Introduction: Raising Cockroaches (Intentionally)

Picture of Raising Cockroaches (Intentionally)

simple instructions on how to make a happy habitat for cockroaches to thrive. Taking a look around my kitchen, it seems that a lack of work is involved in this task. This is pretty much true. But in case anyone wants to be sure of how to make a good habitat, this is how.

Step 1: Get Cockoaches

Picture of Get Cockoaches

Get Cockroaches.

I put this step first because if you're going to order roaches you should do that before you make the habitat, so that by the time you're done, the roaches will arrive.

If you're going to catch roaches yourself, build the habitat before hand.

How to get roaches:

A) catch cockroaches that you find running (at work, at home, street, etc). They can be found in abundance in dark, damp areas: They need access to water and they like the dark. To catch them put moist food in your sink, turn off all lights, Wait near your sink with a plastic cup. Turn on the lights (or use a headlamp) and slap the cup on top of any cockroaches you find chowing down in your sink. Slide a piece of paper benieth the edge of the cup to trap the roach. Transport the roach to a container. It's best to collect them in a container which is already prepaired to raise them (see rest of instructable), because otherwise it will be hard to transfer all of them to a new container without losing some.


B) buy cockroaches (almosy any species) from Roachman Willis:
You send him a check, he sends you the cockroaches. He is very expedient, very helpful is you email him questions, and a pleasure to do business with. He's also the cheapest source of cockroaches anywhere. If you buy from a scientific biological supply company they cockroaches will be more than twice the price. One advantage of the latter is that you will be sure to get all fully grown roaches. But they will send the exact amount you ordered and some will probably die in shipment. Meanwhile Mr. Willis will send more than you ordered (to ensure you end up with as many as you ordered if not more). Also if you really need adults, you could probably specify this to Mr. Willis and he will oblige as best as possible.

The chick picture is one that came up on google images when I typed in 'catch roach', there weren't any better pictures.

Step 2: Make the Habitat

Picture of Make the Habitat

get a container with tall walls and which is farely wide (at least 7 inches.

Smear a thin layer of petrolium jelly (vaseline) all around the upper edge of the walls. Make this smear band about two or three inches thick. 90% cockroaches can't climb through vaseline, but check on the internet if you use a species other than periplaneta americana (what I have). In some species the nymphs can climb through the vaseline but older ones cannot.

Get some old newspaper, tear it into pieces about the length and width of your container. Crumple them up a couple times to give them texture. Lay them down in your container, one on top of the other. Make about five layers.

Get a large cap from some container lying aorund, it should be about two inches in diamter. Cut a square piece off a sponge so that the corners of the piece just barely touch the sides of the cap you have. Put this into your container, it will be the water dish. Add water until it reaches the rim of the cap you're using (this means the sponge is saturated and you'll have a reservoir of water to keep it that way).
Make sure there is not a big gap between the sponge and the cap edge, otherwise the roaches will have a hard time stepping onto the sponge to drink.

If you want to put on a top to the container make sure it's porous, otherwise it will get way to humid in there and mold will grow like crazy.

Step 3: Add the Roaches and Feed Them.

Picture of Add the Roaches and Feed Them.

add the roaches. They will scurry in between the newspaper layers. I just feed them leftovers from my lunch every day at work. My lunch is either general tso's chicken or a lamb gyro with rice.

I drop in
white rice with gen tso's sauce on it
pieces of chicken
Cookie crumbs
fried rice
the tips of brocolli
and I usually add a smear of duck sauce to everything. Cause I like duck sauce.

I've lost a little respect for the roaches because they seem to enjoy the brocolli tips the most. The brocolli is the one part of my food that I refuse to eat, I use it as a weight to keep the chinese food container open. I used to tell the chinese people to stop putting it in my chicken but I think the cook is scared for my health. When the stupid roaches rush out to eat pieces of brocolli they make me feel guilty.


therealkaren (author)2010-06-12

Why would you want to raise cockroaches? What do you do with them?

23chrpau (author)therealkaren2017-12-09

I use them to feed my ant farm. What do you do with ant farms? I have no idea...

madmax2 (author)therealkaren2017-01-11

He eats them

dexterdev (author)therealkaren2016-03-20

You can use it for neuroscience experiments. See backyard brains experiemnts

Greylurk (author)therealkaren2013-07-07

Reptiles and Birds love to eat them.

23chrpau (author)2017-12-09

I going to get a cockroach farm so I don't have to capture or buy cockroaches to feed my ant farm... so my ant farm is going to run on a cockroach farm. I feel bad for the cockroaches, they grow up to be devoured by ants. what should I do with my ants though?

XsimonXcoreX (author)2006-08-07

But why?

leevonk (author)XsimonXcoreX2006-08-07

they're very affectionate. Also you can do experiments on them:

LikesCrazyPranks (author)leevonk2017-05-17

Are they affectionate before or after you exparament on them?

bowmaster (author)XsimonXcoreX2009-07-26

Shuriken targets.

