Crawling Companions: Roach Species That Surprisingly Make Great Pets

When we think of pets, roaches are probably not the first creatures that come to mind. However, the world of exotic pets is full of surprises, and some types of roaches are gaining popularity among enthusiasts. In this post, we will delve into the unusual yet intriguing pet roaches. From hissing cockroaches to Madagascar hissers, we will introduce you to some of the most fascinating and low-maintenance insect companions you can welcome into your home.

Hissing Cockroaches: The Gentle Giants of the Roach World

madagascar cockcroach

Hissing cockroaches, scientifically known as Gromphadorhina portentosa, are some of the most popular species of pet roaches. These gentle giants are native to Madagascar and have earned their name due to the hissing sound they make when disturbed. Don’t let their size and reputation as pests fool you; they are excellent pets for those seeking something unordinary. 

Hissing cockroaches are quite large, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to four inches. Their robust size and docile nature make them easy to handle. They are not known to bite or pose any harm to humans.

They are also low-maintenance. They thrive in simple enclosures with plenty of hiding spots, a heat source, and a substrate for burrowing. Their diet consists of vegetables, fruits, and commercially available roach food. Regularly mist to ensure they have access to water.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches: The Educational Help

madagascar cockroach

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are closely related to the hissing cockroaches. They are slightly smaller and lack wings, making them even more manageable as pets. Also native to Madagascar, they are known for their distinctive hissing sound and a glossy brown or black exoskeleton which gives them an appealing appearance. These roaches are also gentle in nature and are easy to handle.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Madagascar hisser is their role in educational settings. These insects are often used for educational purposes to teach students about their behavior, ecology, and their biology. Having one as a pet can lead to memorable interactions and educational experiences with friends and family.

Like their hissing counterparts, Madagascar hissers are low-maintenance. They require a similar setup with heat, humidity, and hiding places. Their diet primarily consists of fruits and vegetables, and they enjoy burrowing in a substrate. 

Death’s Head Cockroaches: The Bold and Beautiful

Death's Head Cockroaches

Death’s head cockroaches (Blaberus craniifer) are another type of roach that has found its way into the pet trade. These striking insects are known for the distinctive skull-like pattern on their pronotum, which resembles a death’s head. This unique feature sets them apart from others and adds to their appeal as pets.

Despite their intimidating name and appearance, death’s head cockroaches are not aggressive or harmful to humans. They are relatively large, with adults reaching lengths of two to three inches. Although they do not produce the loud hissing sounds like the Madagascar hissing cockroaches, when handled, death’s head types are capable of making clicking and rustling sounds. These sounds are part of their natural behavior and may serve as a form of communication.

Death’s head cockroaches are relatively easy to care for. They require a suitable enclosure with a substrate, heat, and humidity control. Their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and occasional protein sources like dog food. Regular maintenance is a must to  ensure their well-being.

Discoid Roaches: The Hardy and Versatile Choice

Discoid Roaches

Discoid roaches (Blaberus discoidales) are a hardy and versatile option for pet enthusiasts. They are native to Central and South America and are known for their adaptability to various environmental conditions. Their hardy nature makes them a great choice for beginner keepers.

One of the advantages of discoids is their longevity. They have a relatively long lifespan for roaches, with some living up to five years. This extended lifespan allows keepers to form lasting bonds with their insect companions.

Discoid roaches are straightforward to care for. They thrive in a simple enclosure with a heat source and substrate. Their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and commercially available roach chow. Their resilience and ease of care make them a great addition for a pet.

Dubai Roaches: The Unconventional Choice

Dubai roaches (Blaptica dubia) are another unconventional choice for pet enthusiasts. They are native to Central and South America. Theys have gained popularity due to their ease of care and nutritional value as feeders for reptiles and amphibians.

The Dubai’s are smaller than some other pet roaches, making them suitable for those with limited space. They are wingless and not capable of climbing smooth surfaces, making containment relatively easy. 

Caring for Dubai roaches involves providing them with a suitable enclosure, heat, and humidity control. They are scavengers and will consume a diet of fruits, vegetables, and commercially available insect food.

Key Takeaways

cockroach - Blaptica dubia

In conclusion, the world of pet roaches offers an unordinary experience for enthusiasts seeking unconventional companions. Hissing cockroaches, Madagascar hissers, death’s head, discoid, and Dubai roaches are just a few examples of the diverse roach species that can thrive in captivity. These low-maintenance insects provide an opportunity to explore the fascinating world of entomology and develop a deeper appreciation for the diverse forms of life on our planet. Whether you’re a seasoned pet keeper or someone looking for a truly new pet experience, consider delving into caring for pet roaches and discover the charm of these insects.