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I have been keeping a Blatta lateralis colony for 1 year now. 

The colony when it arrived, it came with few beetles of lesser mealworms. I kept them together inside the same bin. The colony thrived ! Both species did quite well. And i had absolutely no smell whatsoever. I kept them inside a big bin, with a small amount of cocofiber, and long carton tubes for the roaches to hide in.

Once covid hit, i had to rely more and more on my roach colony as food source. At a similar period i noticed a significant decrease on adult numbers over time and a large increase on lesser mealworm beetles.

So recently i decided to separate both species, to try to bring back my colony numbers as the local pet store wont help me get any more roaches from mainland china, they say because of covid, but its actually for economic reasons (Macau is a sort of independent region from China, just like HK, with borders etc), as they can sell more crickets which they raise themselves.

Now i have a bin with adult roaches, where i now collect their oothecas, and put on another bin for nymph roaches to make sure adults dont eat any nymphs and a separate bin for lesser mealworms.

Even being a smaller adult colony i clearly notice that the musky smell is much stronger. And I would like to control that again, but I am not sure if part of my colony decline was due to the beetles eating the oothecas or not.

But i am sure that the mealworms and beetles were helping handle roach dead bodies, frass and any food leftovers.

Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you, regards

 

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