Keeping a colony of cockroaches as pets must have crossed your mind, just as many choose a dog or a cat because they make brilliant pets for you and your family. Hissing cockroaches are beautiful insects, and it also helps that they are of great size, unlike the house roaches. You may wonder which species are the best to keep as pets.
So, can you keep hissing cockroaches as pets? Hissing cockroaches can be kept as pets because they are hygienic; thus, they don’t carry around infections to you or your family. They are easy to care for and maintain since they will do not consume a lot of your time, and it helps that they are cost-friendly. Hissing cockroaches are meek and easy-going, making them easy to rear. They also don’t bite, and you can use them to familiarize your kids with crawling animals if they are afraid of them.
There are thousands of cockroach species, but not all can make suitable pets. We will investigate the best species that you can keep as pets and why we think so. Read further as we enlighten you about the hissing cockroach.
Can Cockroaches Be Pets?
The Madagascan hissing cockroach is one species of cockroach that can be kept as a pet. These cockroaches are some of the most attractive species of the cockroach world. They have an attractive exoskeleton that resembles mahogany, making it an incredible sight. Secondly, it produces a hissing sound that is so fascinating. Furthermore, they are meek creatures and are easy to handle, thanks to their low maintenance costs.
Hissing cockroaches are good pets because they don’t carry bacteria on their bodies, affecting you; hence, you can have your kids handle and play with them.
There are more than three thousand species of cockroaches in the world, but out of these, only approximately thirty species can make great pets.
For instance, there are Cuban roaches. They are green, can fly, have a high affinity to light, and grow to about two centimeters (the female roach is longer than the male). The insects burrow on plant backs but are not good climbers like Madagascar’s hissing roaches.
Another roach that you can rear is the American Cockroach, one of the largest cockroach species. They are hardy and can survive in any environment provided that there is hydrated and supplied with food.
The insect prefers high temperatures of about 29°C and can migrate from one place to another as the temperature varies. However, these roaches secrete a repelling odor and can carry and transfer harmful bacteria. Thus, it would be best if you were keen when having them as pets.
Are Hissing Cockroaches Good Pets?
Hissing cockroaches are better than most pet species cockroaches because they are low maintenance and friendly, easily making them good pets. Therefore, you can leave them for a few days without worrying that they will starve. Similarly, the insects can feed on their exoskeleton after molting, thereby reducing food expenses. It is also a good thing that they do not need a special diet but eat everyday human fruits and vegetables.
Hissing cockroaches are hygienic, in that they don’t feed on nasty wastes that contain viruses and bacteria, which cause infections to humans. Also, hissers can stay for days without food since they can easily modify their metabolism to burn excess fats on their bodies for survival.
An added advantage is that they communicate with breath assisted sounds, just like birds. Hence, you don’t need to worry that the hissing will disturb you or your neighbors, especially at night.
Hissing cockroaches only hiss when there is impending danger and when attracting the females. Another great feature that makes them stand out is that they don’t bite, so they are not likely to harm the handler. Besides, they move slowly, so it is easy to catch them if they escape or if you want to study them.
Moreover, they tend to breed many eggs at a time, allowing them to live in large colonies. So if a batch dies of old age, the females will help replace a new generation. Notably, their right size also comes in handy. They are not too tiny and not too big; this way, you cannot accidentally step on them or lose them if they escape their enclosure.
Keeping Hissing Cockroaches
The following are helpful tips to get you started on keeping the hissing cockroaches as pets. These tips will help you determine whether you want a solitary insect or a colony.
Hissers do not need gigantic structures or enclosures. All you need for starters is a sizeable glass bottle to host the cockroaches but ensure proper ventilation. Otherwise, they may suffocate. Since the roaches can easily escape, you can also enforce some means to prevent them from getting out of the glass habitat.
For instance, you can smear a petroleum jelly inside the enclosure some centimeters below the lid to stop them from climbing to the top. It is also necessary to dampen the substrate below the enclosure to provide the required humid environment favorable for them to live and breed.
The hissing cockroaches are not very fussy when it comes to their dietary needs. They can comfortably eat regular human meals such as vegetables and bread particles. You can also provide fresh fruits such as bananas and oranges. However, they dislike decayed food, so you need to ensure that the food is clean and fresh. Hydration is also crucial for them, so their habitat must be moist, and they need adequate drinking water. All you need is a clear water bowl to place in the enclosure (a sponge will help keep the nymphs from drowning in the bowl).
The best breeding temperature for the hissing cockroach is approximately 29°C. If you would love to keep a colony, it is crucial to place a male and a female together strategically. You can distinguish male and female hissing cockroaches by their appearance. While males have prominent horns, the females do not. Moreover, males have three segments and a small segment below their rear abdomen while females have one.
After about sixty days after mating, the female hisser carries the eggs inside her body until they hatch into nymphs. The nymphs shade their exoskeleton at least six times before maturity, and afterward, they are ready to reproduce. During adulthood, the hissers can lay hundreds of eggs before they die of old age. So it is inevitable that you will always have a colony even if one dies out.
High humidity and average temperatures are suitable for breeding, and during the cold seasons, you can use other energy sources to increase the temperatures to optimum levels. Moreover, the habitat that you build for the insects should mimic their natural habitat in the forest. Therefore, it would help if you furnish the enclosure with twigs, wood backs, and plant leaves. Finally, if there are other pets in your home and want to get rid of them using chemicals, always practice caution. The hisser is so sensitive to pesticides that even their moisture can affect them.
Hissing Cockroaches Make Great Pets
If you are considering keeping insects as pets, then the right choice is the hissing cockroach. They are friendly, docile, and easy to handle, making them brilliant pets. Moreover, the insects are not infectious like the house roaches that carry bacteria on their feet and body.
The Madagascar hissing cockroaches have not experienced any mutations over the years, making them tough insects. Thus, they are hardy and disease resistant. Lastly, they are friendly and easy-going, so they can make the right pet presents for your kids so long as they love insects. When you keep these insects, you are sure to enjoy every minute as you take care of them.