoxy?

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I just used elmer's white glue (dried before put in the container), and it doesn't seem to come apart where I have it now, although the enclosure is considerably less humid, maybe around 40-50%....every once in a while there are water droplets in the corners (it's a rubbermaid container, I'd guess between 7.5-10 gallons)...then I take off the lid and let it air out. I wouldn't imagine that dried elmer's glue would come apart, but I guess it could...I wanted to use something non-toxic, in case it gets nibbled on. I also do pick the "apartments" up and look at the levels in between, and tilt or shake out the droppings every few days, and they seem to be as solid as ever.

I would imagine you could use any adhesive you like though...

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