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Bizarre Roach Die Off

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by tzpnm, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

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    Last night I opened up my Eublaberus sp. "Ivory" bin to discover that my colony appeared to suffering from a huge die off, possibly caused by pesticides in a piece of fruit I gave them. I promptly removed the fruit, as well as a bunch of the dead and dying roaches, figuring I would clean out the rest the day after. Well, today when I went to clean out the bin, I found that the "dead and dying" roaches I had cleaned up and put in a bag were alive and well, one of the nymphs even molted. Unfortunately, however, my entire colony appears to be dead.

    I'm pretty bummed out because these were my favorites. I still don't know the cause of this or if any of the other roaches can be saved, so any help is appreciated.

    [​IMG] These are the surviving roaches who I thought were dead/dying.

    [​IMG]
    Here's my dead colony :(
     
  2. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

    Update: Right now I'm trying to rescue any of the roaches from the main bin who still show some signs of life. The other ones I removed before came back to life, so hopefully I can save more of them.
     
  3. Hisserdude

    Hisserdude Arachnoprince

    Seems like something in the enclosure itself is causing them to die then, as the separated individuals are the ones recovering.

    Is the tank getting overheated, or too cold? Did the enclosure get too dry or something?
     
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  4. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

    I took them off the heat and let the enclosure sit at room temperature last night when I discovered the initial die off, but the change in temperature didn't seem to affect them. It definitely does seem to be something in cage, though I'm not sure what it is. Many of the nymphs were showing some signs of life, and began recovering once I took them out of the cage and put them in bags. The adults seem to be recovering a bit, albeit slower. I'm not sure if they will make it.

    I've moved all the ones that were alive into a different cage with some wet and dry paper towels so that they can self-regulate. I don't think it was the humidity, but some of them appeared to be throwing up droplets of water when I put them in the ziplocks. I will give them a day or two unmolested to see if they recover. Hopefully the ones I pulled out today will get better and recover, as they were in better condition than the ones I thought were dead last night.

    Thanks for the help, it's really appreciated. I'm very confused about this die off, hopefully nothing like this will happen in my other cages.
     
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  5. Hisserdude

    Hisserdude Arachnoprince

    Was the heat mat under the entire enclosure, or just half of it? The fact that they were all on the surface seems consistent with trying to escape heat coming from below, it's possible by the time you moved them it was too late for some of them. I'd keep them cooler, and see how they do for now.

    Vomiting clear liquid is a result of stress BTW, some sort of defensive mechanism I believe. I've had a few roaches do that when I've held them.
     
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  6. Draketeeth

    Draketeeth Arachnoknight

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    Besides the fruit, was anything new introduced into the container? Might not make a difference, but what kind of fruit was it?
     
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  7. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

    The heat mat covered about 3/4th of the cage, it might have been that. I didn't find any burrowed in the soil. I'll remember about the vomiting being a sign of stress in the future, thanks!

    As for the food, I didn't give them anything out of the ordinary apart from the fruit. The fruit I gave them was a banana, which I usually gave them, but this time I had given them the peel as well. I heard that the peel absorbs more pesticides, but I foolishly disregarded that.
     
  8. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

    Update: I've moved out all the roaches from the main cage, except the 10 or so that died. All the once in the temporary enclosure are looking a lot better, more active, etc. The nymphs are doing much better than the adults, many of which I'm not sure will survive the night. A few adults are fine but the rest are acting twitchy and lethargic. I gave them a little bit of fish flakes, but apart from that I'm gonna leave them alone for a day or two.
     
  9. Matttoadman

    Matttoadman Arachnoknight

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    Will heat mats get over heated? I ask because in all my time keeping Eublaberus “pantanal” (possibly serranus), I have never witness that many visible nymphs. They seem very secretive. It’s almost like they are trying to escape something in the substrate?
     
  10. Lucanus95

    Lucanus95 Arachnoknight

    Is the enclosure well ventilated? Sometimes decomposing fruit can produce gas that'll suffocate the entire colony if the enclosure doesn't have much ventilation.
     
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  11. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    A good point and something to always be aware of. Rotting fruit or vegetation can produce hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, esters, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, all of which are toxic, heavier than air except for esters, and resist being displaced without forced ventilation. (Pooling)
     
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  12. tzpnm

    tzpnm Arachnopeon

    The enclosure wasn't really that well ventilated. I didn't realize that about the fruit, from now on I'll remove fruit more promptly.
    I've moved all of them to a new, temporary enclosure. All the nymphs appear to be better now, slower progress with the adults. The whole temporary enclosure is giving off a strong, ammonia-ish smell. I'm not really sure what's causing it, but I'm leaving the lid off at night to make sure it they are getting enough air.
     
  13. Matttoadman

    Matttoadman Arachnoknight

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    I have smelled the ammonia-ish smell before. It seems to me the result of dead roaches.