Step 1: Get Cockoaches
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
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.
I drop in
white rice with gen tso's sauce on it
pieces of chicken
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.