Entomology, Science

Kel's Roach Ranch Part 2: The Babies Are Here!

by Kel

About a month ago, I wrote Part One of this three-part series explaining just how I ended up owning what has become known as Kel’s Roach Ranch.  The roaches have been doing great, puttering around in their bin, not making noise, enjoying their lives.

Just before Christmas I opened the bin to find the best thing the owner of a breeding roach colony can see: a female carrying an egg sac!  I had done it.  I had managed to keep them alive and happy long enough for them to breed.  A few days later the weather turned cold, the house got dry, and my poor roaches got stressed.  In fact one of the males got so stressed he took his chance when I was cleaning the bin and escaped. I didn’t realize this until one morning I happened to notice that the star on top of the Christmas tree had a big dark spot on it.  I thought it had broken or that a bulb had blown, but as I got closer I realized that it wasn’t a star malfunction at all, but a full grown Male Dubia roach happily warming himself on the star.  I picked him up and transported him  back to the bin.

This change in temperature and humidity also resulted in a dropped egg sac, and no babies. It was a setback, but I didn’t let it deter me.  I cleaned the bin, regrouped and was extra vigilant to make sure the water crystals stayed well moistened, and that the roaches were happy.  A couple weeks later I found another female with another egg sac and we were on the way to success.  I just had to make sure that I kept that bin a nice stable little biome of roachy happiness.

I kept up the daily feeding of greens, carrots, ground high quality dog food, and the rehydration of the water crystals. Then on Monday, January 13th, I opened the bin and what did my eyes spy in the food dish but a tiny 1/8″ long BABY ROACH!  I had done it! Well, actually the roaches had done it, but I gave them what they needed to successfully breed!

It will take about 4-5 more months before we’ll know if they are reproducing enough for us to feed Spock off this bin, or if we’ll need to let more of the roaches grow into adults first.

tiny-pictureKel is a military spouse of almost 2 decades to her husband Matt, mom to her 3 children, ranging from elementary to highschool age.  that she’s been homeschooling for almost a decade. She is keeper of the 2 dogs and a cat, and grandma to 1 bearded dragon. She has a needle art business, and also blogs at Fawkes Academy.


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