SeMi_AuToMaTic (author)bowmaster2010-03-22

or airsoft :D

bowmaster (author)SeMi_AuToMaTic2010-03-22

Or putting a copy of your DNA into them, then making a freezer that will keep them frozen but alive until a nuclear blast. They wold survive and then start following the DNA's instructions and trun into you!!!

tinker234 (author)bowmaster2012-02-25

you do know they cant surrive a nucelar blast they are resint to radtion but not a blast

rexdino5 (author)bowmaster2010-05-01

CRAZY IMAGINATION BOWMASTER. I doubt that will happen. Atleast not in my time.

bowmaster (author)rexdino52010-05-02

Oh, I already did it. I also uploaded all of my memories and my personality onto a near indestructible hard drive and left a note to future me what to do.

inbetweens (author)2017-04-10

will try it


jcavell (author)2014-08-03

What's the bestway to kill them?

meyers (author)2011-01-30

Happy cucarachas :D

mainecoonmaniac (author)2010-10-19

My cat thinks they're yummy. Bite sized treats.

rexdino5 (author)2010-05-01

Really? The only reason I think you would do this is because you are very careful about living things. Also for maybe a science class for disection. I don't know. Thats kinda crazy breeding cockroaches unless your a scienctist.

Chris Bilton (author)2007-07-19

It's about time roaches were loved a little more than they are. Seriously these chaps can survive anything, even - God forbid - a nuclear holocaust, roaches and shopping trolleys will be the only thing left!

bowmaster (author)Chris Bilton2009-07-26

What about a ninja holocaust? I have proven that these little buggers (Lolz. Iz Punny) can't survive a rain of poisoned shuriken.

argentum86 (author)2009-02-20

Hi there, nice experiment. I've done it with crickets to feed my scorpions :) Just a comment, in spite of how gross they are, most insects are a very good source of food. Ya, disusting but they're much more better source that red meat, chicken and fish. They're a lot more cheaper to raise, breed faster, eat cheaper food (garbage), they need little space to grow and a lot less of pollution in CO2 and CH4 gases. On the other hand, they ARE dirty, that's why a "healthy" food for these insects such as cardboard or paper will prevent diseases transmission. So, for all green ecologists there's a way to replace meat! First of all: vegetables! and if you dare.. take some roaches or crickets... no transgenics! lol

bowmaster (author)argentum862009-07-26

I use them as shuriken targets.

blueblur (author)2008-04-12

I read that as "ROASTING Cockroaches." I think it's time for bed now...

=spider= (author)2008-03-03

if anyone tells you that cockroaches are clean, they're lying. There's this myth going around that cockroaches are surprisingly clean - but it's a lie!! I checked it out for myself, just to prove the people at work wrong. See, I'm on to them. What? Oh yeah... excellent instructable, a nice, unique contribution.

Garbage Man (author)2008-01-14

yeah uhm the website you gave doesnt sell them anymore

Thoth (author)Garbage Man2008-02-22

Here is Roachman's new address

Here you will find information on various species.

TheCheese9921 (author)2006-08-07

your still useing IE!!! gasp...

Mario2007 (author)TheCheese99212007-11-02

What is this mythical I.E. you speak of ?

Mr. Smart Kid (author)Mario20072008-01-31

internet expoler

ih8haters (author)TheCheese99212006-08-31

and? you use microsoft windows still??

tubular (author)ih8haters2007-06-26

one step at a time. ;)

you can just feed them on empty egg cartons also, that is how i grow my crickets for my geckos lunch

RudimentaryThinker (author)2006-11-20

I had a similar but biger set up with my crickets, but mold eventually took over and fruit fly's began to grow, how are you planing to avoid that?trust me it gets to smelly to keep if your growing more than just one type of insect. Are these guys for food?

cuscus67 (author)2006-09-07

Any methods of getting rid of them?

leevonk (author)cuscus672006-09-11

well since the captive cockroaches emit pheromones which attract wild cockroaches, just put your raid traps all around your captive cockroach enclosure.

Cristian Lavaque (author)2006-08-15

This seems like an interesting experiment, but in all honesty, I don't see myself ever doing it. I've read that roaches have a particular smell that most people hate, don't you have problems with this?

leevonk (author)Cristian Lavaque2006-08-15

I don't smell them at all with the cover on. When you open the cover, You can definately smell them.

udonotknowme1 (author)2006-08-09

Hey! This is what I've been looking for for quite a while.. Although I'm rather worried. Don't the roaches fly out? What happens when there are too many?

leevonk (author)udonotknowme12006-08-09

I think they might eat each other if there is over crowding. I put a porous top on the container, so the roaches can't fly out. When I remove the top for feeding/watering they don't fly out, but if I were to leave the cover off all the time, some of them might fly out.

jeremyrcarr (author)2006-08-08

While I applaud your passion, I just don't see myself keeping a box of rotting food and roaches around. Though I do have some questions re: raising them: Do they breed in captivity? Do you have to do anything special to induce breeding (i.e. humidity, temp., lighting, etc...)? How quickly will they eat through what you feed them? How do they interact with one another? Have you had any escape?

leevonk (author)jeremyrcarr2006-08-08

They do breed and grow up very well in captivity. I have many full grown adults now, I used to have only one adult. don't have to induce breeding they take care of that themselves. However, if you want them to grow up faster put them in a warm area. They eat the stuff surprisingly fast, I'm not sure how many are in there, but seems like a lot. They like to drag the food under the newpaper too. they interact with pheremones and antennae (,00.html). None have escaped because they generally don't like to fly, and I make sure none have gotten past the vaseline before I take the cover off.

leevonk (author)leevonk2006-08-08

oh, one other thing, since they emit pheremones, the cockroach habitat tends to attract wild cockroaches. I've killed some I've found hanging around the habitat, but I captured one and dropped him in to itnroduce wild genes into the group. I keep these buggers at work, although I had a bunch of them in my room in college cause that's when I first did the cockroach control backpack experiments.

TheCheese9921 (author)2006-08-07

i dont think my mom would apreciate this to much but still very cool

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