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Blatta lateralis can survive cold temps!

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by CJJon, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. CJJon

    CJJon Arachnoknight Active Member

    I had a small colony of about 50 not quite adult B. lateralis roaches that were left outside for 8 days in temps that dropped as low as 28F/-2C and max high of 50F/10C with the average of 46F/8C. For about half of the days the plastic container sat half buried in a pile of snow. It also had been rained on but not much water accumulated in the container, but it was very damp/drippy on the inside.

    After 8 days all roaches seemed quite dead and damp. It looked like some had started to deteriorate as there were legs and body parts in among the dead ones when I shook up the container to knock them loose from under the soggy egg crate. the container was then moved into a detached garage where the temp is a fairly constant 62F/17C.

    I think you might know where this is going...

    24 hours later I was gathering up garbage to take to the curb and grabbed the container from the garage to throw in the can. To my amazement about half of the roaches survived and were crawling around inside the container!

    I had always been nervous about keeping roaches as feeders and was skeptical about B. lats lack of ability to survive in my house. They might be hardier than people give them credit for!

    I am glad I switched to meal worms and super worms as feeders...
  2. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Why on earth did you subject those roaches to that? If you didn't want them anymore, you could have sold them...
    • Agree Agree x 6
  3. CJJon

    CJJon Arachnoknight Active Member

    Why on Earth do you assume it was intentional?

    Not that I give a whit about a bunch of roaches getting frozen.
  4. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    This is why most use dubia instead....lats IMO are capable of infesting a house....unlike dubia....but surviving and infesting are two different things. You could release these lats in your house, and unless its warm, they may exist, but cannot breed, so generally they just end up dying even if it is from natural causes...dubia require even higher temps to breed even than lats.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  5. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Well, that says all I need to know about you.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  6. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnodemon Active Member

    I don't think I've ever read that they can't survive cold temps. What they don't do is BREED in cooler temps. My colonies, which were thriving this summer, are now very depleted.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    No-one has ever said they can't survive cold temps IIRC, they can't produce oothecae if kept below 25°C though so not much of an infestation risk IME.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. CJJon

    CJJon Arachnoknight Active Member

    Indeed. I even stated that I "was skeptical about B. lats lack of ability to survive in my house". IOW, I understand that common knowledge is escapees cannot breed at normal household temps, but would anyone have argued they could survive after being frozen for 8 days?

    Anyway, I was surprised they survived the cold temps which seems extraordinary to me.


    Have you read they can survive outside in the snow in temps below freezing for days?

    Not sure why this has become a thread about the ability for B. lats to BREED in cold temps.

    Who has said they can survive being frozen for days? No one.

    My OP wasn't about their ability to breed necessarily, but it does make me rethink how hardy B. lats are and the possibility they may indeed survive long term and perhaps breed in my house.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2019
  9. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Oh, sorry, are we not giving you the recognition you think you deserve for this "amazing discovery?" :rolleyes:
    • Funny Funny x 4
  10. CJJon

    CJJon Arachnoknight Active Member

    There you go again making an argument where none exists. You are just being contrary. Who are you quoting here? Not me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2019
  11. Phia

    Phia Arachnopeon

    Lats are crazy good at surviving. I had given up on starting a colony and put the little lat bin into a cabinet, then proceeded to forget about it. (There were about five roaches left. I told myself I would feed them off the following day then .... forgot ....) Six months later my husband finds the bin and all five are still alive, lol. Living off cardboard and god knows what else!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnodemon Active Member

    Because it was mentioned that they could infest a house. I had two bins dumped in my house (once my cats fault, once mine) so if anyone should have a infestation, it's me. 6 glue traps = no problems.

    I've noticed that when anyone questions any of your posts in any way you get really defensive. It's not a personal attack dude, chill.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

    LOL. this sounds all to familiar... I had one waiting in the bathtub every day for like a month or longer after my cat released god only knows how many of the 5k i had in the bin.

    I have noticed similar hardiness in dubias. After getting a fly infestation in my colony which I was not able to reconcile, i banished the colony to the garage to slowly feed off. The garage began getting cold as winter came on and i believed that my remaining roches had all succumb to the cold so i dumped them out by the coup for the chickens and low and behold, a good majority began moving! (of course it was to late to get them back in the tub at this point - much to the enjoyment of the chickens)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. SavageCritter

    SavageCritter Arachnopeon

    B. lateralis are practically bombproof, and they can indeed breed inside a house kept on the warmer side, or in summer, as I know from (horrible) first-hand experience. I'm not shocked that they survived a period of extreme temps. Normally I'd feel bad for those roaches, but B. lats have been firmly categorized in my brain as a pest species at this point.
  15. KevinsWither

    KevinsWither Arachnolord

    Blatta lateralis are good feeders IMO. Not pests to me, they are almost like little cattle/goats/pigs. Just make sure to wear a mask/goggles for handling them. Ditto goes with any feeder insect tbh.
  16. I let my B lats enclosure cool (thinking it wouldn't matter) and had no ooths at all! Ended up giving them an under tank heater with thermostat and now they are producing again.

    I suppose they could infest a home -- I am just super careful. If I did have a major escape -- I guess I'd lay traps.
    Though, with my cat (and a few corner spiders), not sure how many could survive loose.

    The biggest help for me is replacing their rubbermaid keepers with new ones -- slick sides -- any microscopic scratches in sides can be climbed.

    My Ts and bearded dragon love them -- their fast speed is irresistible!

    Honestly I am attached to my B lats -- I know in theory they are feeders, but I feel they are pets in their own right. I get true joy in feeding and caring for them. I pick out dead ones that literally died from old age. I think they can live up to 2 years (guestimate) and I have more than I can ever feed out.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Introvertebrate

    Introvertebrate Arachnodemon

    You’v got to wonder what Kyle keeps his Blattella germanica in. A bullet proof vault? No cats in that room I’m thinking.
  18. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    That's interesting that they were able to survive the lows of 28F, but I'm sure they were active again as the temps got up towards 50F. I guess that short amount of time was enough for them to "harden" to the cooler temps and minimize losses. Considering where I've heard of them surviving before I can't say I'm super surprised. I wonder how much longer they would have had to be out for 100% mortality?
    • Agree Agree x 1