How To Breed Cockroaches

Breeding Overview

Most cockroaches are oviparous, with the eggs being located outside of the mother’s body. This commonly referred to as “live bearing”. The eggs are carried in an egg sac (ootheca), which are attached to her abdomen. Often the eggs are hidden or dropped just before they hatch. Other species carry their eggs after they are born.

Some species continue to carry the hatching eggs and care for their young after they are born. It is important that this egg sac remain moist otherwise the eggs will not develop properly. If low humidity conditions persist for long periods the productivity of the colony will reduce or stop breeding. Some species are ovoviviparous, with the ootheca located inside the mother’s body.

Newly hatched roaches, are known as nymphs. When born their exoskeleton has not hardened and is white in color. At this stage they are prone to dehydration. Shortly after birth the exoskeleton hardens and they resemble small, wingless adult roaches. Nymphs undergo a number of molts before becoming adults. The period between each molt is known as an instar. Each instar results in the cockroach becoming more adult like. Some species live for a few months, others live for more than 2 years.

Conventional Methods

Below is how many people breed cockroaches using old conventional methods. In the following section we outline how we have streamlined and automated many of these methods:

  • Place toilet roles or egg cartons to one end of a plastic tub and place food and water at the other end. A free source of egg cartons can be obtained from take away stores (i.e. McDonalds) or baking stores.
  • Food consists of a bowl of wet vegetables/fruit, a bowl of dry food (see dry food page) and a water bowl. Some people put pebbles or hydration crystals in the water bowl to prevent cockroaches from drowning.
  • Place a heat source to one end usually a light. We suggest a heat mat or heat coil to be placed under the container,  as it creates a more diffuse heat source. Heat will want to rise, so it moves up through the whole container.

Below are other pages to help establish an cockroach colony:

Efficient Methods 

Conventional methods described above are messy and make cleaning difficult. Our systems have a number of innovations summarised below:

  • Food and Water Dispensers which feed your animals for you.
  • Significantly streamlined cleaning and maintenance activities. This allows all your cockroaches to be removed from the container with ease (and no escapees), allowing quick and easy removal of detritus.
  • Find out how to quickly separate detritus and cockroaches.
  • Food trays allows for the removal of all food and water items together, saving time.
  • A method to separate cartons, food and water from detritus areas. This significantly increasing the life of cartons and food.
  • How to manage cockroaches so they are efficiently  contained and minimises escapees.
  • Specially designed containers which increase air flow, removes toxic odours and  maximises heat retention.

Need More Information…

For a comprehensive summary of all the ways to  breed more cockroaches with less effort see “The Complete Cockroach Breeding Manual” page.

© Zega Enterprises 2013 ,  ©  Photographs, diagrams and tables by Glenn Kvassay or as credited 2013