B. Lateralis care sheet

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
This is the care sheet I sent out with each of my B.Lateralis orders (now sold out, thank you for your orders!). I thought it may help the users here :)

BLATTA LATERALIS CARE SHEET

You will notice I sent a healthy overcount of roaches; I want to see everybody succeed with this roach, and starting off with diverse genetics is a plus. That's the reason for all the egg cases with your shipment.

Once you get your roach colony going, you will be amazed at how easy it is to have a steady supply of roaches for your bug eating friends. Not only will you have to fight the urge to go out there and buy all the insectivores you want, but you'll also want to spread the word about roaches to all your insectivore keeping friends! Crickets are a thing of the past, my friends...

Okay, here's a comprehensive look at what worked for me with these roaches. I researched and experimented for months to come up with this set up. Example photos will come separately right after this mailing.

SHOPPING LIST:
Glue gun
Stick glue for the glue gun
A popsicle stick
Scissors
Fine mesh screen
Wire shelf, shorter in length than the bin (see pix, mine is about 3/4 bin size)
LOTS of unused egg crates; the big square kind are the nicest.
Small paper plates
Bag of natural peat or ground sphagnum moss (BE SURE THERE'S NO FERTILIZER OR OTHER CHEMICALS IN THIS)
Bag of sand (REMEMBER, YOU WANT ALL SAND, NO COLORS OR CHEMICALS)
Spray bottle
Electrical tape
Small zip ties
Heat rope (I use the 14' length, only 25 watt for my big bins)
Electrical tape
SMOOTH packing tape

THE BIN
I use a BIG Rubbermaid container for my roaches; the biggest one I could find (31 gallons). Put packing tape around the top of the bin like I have pictured. Just wipe the packing tape every other day or so. This guarantees that even when your bin sides are dirty, the packing tape area will still stay slick so they can't climb out. Packing tape stands up well to moisture.

Get your scissors, the glue gun/glue, the fine mesh screen, the popsicle stick & the sandpaper. Take the lid and cut it out like I have. (for best reproductive speed, cut out only half like I did; the bin will stay warmer.) Sand a little all around where you will attach the screen to the inside of the lid, then dust off the crumbs. Cut the screen to fit,
and glue it to the lid, lightly zipping the popsicle stick over the glue while it's still hot to mash it in the screen and ensure a good seal.

HEAT & STANDING ROOM
Take a look at pic #004. The white thing under the crates is an upside down wire shelf I bought at Wal Mart. (That pic is my B. Dubia set up) You want that shelf under your crates to protect them from getting wet and stinky from constant contact with the roach's moist substrate. Put as many egg crates as will loosely fit on there to eyeball how many crates you can put on there. You want the crates at least five inches from the top.

I have had great success with heat rope. It's cheap to run. You should be able to see in the pix that I've put little holes through the container to run the rope through, then once I've run enough rope through I seal off the hole with hot glue and fasten the rope with electrical tape.

You'll see that electrical tape is wrapped quite far down the length of the rope inside the bin. (See #003) This is because I put it all the way down to the mark that shows where the rope heats up; B. Lateralis tend to nibble the cool portion of the rope, so this protects it. Don't put the electrical tape past the mark on the rope!

Zip tie the heat rope to the underside of the shelf, where the egg crates will go. Put a line of heat rope across the dry food dish; this will help keep their food dry. *Keep in mind that you don't want the shelf to pinch the heat cable!* Also, don't allow heat rope to touch itself, as it can overheat and pose a fire hazard. I also think it's a bad idea also to zip tie the HOT portion of the rope too tightly to the wire so it has room to expand. The roaches will be able to choose how warm or how cool they want to be by moving up or down the crates.

SUBSTRATE
Take everything out of the bin, and scoop in 50% sand, 50% ground moss. You want the substrate to be about 3/4 inch deep. Mix it up well. Mist the area that will be under the crates with your spray bottle; you want the substrate moist but not wet. Don't mist the feeding area.

PUT YOUR SET UP TOGETHER:
Put the upside down shelf with the heat rope on it in the bin. Put as many egg crates as will fit on the shelf loosely. You'll probably notice that I have two upside down shelves in my B. Lateralis bin; because of the extreme numbers of roaches in there, I need as many crates as possible.

Firmly nestle two paper plates on the empty side of their enclosure, and pat down the substrate around the plates so they won't be tracking it all over their food. You are doing this because these are non climbers, and you need to make it so even the smallest neonate can eat. You won't have to do this again; B. Lateralis NEVER dig. You will be changing those plates every other day, at the minimum.

Make sure your packing tape area is clean.

