How To: Clean a Roach Enclosure

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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I cleaned out my lobster roach enclosure today, so I figured I'd show y'all how to do this.

First, you need to take into account how you keep your roaches. I keep mine on eggcrates and toilet paper tubes, more tubes than crates. Always take the toilet paper tubes out first. To do this, give it one good shake. The roaches should all fall back into the tank.

Before:

w

After:



If you shake the tube vigorously, the roaches could fly off. Using the 'one hard shake' method ensures the roaches all end up back in the tank.

There really isn't a good method of getting them off the eggcrates, but I just tapped them off by shaking the crate upside down over the tank.

After I cleaned off all the paper parts, this is what the bottom of the tank looked like:



You can see the dead adults mixed among the frass. The colored rings are caps from bottled tea (about twice the height of a milk cap) that have been in there ever since I started the colony.

To lure the adults to the other side of the tank, I simply used some rice left over from last night's dinner.

Don't ask me how I managed to burn rice...it's a long story.



With the adults occupied, I simply scooped out the frass into a ziploc bag.

However, there's one major problem with this which every person who owns a roach colony must consider. Actually, in my case...there's about 10,000.

How do you seperate the nymphs from the frass?

There's one incredibly easy way to do this...

...you don't.

I simply placed two paper towel tubes in with the nymphs and frass. Every 10 minutes, the insides of these tubes cover themselves in nymphs. I simply shake them back into the tank with the adults.

Here's the bag:



It remains to be seen whether or not the roaches will chew through the bag, but there's no shortage of the types of airtight containers you could use.
 

Bayushi

Arachnoprince
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Cool deal. that's almost exactly what i do with my B dubai when i clean the tank
 

ideas1

Arachnosquire
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Thanks I was just wondering this the other day. My colony is small.
 

Gesticulator

Arachnoangel
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Great how to, Chesire.
But, is it really necessary to clean, aside from uneaten food remains and picking out carcasses?
 

Mister Internet

Big Meanie Doo Doo Head :)
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Great how to, Chesire.
But, is it really necessary to clean, aside from uneaten food remains and picking out carcasses?
It's not necessary to be obsessive about it, but I have a colony of 3000+ dubia myself, and once the substrate/frass reaches a certain "critical mass" it can start to retain moisture, which causes mold and a nice "funk" that sort of cancels out the roaches' superiority to crickets in the smell department. These are the main reasons I clean out every 6 months or so.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Great how to, Chesire.
But, is it really necessary to clean, aside from uneaten food remains and picking out carcasses?
Not really...but if you're in a position like me where you're constantly being shuttled from place to place without stopping, you just do all your maintenance in one big sweep, which is what I did here.

Plus, with a handfull of roaches dying on any given day things add up fairly quickly.

I left quite a bit of frass at the bottom of the cage, but the sickly sweet smell which permeated my bedroom is now gone.

The corpses should be your main target...the frass is relatively harmless. Even that does add up after awhile. I got about a half gallon of nymphs/frass/corpses out of a 10 gallon tank. This type of cleaning should be done ideally once per year...since my roach colonies are in my bedroom, I'm going to need to do this every 6 months.

My nose is still stuffed. There's no good way around allergy to roach frass. You just kind of have to deal with it.

I've never really had a problem with moisture buildup, but I can see how that would become an issue.
 

T-chick

Arachnosquire
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Feb 11, 2007
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I have a tiny colony of Lobsters...
But a semi tiny colony of Dubia/Discoids, (haven't crossed yet...)
How do you clean out the bottom of a tub with an inch of substrate in it?
Also what size tub do you use?
 

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
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How to Clean a Roach Enclosure

Dear Cheshire:

If powdery frass DUST is creating the problem an
ordinary dust mask might provide effective relief.
If you do have a true allergy to roach frass you may need
to wear a respirator mask while you clean it out.
My new "AllerG" catalog has several kinds.

It also has several kinds of room air purifiers.
If donning an ordinary dust mask while you clean frass out
(and airing the room afterward) is not enough you may need to make use of an "AllerG" catalog.

It may be unwise to just "live with it."
Allergies may get worse if you do that.
It is much wiser to run initial experiments with ventilation
and/or a dust mask-if these turn out to be insufficient you
should NOT let things go-and you don't have to.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Dear Cheshire:

If powdery frass DUST is creating the problem an
ordinary dust mask might provide effective relief.
If you do have a true allergy to roach frass you may need
to wear a respirator mask while you clean it out.
My new "AllerG" catalog has several kinds.

It also has several kinds of room air purifiers.
If donning an ordinary dust mask while you clean frass out
(and airing the room afterward) is not enough you may need to make use of an "AllerG" catalog.

It may be unwise to just "live with it."
Allergies may get worse if you do that.
It is much wiser to run initial experiments with ventilation
and/or a dust mask-if these turn out to be insufficient you
should NOT let things go-and you don't have to.
I don't have a day-to-day allergy to roach frass. Only when it's stirred up. I didn't consider a mask when I was cleaning the enclosure, but I could see how a mask or goggles could be warranted.

Wal*Mart, that great corporate evil of all things cheap carries packages of dust masks.
 

epr0gress

Arachnopeon
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Feb 24, 2007
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Hello,I`m new to this. Please explain something:
1. Is necesary a substrat?
2. A source of water is necesary?(I haven`t see one in this pictures)


Thanks!
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Jul 7, 2005
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I've seen an increase in the number of roach threads in the past two weeks or so, and I thought this would be a good time to bump this up.

To answer Eprogress's questions (a while late, I know...sorry).

1.) Substrate is only neccessary for Blaberus, Blaptica and other related species. I have not found Nauphoeta to need any substrate. They're about as hardy as you can get without being infestational.

2.)I do not include a constant source of water (I do strongly reccomend one, though) and instead give them an entire apple once a week.
 
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