Cockroaches. Dirty, stinky pests that dwell in your kitchen. Or so you thought. Cockroaches aren't as nasty as you think. In fact the only reason they spread disease is because they get into our own waste. But if they never pick up the bacteria, they won't spread any. "Like 99 percent of all cockroach species, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are not pests and do not inhabit human dwellings. These insects live on forest floors", says National Geographic. In Madagascar, it is also a very popular pet. These insects are the largest species of cockroach and can get up to 3 inches in length. This tutorial will inform you on keeping your own Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.
Step 1: Where to Find Your Hissers
Like I said before Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are very popular pets, so chances are, you can find them at your local pet store. If not, click here to order them. If you choose to breed them make sure you get both genders. If you only want them as pets, you should get only males because they won't reproduce. Also check out the regulations in your state for keeping them.
Step 2: Habitat & Environment
A good habitat is key to happy hissers. I own two hissers, and the habitat is a five gallon fish tank from the pet store. Remember: Cockroaches can and will climb anything, including glass. Make sure you buy a lid. My lid is a metal frame with metal screen so it doesn't melt. I used an ultra-violet light for a reptile to keep them warm. The best kind are the ones with a dimmer. Use the thermometer to keep the habitat between 75 and 90 degrees. Also using a spray bottle is mandatory. This keeps the humidity similar to the climate of a tropical rainforest in Madagascar. I thoroughly spray my hissers habitat three times a day. Cockroaches will also burry themselves in the dirt during the day. They will lay still for long periods of time. Don't worry, they are just escaping the light as they are nocturnal. The 'dirt' I used is a coconut fiber substrate. I layered it about 1.5 inches thick. As far as food and water goes, I used a sponge for water. This enables the cockroaches to drink without the threat of drowning. For food, I use fresh greens, apple, and other dry food pellets such as dog food. The dog food is important because it contains lots of protein.
Step 3: Study Your Cockroaches & Have Some Fun
Now we get to the best part of keeping Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, studying them. One day I got bored, so I decided to make my hissers a maze. After they completed it the first time, I gave them some yummy carrot as a reward and they ate it right out of my hand! Then I tested it again to see if I could train them to do it again. You could also run some trials to see how they react to light, how they climb different surfaces and just relaxing with them in your hand. I also named mine, Thomas, and Don Cherry. So have some fun. If you have any questions, or what you think, just make a comment, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Happy cockroach keeping!