Ding, ding, ding. In this corner, we have the mighty and nutritious dubia roach. In the other corner, we have a rag-tag bunch of pest cockroaches just waiting to cause trouble. Dubia roaches vs cockroaches: which roach will reign supreme? Stay tuned to find out!
Most people would shriek at the sight of a cockroach in their home, but when you’re keeping reptiles, feeder insects (like dubia roaches) are just a regular part of your day.
Here’s the thing, though: you NEVER want an infestation of pest roaches running loose in your home because those guys are just plain trouble.
With roughly 4,000 types of different cockroaches in the world, dubias are one of them. This blog will explore what makes dubias different from the cockroaches that often infest people’s homes.
What are “Pest Cockroaches”?
Pest cockroaches are a problem worldwide, but today’s blog will be focusing on the U.S. because that is the area of the world we live and breed our dubias in.
Pest roaches are bugs that unwantedly and unexpectedly set up shop in your home and proliferate at an alarming rate. They gain access to your abode from the area surrounding your home if you live in a warmer climate. Even if you don’t, they can even come in on used furniture or food products from unhygienic grocery stores and restaurants. Ew!
There are four main breeds of cockroaches that tend to infest homes in our part of the world.
Four most common types of pest cockroaches in the U.S.:
1. American cockroach
2. Brown-banded cockroach
3. Oriental cockroach
4. German cockroach
Pest cockroaches are a major problem and should be dealt with as such. Why? Because these little buggers can cause a whole bevy of health problems, rendering your home an unsafe and unhygienic place to live.
Here’s where you run into a problem with a cockroach infestation:
· Pest cockroaches are known to pick up germs on the spines of their legs as they crawl through decaying matter, which may be transferred to humans and contaminate food.
· Cockroaches can spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli.
· Pest cockroaches are capable of carrying six kinds of parasitic worms and seven human pathogens.
Can Dubias Infest my Home?
But not to worry. Dubia roaches are not that. Dubias are not only from a different family, they belong to an entirely different taxonomic order than the common pest cockroaches listed above.
And, because reptile keepers are always prepared for their dubia roaches to arrive (and have a proper place to contain them – hint, hint), it’s nearly impossible to end up with a dubia infestation in your home.
Here are a few other reasons why dubias don’t cause a health problem in your home the way pest cockroaches do:
· They can’t climb glass – Dubias are easily contained in any glass or smooth plastic container; even when the lid is left off they can’t get the traction to climb up and out like pest cockroaches do.
· They die off quickly – In the rare occasion dubias have escaped in our shop, they die off in no time at all, long before they have time to set up house.
· Dubias need a warm climate to thrive – Because dubia roaches are a tropical species (found in Central and South America), they thrive in warmer temperatures (between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit). This is much warmer than the average home in most of the northern and central U.S.
· You’re prepared for them – Remember, you are ready for your dubias; their presence in your home is not a surprise. And, if you’re keeping reptiles (or any other exotic pets for that matter), you’re most likely an expert at containment at this point.
· No parasites – Dubias do not carry parasites and will not soil your home the way pest roaches will. This is because they are bred in a clean and controlled environment.
· They can’t fly – Unlike a common pest cockroach (the German cockroach), Dubias can’t fly. While the adult males do have wings and can manage a slight flutter, they’re not capable of real flight. Nymphs and adult females lack wings altogether.
Dubia Roaches Vs Cockroaches – Nutritional Value
It’s important to understand that pest cockroaches and feeder roaches are like comparing apples to oranges. You will rarely see the same type of roach that scuttles around homes being fed to reptiles like leopard geckos and bearded dragons.
The main reason for this is the fact that feeder roaches are nutritionally superior. They are specifically selected and bred as reptile food due to their inherent nutritional value. Because of this, there isn’t much research on the nutritional value of pest roaches to reference when designing a balanced diet for your pet.
The most common feeder roaches are:
· Dubia roaches
· Discoid roaches
· Death’s head roaches
· Red runner roaches
Wondering how these guys stack up nutrition-wise? Refer to the chart below to compare a few key points reptile keepers consider when selecting the perfect feeder roach for their pet:
|Death’s head roaches||79%||11%||No data||No data||0%|
|Red runner roaches||71%||18%||6%||2%||2%|
As you can see, dubia roaches win when it comes to overall nutrition compared to other popular feeder roaches. Additionally, they don’t bite, don’t fly, don’t produce an offensive odor, and are pretty darn cute to boot.
It’s also good to note that some types of roaches sold as feeder insects, such as hissing cockroaches, readily climb glass and are quite capable of causing an infestation if they escape.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Wild-Caught Roaches?
At the Bug Shed, we always advise against catching wild bugs for your reptile to eat. The main reason to avoid them is that wild insects are known to pick up harmful fertilizers and other chemicals when crawling around. In fact, this phenomenon is one of the leading causes of the devastating bee extinction crisis we are currently facing. If your beardie eats a chemical-laden bug, there’s a significant chance it could make them severely sick or even cause them to die.
Another reason to avoid feeding your reptile wild-caught insects is that you don’t have a steady supply of them. If you’ve raised bearded dragons, you know how obsessed they can get with a singular food source. If they get a taste for a wild roach that you can’t find again, they may stop eating altogether – no fun for anyone!
And the Reigning Champion is… Dubia Roaches!
If you’re ready to nourish and delight your reptile with some amazingly nutritious (and fascinating) dubia roaches, you’re in luck.
The Big Shed has dubias available in a wide variety of sizes in our online store today! Shop Now