Introduction: 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
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 beforehand.
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 if 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 their 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.
Step 2: Make the Habitat
Get a container with tall walls and which is farely wide (at least 7 inches.
Smear a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) all around the upper edge of the walls. Make this smear band about two or three inches thick. 90% of 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 around, it should be about two inches in diameter. 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 on 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.
Add the roaches. They will scurry in between the newspaper layers. I just feed them leftovers from my lunch every day at work.