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Commonly used Conventional Methods to Breed Cockroaches

Conventional Cockroach Breeding MethodsFor many decades cockroaches have been bred using the following conventional techniques.

Conventional methods (below) that have been commonly used to breed cockroaches over the last few decades.

To learn more about more efficient methods see our Advanced Cockroach Breeding Methods which have significantly streamlined cockroach breeding.

Cockroach Housing

  • Purchase a large plastic container with high sides and a tight lid (18.5 gallons/70L or greater is recommended)
  • Cut two large ventilation holes at each end and in the lid for ventilation.
  • Cover the ventilation ports with aluminum fly screen, and attach with glue gun or duct tape.
  • Place clear strapping tape used for packing boxes, along the top rim of the container to prevent cockroaches from escaping. Alternatively you can place a thin layer (2 inches/5cm) of vasoline or fluon along the inside of the container at the top.
  • Place toilet roles or egg cartons to one end of a container and place food and water at the other end. Placing cartons vertically will make the droppings fall to the bottom.
  • No soil substrate is required.

Cockroach Food

  • A bowl of dry food, wet food and water is placed at one opposite end to the cartons.
  • Wet foods include a wide range of fruit and vegetables. The most common types include carrot, sweet potato, apple, orange, and most green vegetables.
  • Dry food includes dog/rodent/cat food pellets, which can be crushed using a food processor. Aim to get a mixture of size fragments to cater for all developmental sizes.
  • Cockroaches drown if something is not placed into the bowl. Some people place cotton wool, sponge or washing gauze to prevent cockroaches from drowning.


  • Place a heat source to one end usually an incandescent bulb. The wattage of the bulb will vary depending on the size of the container and may need to be changed depending on the season. Bulbs that are 75Wor greater are usually sufficient.
  • Connect heating to a thermostat to reduce costs and not to overheat the container.
  • Cockroaches can survive a range of temperatures, however optimal grown is found in a relatively narrow temperature range of 30-35 degrees Centigrade (90-95 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Humidity is essential to protect eggs and adults whilst molting. Humidity can be maintained partly with wet food and water containers, with additional spraying required for some species and low humidity conditions (i.e. cool low humidity weather).

Problems with Conventional Cockroach Breeding Methods

Most people quickly tire of maintaining a cockroach colony using conventional methods. This is why most people buy cockroaches instead of breeding them. This is not surprising when you consider you have to add wet foods, dry foods, and water daily, and then do regular maintenance and cleaning of the containers to stop the poo from smelling. Then managing the escapees during cleaning/feeding and harvest can be a nightmare.

At Wildlife Hub we learnt this first hand, and knew we would need to develop new and more efficient methods if we were going to continue with our research, wildlife rescue and reptile keeping. As a result of these difficulties we spent over a decade streamlining both commercial and private methods.

If you would like to learn low maintenance methods which will save you time, money and effort, then click here to get your free Cockroach Breeding Training Course.

Wildlife Hub’s Advanced Cockroach Breeding Methods have significantly streamlined cockroach breeding.


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