Now, plug it in and put the lid on! You are ready for your shipment... :D

CARE
B. Lateralis like it hot and humid. You can keep their heat rope on all the time until their numbers get to where you want. Then, plug the heat rope into a timer; I have mine set to be on for an hour then off for a half hour all day, then starting at 6pm, on for a half hour, off for a half hour all night until 6am to mimic the temp drop they experience at night in the wild. The hotter it is, the faster they'll breed for you. Once their numbers are enough and you are trying to slow their reproduction through lower temps, keep in mind that you never want them below 78 degrees for longer than one day, as it's detrimental to your colony...this is why they can't infest.

Pick up their egg crates (I pick up half at a time) and mist their substrate EVERY DAY. The heat rope will be fine; its made to handle this. If things seem too wet in there, you can hold off on misting for a day. You don't want their egg cases to dry out, but you don't want it sopping wet in there either. If your roaches start to have trouble moulting, you need to make it moister in there ASAP.

They eat all standard roach fare. They need dry food at ALL times; You could simply use NONMEDICATED chicken mash, but remember that corn is difficult to digest for most herps; Leopard geckos are an exception to this. I just buy Cricket food.com's roach food; it's by far the best, but you need to refridgerate it. It's nice to have a balanced roach diet already on hand instead of doing it yourself. The most important thing to remember about the dry food is to KEEP IT DRY, or your insects will end up with toxic gut contents. This is the reason for the section of heat rope over the dry food plate. Just scoop the dry food directly onto the heat rope. I provide fresh produce every day; oranges, apples, yams, carrots, zucchini & etc - they'll eat pretty much everything you want passed on to your insectivoire. If you are keeping these in your house like I am, stay away from stuff that makes you stink when you eat it, like cucumbers, lettuce, beans and etc. unless you are gutloading a small number of roaches, because gassy foods also are gassy foods to your roaches, haha...Don't supplement their food with calcium; its REALLY bad for them. Dust them instead just prior to feeding out. The females seem to appreciate occassional (once a week or so) jolts of protein. You can use fish food or dog food for this purpose. Don't use cat food, as it seems to make them stink. Try not to get the dog food with red dye in it; buy a brand with less tallow or fat, and little or preferably NO TAURINE. You want more natural ingredients. You don't need to grind it up, the females make short work of whole kibbles! :)

YOU MUST WASH ALL PRODUCE WELL WITH WARM WATER AND DISH SOAP! ASSUME EVERY UNWASHED PIECE OF PRODUCE HAS INSECTICIDES ON IT!

NEVER let their produce rot or their food/produce get mouldy. This may kill them, and some moulds (like the aspergillus found in their dry food if its allowed to get damp) are very toxic; the roaches may be fine, but the toxins can build up in your herp. Keep the food fresh and clean. This is why you need the screen in the lid; keep the screened side over the food area to help that area stay drier. If you start having trouble with mites despite your best efforts to keep the food area dry and the food changed, just put gobs of gray isopods in there. They eat mites, clean up moulted skins, and eat all the dead roaches your colony doesn't get to first.

Clean the packing tape area by wiping it off every other day or so. These are non climbers, but if the bin sides are dirty or mite infested, the little ones can grip it and climb. Some ppl use vaseline, others use that bug stop...I've tried both, and neither one is nearly as good as plain old packing tape for non climbers, because it stays slick with just wiping it. The down side of bug stop is you need to reapply it every so often, and thats a REAL pain! I don't know if the packing tape works with climbing species, but it works like a charm with any non climber.

I can't think of anything else to include in this care sheet right now. blaberus.com has great, comprehensive care sheets too if you want to read up further, and the owner is a joy to deal with. Also, 'Richie the Roachman' has an amazing selection http://www.angelfire.com/oh2/Roaches/Roachman.html

Thanks again for your order!

Y
Pic of upside down shelf (B. Dubia enclosure)

Pic of empty set up with heat rope

Pic of B.Lateralis lid

Pic of B. Lateralis bin (raised THOUSANDS in this 31 gallon bin; heat rope across the food is missing because this was taken before the idea of putting the rope across the food to keep it dry)
 

Dom

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
665
Thanks for that!! It will help alot of us newbies out.
I just got some lateralis and dubia (thanks James) and I'm loving them.
One of the things that kept me from keeping insectivores was the cricket situation. Now that roaches are here I'm going to have to hold myself back:D .
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
I know; it's a shame...I have the same problem you will soon have. I have Dubia and Lateralis as well; bought my initial starter roaches from James.

