Tropical roaches originate from warmer, moist environments.
Tropical Cockroach Facts
They will reach adult size in 6 months, under ideal conditions
Average Adult Size
up to 3 inches long
Average Life Span
1 to 3 years with proper care
A well-balanced roach diet consists of:
Romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, apples, carrots, and occasional overripe fruits.
Things to remember when feeding your roach:
Fresh, clean, chlorine-free water should be available at all times.
Appropriately sized habitat to accommodate normal behaviors and exercise, with secure lid
Habitat – provide hiding areas using non toxic plants, branches, logs or cork bark; maintain high humidity by misting daily.
Substrate – mulch-type commercial material such as coconut fiber bedding, dampened sphagnum moss and reptile bark.
Temperature - temperature between 75-95°F; use an under tank heater.
Lighting – cockroaches are nocturnal and have no special lighting needs. Don’t expose them to direct sunlight for long periods of time. To view cockroaches at night, use a black or infrared light.
Water - use a commercial cricket waterer or a water bowl. Use chlorine-free water and place stones in the bowl to prevent roaches from drowning. Commercial water drink (gel) is a good alternative water source
House adult cockroaches together but do not house different cockroach species together.
Appearance & life cycle
Male cockroaches have large horns behind their heads while females have very small horns. Cockroaches are nocturnal (active at night). Handle cockroaches gently; while they don't bite, they do have sharp spines on their legs. Juveniles must molt several times before reaching adulthood; once grown they do not molt again.
Change water daily. Mist habitat several times daily to maintain high humidity. Replace substrate every two weeks.
Grooming & Hygiene
Cockroaches have a waxy coating; always wash your hands after touching your cockroaches, and avoid getting the coating into cuts and scratches.
signs of a healthy animal
Body is rounded and full
Active and alert
Discharge in mouth or eyes
Common Health Issues
Symptoms or Causes
Health Issue Dehydration
Symptoms or Causes Slow moving, shriveled appearance
Suggested Action Consult your exotic animal veterinarian and spray-mist the habitat more frequently
Talk to a Petco store partner to an associate about the Petco library of books on roaches.
Talk to a store partner about our many private brand items available for the care and happiness of your pet.
Because all invertebrates are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your invertebrate and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for an invertebrate and should consider not having an invertebrate as a pet.
For more information regarding invertebrates and disease, contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets.
This care sheet can cover the care needs of other species.
Note:The information on this care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources below or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.
Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.
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