Isn’t cockroach the dirtiest, creepiest, ugliest creature on earth… why do you want a pet cockroach? Yes, if it’s just your ordinary garbage bin roach, you wouldn’t want them as pets. But if it’s a Madagascar hissing cockroach, it’s a different kind of feeling to keep! Madagascar hissing cockroach is clean, safe, and one of the easiest to take care of as pet insect. You’ll set the bar high if you have a Madagascar hissing cockroach for a pet.
Why a Pet Cockroach
Of all pets available, why would someone want a cockroach? Because it’s not just any cockroach; it’s an exotic cockroach from Madagascar, the only cockroach on earth that you can live with. They are very safe even for young children – no, they don’t pack a million germs in them, and they don’t bite too. They need only a tiny, tiny space in your room, and they don’t demand to be petted when you’re busy. Give them food, water, and shelter and expect them to welcome you any time you want without holding that sulking feeling on you.
Housing a Pet Cockroach
A Madagascar pet cockroach likes to live in semi-moist fine substrate like sterilized garden compost, although you can also use aspen shavings too. In a 10-15 gallon tank, lay 2 to 3 inches of substrate, which you could moisten by spraying water occasionally. This tank size should hold two or more hissers, which are pretty independent insects who like to be left alone in their corners.
To make your pet cockroach happy, place a rotting tree trunk in and some good size branch or stones for climbing and hiding. Their Madagascan natural environment is a moist rainforest floor with plenty of twigs and dead leaves for hiding; replicate this in your cockroaches’ tank and you’ll have a happy, long-living Madagascar pet cockroach. Just don’t forget to put the wire mesh lid on because they’re champion climbers.
Feeding a Pet Cockroach
Feeding Madagascar pet cockroach is easy breezy. It’s happy to eat your leftovers! You can give your pet fruits and vegetables (doesn’t need to be that fresh), banana or sweet potato peelings. And for its protein needs, you can give it cat or dog food. Since your pet cockroach’s abode is relatively damp, food leftovers could quickly mold, so it’s important to remove leftovers at once. For drinking water, place a shallow dish with soft sponge in it where your pet cockroach can suck for water.
Unique Madagascar Cockroach Characteristics
Don’t be paranoid to see tiny mites crawling on your pet Madagascar cockroaches’ body – it’s natural for them to give these mites a free ride. The mites don’t infest your pet cockroach, instead they keep it clean from food leftovers stuck in its exoskeleton’s nooks and crannies. You can remove the mites with a brush or a flour bath if you think they’ve over populated, though. Don’t worry if you have some crawling on you, too; they’re totally harmless to humans.
Another characteristic that sets Madagascar pet cockroaches from other roach species is molting. Don’t faint if you observe your pet cockroach one day sitting still on a log with a crack slowly appearing on its back. That means it’s ready to shed its grown out exoskeleton; your hisser is growing. You might want to keep a camera ready because your pet cockroach will emerge totally white from its exoskeleton – it’s one rare moment of your cockroach.
And of course, your Madagascar pet cockroach stands proud among the rest of its cousins because it’s the only species that can make the hissing sound, thus the name Madagascar hissing cockroach. They hiss when you hold them, fight over territory, or mate to procreate. It’s a neat sound they make by blowing air from their breathing valves in the abdomen.
Where to get a Madagascar Cockroach
Now that you know not all cockroaches are dirty, you might one for a pet. You can purchase a Madagascar hissing cockroach from online sellers, but the best way to get your pet is to visit breeders in your area. Visit an exotic pet store, too, to check if they have some for sale.
And remember, though tiny and slow, Madagascar hissing cockroach are also living creatures that deserves to live like you do. So take care of your pet cockroach well.