Thank goodness I sold most of these Lateralis-there was nothing to hold me back from stocking up on the insectivores once my cricket problem disappeared, haha!
 

jojobear

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
137
YJHB said:
I You can use fish food or dog food for this purpose. Don't use cat food, as it seems to make them stink.
Is this for all brands of cat food or just the cheap ones??? Or is this a B. lateralis specific issue? I have been making my own "Roach Chow" for a number of reasons. One is I know what is in it and two is it is cheaper for me in the long run and three I always have the ingredients on hand. I have been using cat food in it and haven't found a problem with smell. But I am also using a more expensive brand of cat food that has no dyes or fish in it. I just wait for sales and coupons and it ends up being about the same price as cheap stuff (my roaches eat better than I do). :) Just curious...
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
My Lateralis roaches (I had THOUSANDS) descended from approximately 75 individuals I bought from James in early May. I've only been into roaches for that long. So, I've only tried one brand of cat food called Castor and Pollux, a rather expensive brand that is all natural, the first ingredient being chicken. They breed like crazy on the cricketfood.com stuff (no, I won't make any money or friends if you go there)

Lateralis like it humid and moist, with a substrate composed of half sand, half sphagnum moss...I mist the substrate every day, so it's prone to developing odors. The addition of this cat food seems to push it right over the edge, but this is the only brand I tried. As long as I use it in small amounts, everything's okay. They aren't as protein hungry as orange heads. When they do devour a moulting roach it's usually a male, which is alright :)

No fish in the cat food helps with the odor? Jeez, this brand has herring meal as the third ingredient :(

No wonder...

Oh, one more thing...if you keep touchy herps like chameleons (I have three) then be careful of the corn content; it is harder for your herps to digest. Here is a good article on the subject in the off chance you haven't read it. http://www.chameleonnews.com/gutload.html
 

Beth-Tex

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
260
Good info there for folks who want to get into the roach breeding project.:)

As for me.....well.....maybe I seem to have the "touch".......'cause I do not mist the lateralis nor do I keep them constantly above 78 degrees & they are breeding like crazy......I had gotten an initial 10 a few months ago just to see what they were like & now have a couple of hundred.......I don't use a heating pad as they are kept at room temps just like my dubias (of which I have wayyyyy toooo many).....maybe I am just lucky in all of this.......we have the heat come on usually around 75 & it turns off at around 77.......(since we are a bit arthritic we don't have it too cold in the house in the winter)......sometimes depending on situations, we have the heat up to 78.......but the roaches seem to be just fine with this.....since they are breeding so much, it is a blessing to slow them down a bit.....hehe

As I said.....this all may be just a fluke.....but in my case.....if any of the lateralis got out on me, they would probably infest the house because they are breeding just fine at our house temps......but.....that is just my case.....

I just got back from a trip to Calif & took some of my baby Ts with me as my T sitter only took care of the larger Ts. In order to feed my babies & not have to buy any food, I took my lateralis with me (in a smaller container) & they did just fine in the car on the way there & back. I did not pay any attention to heat other than for my own comfort & that was fine with the roaches. I really like the lateralis, they seem to be hardy & are quite pretty. Their staple diet is ground up Canidae & Chicken Soup for the Dog Lovers Soul Dog Food.......these are premium dog foods & are natural ingredients. We feed this food to our dog. For moisture, I mostly use the water crystals which are kept in the enclosure at all times & I add apples or carrots or other veggies a couple of times a week. Seems to be working.:)

Beth :)
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
After selling these for a bit, I was told by an individual who has been in the roach business since the mid 50's (Richie Roachman) that this species can become a pest in the following states- California, Arizona, Utah and Texas. I stopped selling them to ppl in these states. You are in TX. You raising Lateralis over there is akin to me raising oriental roaches (pest in PA) over here. Of course I wouldn't need to modify their enclosure much, they can live outside it, yikes!

I did try to lower the humidity in my Lateralis bin - with disasterous consequences...many died as they tried to moult, and many more lost legs during their moults. It was ugly.

Sounds like you REALLY are great with roaches! My Dubia aren't taking off as quickly as I hoped, but their colony is finally big enough to feed some off; I have 800 now out of 100 starting individuals in April.
 
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GoTerps

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Sep 18, 2003
Messages
2,115
As for me.....well.....maybe I seem to have the "touch".......'cause I do not mist the lateralis nor do I keep them constantly above 78 degrees & they are breeding like crazy
I also do not keep my B. lateralis moist.

I have a very large, successful B. lateralis colony that is kept completely dry. Kept around 80 degrees. Only moisture that is provided is from fruits and veggies. They do great like this and breed like crazy.

