Dubia roaches are a great choice of feeder insect for many different animals due to their naturally high protein content and low percentage of chitin. The key to getting the most out of your dubias is to provide a proper dubia cockroach diet prior to feeding. After all, a healthy roach makes for a healthy bearded dragon (or any other dubia-eating friend)!
In our article, “5 Ways Dubia Roaches Keep Your Bearded Dragon Healthy,” we let you know exactly why dubias are the best choice for your dragon.
What can Dubias eat?
While they are classified as frugivores (eating primarily raw fruit, roots, nuts, and seeds) dubias are also scavengers. They are opportunistic eaters who won’t turn their noses up at a meal. Dubias can and will eat almost anything. But just because they can eat something doesn’t always mean that they should.
What is the General Dubia Cockroach Diet?
The best dubia cockroach diet happens to be good for both raising and breeding your dubias. Adult female roaches are great at regulating their nutrient intake. This study shows they will seek out diets rich in carbs! When female dubias eat their preferred diet they were shown to gain more body mass and longer survivability.
This list is an example of some of the foods dubias love to eat:
- Collard greens
- Roach chow
- Sweet Potato
A mix of fruit, grains, and vegetables (carbs and fiber) is the way to go when it comes to the best dubia cockroach diet. The fresher, the better! Always make sure to wash fruits and vegetables to make sure they are clean and free of pesticides. Apples are a particularly bad offender. Let it be known that apples are one of the dubia roaches’ all-time favorite foods, too!
Dubia roaches should be fed at least once a day. 24/7 access to food is fine as long as it’s removed/changed out within 24-48 hours to prevent spoiling. Oh, and it’s always a good idea to keep on mixing up what you feed your dubias! Changing up their diet every 1-3 days will give them the best nutritional spread possible.
Water is just as important in maintaining a good dubia cockroach diet as food is. Fruits and vegetables can provide enough hydration, but it’s best to provide a constant water source. It is important to note that dubias of any age can drown in even shallow water dishes. Gel water crystals are a great and popular alternative!
Touching on Protein and Citrus:
Because a natural dubia cockroach diet is low in protein, we do not want to feed them too much. Dubias have the ability to turn the fiber they eat into protein. Feed them too much protein and they start producing uric acid. When reptiles have too much uric acid in their system it may lead to the development of gout.
Citrus contains oxalic acid which can bind calcium and lead to MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease). Spinach, while definitely not citrus, falls under this category as well. Since dubias absolutely love oranges (and orange food!) they are okay to give as an infrequent treat (once every 1-2 weeks). Just not while gut loading! We at The Bug Shed prefer to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding our dubia roaches citrus altogether.
Gut Loading Your Dubias
Gut loading should take place 2-3 days before offering your dubias as a delicious and healthy meal. What to feed your dubias during this time depends on who you’re feeding your dubias to.
Bearded dragons, geckos, scorpions, turtles, and tarantulas are just some of the dubia roach’s biggest fans. It’s a good idea to include the food you would traditionally feed your dubia consumer into the dubia’s meal. In almost all cases you’re going to want to cut back on the protein as well as the citrus.
For those who need calcium try some of these foods:
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion leaves
- Sweet potatoes
These lists are far from complete, but they offer good starting points. They also highlight how easy it can be to find good and healthy foods to feed your dubias. For more information on gut loading, be sure to give this post a read!
Dubias Don’t Want to Eat?
If you’re ever having any issues getting your dubia roaches to eat the gut load meal then just sprinkle some sugar over the food. Pure fruit juice works great for this as does plain white sugar.
This typically shouldn’t be an issue outside of gut loading since dubia roaches will tend to avoid diets that do not benefit them.
Want to Give Dubias a Try?
We have a variety of different dubia sizes to choose from whether you’re just looking for some feeders or if you want to start your very own colony. Make sure to visit our shop today!