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Roaches are feeling like a waste of money..

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by kryptix, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. kryptix

    kryptix Arachnosquire

    Ok, maybe it is because I have to buy them at a petshop for a buck a piece, and that I don't have a colony. I have to crush the heads so they don't burrow, and my T's don't even bother with them, so they eventually die and I toss em.

    My 4.5" Ornata bites them then runs and hides the rest of the night, P.Murinus ate one about a month ago, none since, and my Rosie ate one about 2 months ago and nothing since.

    I can tell my Ornata is hungry when she comes to ground and waits, so I have thrown a roach in there a few times when she is like this, and she runs at first, then comes down very slowly and feels it, bites it sometimes then runs again. I started throwing crix in again and they were devoured in a second, Ornata has eaten 3 today.

    I don't know, maybe I just need to start a colony so it won't matter if a few die :rolleyes:
  2. testdasi

    testdasi Arachnoangel

    Yup, precisely. I found some of my T's suddently refuse roaches. I have no idea why.

    I have a colony though so any dead dubia goes into the compost.
  3. NinjaPirate

    NinjaPirate Arachnosquire

    My Irminia is the same way. Got him to eat one, but he mostly ignores them.

    My OBT on the other hand devours them without mercy.
  4. Krazy Kat

    Krazy Kat Arachnoknight

    I've been feeding my T's Dubias from a starter colony I ordered from the net.I crush the heads as well and with some of my tarantulas I cut one side of the legs off because it seems as if the six moving legs bother them.When your T's get hungry enough they will eat..I would try to buy a starter colony and stop paying a buck for each.With a growing colony you have different sizes to feed and that helps a bunch..
  5. scottyk

    scottyk Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I've been coming to the conclusion that there is no one perfect species of roach if you have a diverse collection. For me, the arboreals seem to be more inclined to go after the winged roaches. I'm now culturing and feeding three species. For me, the startup costs were well worth it. I have plenty of free food now, and spares to sell and trade. Also, rotating out three groups keeps me from depleting any one colony.

    My breakdown is as follows:

    B. lateralis- Lots and lots of soft nymphs. These have become my "go to" feeder for small slings, and the small winged males are great for half grown arboreals.

    B. discoides- Adult males and females have wings, and I feed these to my large arboreals. The nymphs are similar to Dubia, but less crafty and prone to digging. These guys also work for large terrestrials that don't take to Dubia.

    B. dubia- The big, meaty adults are gobbled up by my Rosies, Birdeaters etc. The nymphs are great for larger slings. I also like to use these for slings that will eat pre-killed. They are easeir to catch than the lats as well.

  6. I feed MY T's mainly on B dubia
  7. Just buy a real spider that appreciate food!! ;P

    Blondi FTW!!
  8. Everything I own eats dubia now. Some almost starved before they decided to eat them, but eventually all of them gave in.
  9. Beardo

    Beardo Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Among the thousands of spiders I've had over the years, I've never had a spider that wasn't in premolt refuse a roach.....and I've used several species as feeders with Lobster Roaches being the main one.

    Some scorpions on the other hand were not too keen on them though.
  10. Don't generalize too much. It's not a "roach" problem. It's a problem with the particular species you are using, which I would guess is duba. I don't know why people rave so much. T's don't like them. Only really aggressive feeders do well eating them, and pinching their heads just guarantees that when the tarantula refuses to eat, the roach is wasted. I think it's very silly to have to starve your T's to get them to eat, and then do all sorts of magic squeezing their head just the right amount and then when you have any degree of success declaring dubia the best feeder ever. They kind of suck, actually.

    If you use lateralis or lobsters, both of which are way cheaper and reproduce much faster, you won't have this problem. T's actually eat them.

    Dubia are great pets. Terrible feeders. If you want a really large roach for a feeder, I'd suggest a more active roach, like Blaberus bolivensis or one of the other Blaberus. Also not a perfect feeder, but much more likely to be eaten than dubia in my experience.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  11. Another thought: it doesn't make sense to feed roaches if you don't have a colony. On an individual basis they are not better feeders than crickets. In fact, in my experience T's like crickets best of all feeders, and you know they are cheap and easily available.

    People use roaches because it's convenient to have a colony instead of always heading to the pet store. That's their one advantage.
  12. Skullptor

    Skullptor Arachnobaron

    I have a dubia colony and and a couple of T's just wont' eat them. One is an Ornata also. :confused: He's a skinny male and I usually give in and feed this one crickets. I live in a really small town and because I use to visit the bait shop so frequently, now I just walk in and hand him a dollar and he lets me go back there and get what I want. This is only likely to happen in a bait shop and their prices are always cheaper than the lps. So it's always worth a try to make friends with your bait shop person. I think he likes that I keep his cricket population from exploding when fishing is not in season. :}
  13. RoachGirlRen

    RoachGirlRen Arachnoangel

    I agree with most of your comments about dubias - lobsters and turkistans are much better feeders unless you have large T's that you are feeding adult Dubia to; I find the most practical use of dubia to be herps, not inverts. However, I respectfully disagree with the "one advantage" statement.