The above colony is on pure dry peat, but I've recently seperated off a second colony that is on no substrate at all, so far so good.
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
Instead of the underhanded remarks (thanks for the flashback to junior high), how about following my lead and trying to be helpful? I cannot allow my Lateralis to dry out...they lose legs and lives. I would love to know how to safely dry them out. Also, they CANNOT live in my house. They do die. It is not pesticides, because they die in the same room they got loose in. Which is good; I am not crazy enough to keep thousands of a species of roach in my house if it could survive the conditions outside its bin. Feeling smart now?
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 18, 2004
Messages
2,242
To add some stuff to this(I am also in CA)...what would be the lowest temp these guys can stand? Mind volunteering a few roaches for an experiment?
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
dtknow said:
To add some stuff to this(I am also in CA)...what would be the lowest temp these guys can stand? Mind volunteering a few roaches for an experiment?
Here's a great link to care sheets. http://www.blaberus.com/Documents/Roach Care sheet.pdf

James Tuttle says in this sheet that "dropping most tropical species below 70F for anything longer than 24 hours is asking for trouble", and Roachman Willis tells me (as I reiterated above) that Lateralis have been identified as pest species in California, Arizona, Utah and Texas. I do not feel smart enough to argue with the experts.

Alternatively, you could ask Beth - she's feelin' lucky today, antagonizing me and feeling smarter than the two top sellers of roaches. :)
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
Connecting the dots here - if the Blatta Lateralis roach happens to be kept by individuals living in the right areas of the aforementioned states, what this means is they CAN live outside their bins perhaps long enough to breed. So, it would naturally follow that few modifications to their bin environment would need to be made by owners keeping them in these geographic areas.

As far as the misting thing, I was instructed by James (owner of blaberus.com) that they need misted every day. Within three months of setting up my bin with 75 or 80 some odd Lateralis, misting them usually every day, I was literally overrun with half mature nymphs. Within 4 months, I was giving them away to my friends. Within five months I was selling thousands of them on the Internet.

Maybe my method doesn't actually work, what do I know. If anyone else can truthfully say they have better results with a different set up in states that Lateralis is NOT a pest species, please by all means speak up. I posted here to try to be of help. Hopefully, my post was of help to somebody. So far I've heard a lot of opinions... from ppl who live in regions Lateralis are known to infest. Good for them, Lateralis can live okay with no modification to their bins for these ppl. Maybe I should get in on the infestation station craze and start up a colony of German or Oriental roaches IMMEDIATELY!
 

Dom

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 20, 2005
Messages
665
Hey YJHB,
I don't think Beth-tex is trying to antaganize you, just stating an observation. Since the species is known to become a pest in Texas it makes sense that they wouldn't have to heat them or provide extra humidity.(S)he may not realize that many of us come from areas where the humidity and temps are quite low. Right now the room with my roaches is 62F and a humidity of about 25%, certainly not ideal breeding conditions for most bugs.The room will get colder and drier as the winter progresses. I'd like to see any kind of egg make it through incubation with a 25% ambient humidity.

Your care-sheet is great for those of us who live in areas where we have low humidity and temps.

An observation I have made is that I put a singledubia and a single lateralis in a cage that fluctuates between the low to high '60's F. The dubia became sluggish and didn't appear to be in top form. The lateralis on the other hand seemed to be just fine. They may be a fairly adaptable species.
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
Beth-Tex said:
:D
Guess we have enough humidity. LOL

Beth
Actually, I took no offense until this comment which caught me at a bad moment...

They probably are very adaptable, but as you say the egg cases are the weak link.

Thank you for that - makes it so worthwhile to know someone liked the care sheet :). I put a lot of work into it.
 

Beth-Tex

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
260
*sigh*
:8o
I meant no offense at all.........am sorry if it came off as if I did......was only responding to GoTerps post..............trying to make a joke.......which fell flat. Sorry.

I am not a native Texan.......was born in Germany......raised there......have lived in North Dakota for a number of years......do know about cold & low humidity.....lived in California for over 30 years......only recently moved to Texas in 2000.......was only joking & commenting on the humidity here which I am NOT used to yet & the effect it has on bug raising.

Your care sheet is excellent & no disrespect was intended. I really did not think that my comments were cutting your hard work......was just trying to make a post & tell about my experience here with my bugs.

Beth :8o
 

YJHB

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
28
:8o
Sorry, Beth; I did take it the wrong way then. When you posted that single comment (I never got so touchy before, don't know what my malfunction was), I thought "is there something about TX humidity that's common knowledge?" Thanks for understanding :eek:

Anyway, probably the key to insane Lateralis productivity is keeping their heat source OFF their substrate. I found this out by accident when I first was keeping them and trying different things. My first set up had the heat rope attached to the egg crates (no good because you can't move them). Then, I moved the heat rope under the substrate at which point production fell WAY off.

Beth, over in Germany they are doing something with their day geckos that is wildly successfull. Their day gex have HUGE calcium sacks that are unheard of over here. It is thought that maybe they are using snails to achieve this. Have you heard anything about what they are doing? Germany and Europe in general are two steps ahead of us with their herps and inverts...
 

Anthony

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
217
I think your efforts and willingness to share them are much appreciated, probably more than you think.Thank you very much.
 
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