LARGEST / biggest cage or enclosure size without going full custom

Franquixote

Established Member
The Dragon Stand cages are the largest I can find. The #1 issue is that I need security against insects escaping. I have a custom enclosure now that I have tried reinforcing several times with extra caulk, a second layer of fine screen, etc. but 3-4 times a year a roach gets out and I have no right to put that worry on my wife/kids. One of them found an adult dubia in a blanket and was (rightly) shaken up- I know it hadn't been out more than a few hours, but it made them cry because it's kind of shocking to see a big bug like that.

Is this just a fact of life in your opinion? I am so careful, only 1 at a time, remove them after a few hours if I can find them, etc.

I have tried all sorts of cup feeders but my panther refuses to eat out of one even if he is hungry and it is his favorite prey item. In the summer it seems entirely possible a roach could give birth and survive for at least a few weeks, if not all summer. I have seen them go for weeks without humidity, food, or readily available water in low 60's. Seems possible they could survive indefinitely in the walls even in NJ during the winter.

This is a bit of a "hail Mary" in the hopes someone knows of a setup that is both large and bug proof. Any ideas appreciated, I don't want to re-home my chameleon, but I have to be considerate of everyone else too. I know I have posted this before, but I have yet to get a response. Even a negative response would be appreciated if you don't think it is reasonable to expect that any enclosure can be like 99% effective if given proper attention.
Thanks!
 

Franquixote

Established Member
You have no idea how much silicon I have into this thing. Double screens, every nook and cranny gone over. I think the response I am going to get is that it's kinda impossible to even get to 90% if you let bugs roam free. I'm hoping I am wrong, but I am ultra careful and I can't imagine a more secure setup but definitely willing to keep an open mind.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Can we see pics of your setup? I have a friend who is a civil engineer (water work, gotta seal that shit up) I would be happy to show him. For what it's worth, I have a dragon strand and have never had a cricket escape -- flies on the other hand have. I don't think you'll ever get a fool-proof way. My cham is in her own spare bedroom that splits as my home office -- the vents in that room are closed off and I have a breeze guard under the door -- all of that is with the hopes of keeping any escapees into one room. Unfortunately, I do believe that co-habitation with some insects is kind of part of being a reptile owner. I think it's really great you're considering your family needs. If you live in Colorado and DO need to rehome -- my spinster a** will happily take your friend and you can visit any time you wish!
 

Franquixote

Established Member
Thank you AnamCara for suggesting I post the pic! It's attached.

Brody, I hear you- BUT it's really awful to have your kid shake a 3" roach out of their security blanket they sleep with. Plus, I am a neat freak but it's not sanitary- I teach students (a lot of city kids) with severe roach allergies from repeated exposure- one girl I had as a sophomore would get hives that turned into blemishes lasting weeks- I'm sure you could imagine that kid's frustration at an age where their appearance is so important. As to whether they can reproduce at replacement rates, I agree, but adults could last months and the babies for at least a month. Plus, an isopod and baby roach look EXACTLY alike except for the fact the roach only has 6 legs- I had to put both under a magnifying glass to show everyone the difference and that we weren't infested- I mean right down to their pattern they are identical to the untrained eye. Totally selfish to let the family think they are living in that kind of mess.
The fly situation is another strike- those bottle flies WILL escape, and we have had them get into the drop ceiling where they will feast on mouse poop, had them dropping from the ceiling and some even were able to make it to adulthood. Luckily I only tried with 2-3 batches of them so it didn't go far, but decent sized maggots dropping from the ceiling is a completely unreasonable expectation to put on non-hobbyists. As far as I'm concerned they did me a favor by removing some rodent droppings, but that ain't how the rest of the gang saw it. We are very tidy, the rodents are a fact of life, but maggots raining down is just gross. They bullseyed the washer and dryer which was a bonus, lol. I don't even try crickets anymore. A few years ago we had one that I had to eventually get with a laser- kinda cruel to burn the wings, but it didn't react to it so I presume there was no pain- just a quick tip if anyone can get their hands on a 500mW-1 watt+ laser pointer... I had one from when they were 100% legal (since disposed of).
 

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GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Custom Cages also has some really fantastic looking builds. I've been eyeballing them for when i get into larger montane species, as I have little personal ability with woodworking. You can try emailing them with the troubles you're having, and see if they have any solutions. Can't hurt, might help!
 
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