Something raided my dubia roach colony!

RedMountainHome

Established Member
I've had a dubia colony for over 5 years, its super well established and does a great job feeding my handful of pets. The colony is housed in a large topless rubbermaid container with a bunch of egg crate, and I use a hanging ceramic bulb/heater to keep them warm in the winter. I keep the colony in my enclosed garage which is attached to my house. I typically grab a couple dozen roaches at a time and bring them inside to gutload as feeders, and drop off kitchen scraps for the colony fairly often.

I was dropping off an apple core and some kiwi skins from lunch for the colony today and noticed that there weren't many roaches visible, which is weird because it's winter time and there are usually a bunch of them congregated close to their heat lamp. I poked around and while I did see a fair amount of roaches, it definitely seemed like a LOT were missing. Then I noticed some roach wings and chitin scattered around the garage floor nearby... not a pretty sight, though one I could've easily missed when tossing out scraps as I typically just drop them and run back inside.

I'm assuming a rat or similar critter took up residence (I'm in the eastern US). I set out a mouse trap but I'm guessing that won't be enough... rats are pretty smart buggers.

Does anyone have any advice on how to better protect my colony from scavengers like this? Bringing it inside unfortunately isn't an option due to my gfs allergies. I also can't put a top on it, it's entirely too cold to stop using the heater.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Does anyone have any advice on how to better protect my colony from scavengers like this? Bringing it inside unfortunately isn't an option due to my gfs allergies. I also can't put a top on it, it's entirely too cold to stop using the heater.
Put a lid on it and thermostatically controlled heating pad under it (or wherever needed).

You will probably need to start by putting a cover on it. Screen most of it for airflow and use a latching lid.
+1. (y)(y)
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
As has been said, a lid and heat mat will help prevent creatures making easy meals of your colony. However, the critter could gnaw a hole thru your bin to get at the yummies.

Thats what my critter did. Its basically a garbage can with no trashbags to hide the smell.

Even open top and in the house, the spiders would come and go fishing...
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
As has been said, a lid and heat mat will help prevent creatures making easy meals of your colony. However, the critter could gnaw a hole thru your bin to get at the yummies.
I thought about that, but figured, "Eh, one catastrophe at a time, eh?" :rolleyes:
(Thinking of the superworms that ate their way out of my container. o_O )

Depends on exactly what kind of critter (or team—I've seen that too) is breaking in—mouse, rat, chipmunk, snake, raccoon, moose, or one of these furry little critters... :LOL:

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