Orange Spotted Roaches as Pets
The Orange Spotted Roach, or Guyana Orange Spotted
Roach, (scientifically Blaptica dubia), grow to a length of
one to two inches, (forty to fifty millimeters) and are a
nice brown color with orange spots in rows down their backs.
They are native to French Guyana, Brazil, and South America.
Orange Spotted Roaches are larger, slower and less shy
than most of the other commonly kept roach species. They
also can't climb glass or plastic well and are live-bearers
and easy to breed, all of which makes them an excellent
roach species to keep as pets. Individual roaches will live
for as long as two years if cared for properly.
You can keep your pet Orange Spotted Roaches in a glass
aquarium or a plastic bin. If you want an attractive
display, you can add an easily cleaned substrate (or leave
it with no substrate for easier cleaning) and plenty of
decorations for hiding places, such as plants, rocks,
driftwood and the like. Or, you could simply layer cardboard
egg cartons on the bottom of the aquarium to provide plenty
of hiding places. Although this species of roach doesn't
climb, you should cover the tank tightly with a well-
ventilated top to keep out wild insects and pets.
Dubia Roaches are tropical and will need to be kept warm.
Daytime temperatures between eighty-five to ninety-five
degrees Fahrenheit (twenty-nine to thirty-five degrees
Celsius) are recommended. Unless you live in a very dry
area, there will be enough natural humidity at those
You can provide heat for your roaches in a number of ways.
You might have a room that stays warm all the time (over
eighty-five F. or twenty-nine C.) that you can keep them in.
Or, you can use heat tape or a heat mat designed for heating
reptile tanks, a human heating pad under or taped to the
side of the tank, a red light bulb with reflector over the
screened part of the tank lid, place the tank near a heat
source in your home, or even on top of your television case.
The best way to supply water is to use water gel, sold in
most pet stores, as that will prevent the chance of your
roaches drowning in their water dish, while also providing
more humidity for the tank. Be sure to keep plenty of water
for them, as this species likes more humidity than other
species and also, roaches will eat each other if they don't
have enough water.
Feed your roaches fresh fruit or vegetables at least once a
week, and remove what is not eaten in a day or so, before it
can mold or rot and infest your pets. You should also keep
some dry cat or dog food in the tank so they have all the
food they want, but make sure the dry food stays dry.
It is easy to tell the genders apart in Orange Spotted
Roaches, as the adult males have full wings but adult
females have only small stubs where the wings should be, and
females can be varicolored in reddish brown, buff, and
black. If you want to breed this species, keep a ratio of
three females to each male and things should go well. If
your adult roaches are not breeding, try increasing the tank
temperature. If the young roaches are unable to molt
properly, increase the humidity by misting the tank lightly
every day or so.
More on Roaches & Invertebrates as Pets