How to Stop your Cockroaches from Dying
Why is it that sometimes your cockroach colony seems to be overflowing with animals….then at other times it is smelling from a mass die off ?
The main reasons cockroaches die are due to; inadequate humidity, heating, pests and diseases. In this article we discuss these factors and more importantly show you how to avoid these mistakes.
Preventing Cockroach Deaths
All cockroach deaths come down to animal husbandry. Below are some tips to reduce deaths. For details on how to implement these changes we recommend you visit Advanced Cockroach Breeding Methods:
• Automated food and water dispensers which provide adequate food and water at all times, and increase humidity in the container.
• Correct container design, which provides balance between ventilation (important in summer) and retaining heat and humidity (important in winter).
• Choosing the right lid type and building pest proof ventilation ports will prevent the entry of pests such as vinegar flies, spiders, ants etc.
• Streamlined cleaning processes which removes unhygienic poo which is a source of bacteria and fungal infections. It will also remove odors and improve the resilience of the cockroach colony.
• Choosing efficient heating methods which disperses heat evenly across the container (heat sources not point sources such as incandescent bulbs). Purchase a good quality thermostat which will maintain the right temperatures.
• Provide good quality dry food so they receive the right nutrition to fight against disease.
Humidity is extremely important to many species of cockroaches as they are “live bearers” and have their eggs located outside of the mother’s body. The eggs are then carried in an egg sac, attached to her abdomen. It is important that this egg sac remain constantly moist otherwise the eggs will not develop properly. When a cockroach sheds its skin, it is soft and also prone to losing moisture. If low humidity conditions persist for long periods the productivity of the colony will reduce or stop breeding. For further details visit Humidity and Cockroach Breeding.
If your cockroaches are dying, one of the first question you should ask; ”is your breeding container too drafty and letting out too much heat and moisture?”. If so, place a breathable towel over ventilation ports, particularly in winter. Other ways to increase humidity include: automated water dispensers (see above for details), adding wet food daily, spraying or placing a container of water with pebbles in it. The Pebbles will prevent the cockroach from drowning.
Many of the common species of cockroaches bred in captivity come from warm, moist tropical environments and need warm temperatures. Short periods of low temperatures can be tolerated however you should aim to keep temperatures constantly between 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit (32-35 degrees Centigrade) for productive growth.
As outlined at the start, many people use incandescent bulbs for heating which is not effective at providing dispersed heat throughout the container or is not strong enough to heat the whole area. This is particularly important in winter.
Pests and Diseases
Diseases can be a big problem if not detected and treated early. Before adding new cockroaches into your breeding colony, check them for diseases and pests. Things to look out for include, tiny mites, white spots, damaged wings or any sign of an unhealthy animal. Only add healthy animals and remove diseased animals. As outlined at the start, one of the best ways to prevent disease is maintaining good animal husbandry.
Pest for cockroaches include, vinegar flies (not very common), ants, spiders and geckoes. As outlined at the start, good container design will prevent many of these from entering.