    It definitely doesn't make sense price-wise to buy roaches individually, but roaches have many benefits beyond not having to run to the store. There is generally a greater ease of home-breeding (or at least in a wider range of conditions) compared to home breeding crickets, and the variety of species can cater to many different animals. More importantly, many species have a better meat-to-shell ratio than crickets, the variability in size from nymph to adult can feed a wide range of ages and species of tarantula, and unlike store-bought crickets, there is much less concern about your home-bred roaches having parasites, pesticide exposures from feed, and bacterial conditions that could be spread to your tarantula due to source or store practices.

    Just a note since we hear "meat to shell ratio" thrown around a lot without anything to back it, a search of a few websites gave values on % Protien in crickets between 17-21%, Moisture at about 70-74%, and Fiber (I'm guessing they mean Chitin) at 1-2%. The turkistan roach (my much preferred feeder) by comparison is about 35-36% Protien, 63-65% Moisture, and 1-2% Fiber. So we see that the cricket's composition is lower in protien and higher in moisture whereas the roach is much more "meaty." Granted moisture from prey is important to predator health, but I'd still prefer to get that much more "bang for my buck" so to speak when it comes to buying a feeder species.

    ETA: I should probably note though, I am a fan of nutritional variety whenever it can be offered; few T's feed on just one species in the wild, so when other foods can be fed to suppliment the staple, it is probably a good thing. I plug roaches often but ideally multiple food sources would be best.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  14. I can understand the negative sentiments towards dubia, but I have no problem at all and they are the ideal feeder for me.

    My main concerns when I first got roaches was non-invasiveness, climbing, and smell. I live in a very small apartment and my colonies are only a few feet from my bed. I certainly didn't want a stinky species, and I can't risk having a species that could potentially invade the building. So species like lobsters and turks are out of the question for me. Dubia made sense since they're cheap, easy to breed, non-invasive, and non-climbing. I started with 50, now I have like 1000 in 2 colonies. Almost no smell and no escapes, except for the occasional male jumping out. I feed them cat food and a wide variety of fruits and veggies, so I know my inverts are also getting a balanced diet

    All my inverts take dubias, pokies (including P. ornata), roseas, OBTs, scorps and pedes, they all love em. Plus I've worked out a system where I never waste a headcrushed roach. I know that some of my inverts are like roach vacuums, so I always feed the more finicky inverts first. If my P. cambridgei isn't hungry then I'll just give the roach to my N. chromatus who I know won't refuse it.
  15. GailC

    GailC Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have to agree with all Scotty has said with the exception of the discoids because I don't have them. The lateralis for arboreals and slings, dubia for the larger terrestrials and some of my slings that are big eaters.
  16. equuskat

    equuskat Arachnoprince

    Everything I own eats dubia without any issue. Sometimes I buy pinhead crickets for my tiniest slings, but I don't have to do that very often. I've never had a problem with dubia, and I certainly don't think that they are "terrible feeders". I think they are way better than crickets, but I would definitely not pay $1 each for them from a pet store every time I needed to feed my inverts. I'd buy crickets at $0.12 each if I didn't have a colony.
  17. scottyk

    scottyk Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I do this as well. I have a couple of t's that almost never refuse anything, and they get the pinched Dubias if my fussier eaters won't take them...
  18. james

    james Arachnobaron Old Timer


    I have a lot of spiders and even more roaches. I use pretty much lobsters and dubia for my spiders. I will admit dubia are more of a general purpose roach and I use them for my dragons, etc... I mostly feed lobsters to my T's because the climb and usually do not burrow. All the spiders suck them up pretty fast. Fo the dwarf species I just crush them up a little and they suck out all the guts and have fat abdomens afterwards. Your can breed almost any species in a 5 gallon bucket with very little effort.
  19. Elytra and Antenna

    Elytra and Antenna Arachnoking Old Timer

    I've reared and kept a ton of spiders and have never had troubles feeding roaches (on the other hand crickets often die without being eaten or can hurt a molting T). If the tarantula isn't hungry the roach simply lives in the cage till the T decides it's time to eat it and does not stress out the tarantula like crickets. Admittedly, I don't give massive adult roaches to anything but very hungry big Ts. If you fed a 3" cricket to your T, 9 times out of 10 it would it eat the spider (the issue at hand sounds like a combination of impatience and oversizing prey).
  20. all my large adult pokies and haplo's,parahy.eat adult dubias like crazy.