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Blacklight- Safe for Cockroaches?


OrpheumEd
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Hi, I work at a museum with a Madagascar hissing cockroach colony and I'm new to this forum. We are redesigning our exhibit and thought it would look cool to have the cockroaches under blacklight with some fluorescent aquarium plants. However, I would never do that if it's harmful to the cockroaches! Any idea if blacklight/UV light is harmful to cockroaches? Is there a particular kind of UV that would be ok? If not, what other sorts of light might work for this type of exhibit? I'm finding some conflicting opinions online, so any and all help is appreciated. Thanks!!

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My roaches do not like blacklight, I wanted to see how they would react and they're more skittish of it than a normal flashlight. However, people do use red lights as they cannot see the red color spectrum, or so I understand. I have a 50w infrared heat bulb which I have not tried yet but I've seen other people use it successfully. The red lamps are supposed to be un-obtrusive and not mess with their nocturnal cycle.

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My Elliptorhina javanica are not bothered by the red heat bulb. However my Eublaberus sps do hide if it's on them. They however are a cave dwelling species so it would make since that they would be repelled by the slightest form of light.

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Insects see black lights much better than humans, which is why they are so effective at attracting insects. So it would bother them even more than a regular light. You could use a red light instead, which cockroaches can't see.

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Welcome to the forum! I'd recommend against the black light because it would end up being very obtrusive to the roaches and would cause them a lot of extra stress. +1 to all that has been said about the red lights.

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It would be neat to do with Lucihormetica or certain Blaberus that fluoresce weakly (only hisser eyes glow under black light and very deep green). I don't think it would hurt the roaches but hissers don't fluoresce so it would seem to be a pointless and silly display of invisible animals and glowing plastic plants.

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Thanks for the feedback! We're hoping to make the exhibit a little more exciting, and thought glowing plants would liven things up a bit. I like the red light suggestion, though.

Where are you guys located? I'd love to come visit sometime! (And give feedback and help design exhibits. I've always wanted to own an invertebrate zoo!)

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Thanks for the feedback! We're hoping to make the exhibit a little more exciting, and thought glowing plants would liven things up a bit. I like the red light suggestion, though.

Actually, looking at your name now, I think you may have contacted my department about this and they talked to me :) Located in Champaign, IL?

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