Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (post in progress)

What are they?
Madagascar hissing cockroaches ("hissers") are large cockroach species native to Madagascar.  They are kept as feeders, as educational specimens, and increasingly as pets.

Are they the right pet for me?
  • Hissers can be handled and once they get used to it will not be stressed by handling
  • Hissers are not suitable for handling by small children or for extended periods
  • Hissers and their enclosure can host a diversity of mold species and so are not suitable for people with allergies or sensitivities to mold
How to keep them
Hissers are relatively hardy.  You will see people keeping them successfully in a variety of different habitat designs.
  • They should be kept in a tub or tank that will retain some heat and moisture, but with a mesh or perforated lid to allow some air circulation
  • Hissers can and will escape and their nymphs are small, so ensure there are no gaps they can squeeze through
  • They can be kept without a substrate but I would suggest using something like coconut fiber or tropical bark mix.
  • They should be given areas to hide and climb such as egg crates, branches, rocks, or tubes.
  • If they are being fed predominantly dry foods provide water via water crystal, droplets, or a wet sponge.  Small cockroaches (nymphs) will drown in open water dishes.
  • Keep the enclosure above 60 degrees, higher temperatures are better.
  • If you do not wish the hissers to breed keep only male
Things to know
  • Hissers molt (shed their outer layer) multiple timers as they grow.  Immediately after the molt, they are softer and white in color.

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