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Let's talk about Cleaner Bug Crews!

This topic comes up in various conversations, and we thought we should give you our stance on this. Do you need them? No. Can you have them? Absolutely! In short, that is really up to you. We decided very early on that for us, it doesn't make sense. We're in our bins daily, we sort roaches and feed and water the masses, and cleaner bugs would get in our way of breeding, sorting and raising roaches. We generally don't really have anything for them to clean up LOL

That said, we can see this as a benefit to those of you who want to add a Cleaner Crew to your colonies, especially those of you who don't actively interact with your Discoids daily. If you do decide to go that route, make sure that the cleaner crew you add is healthy and from a reputable breeder to assure you're not introducing issues into the colony. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Having a "cleaner bug" or cleanup crew can be beneficial in a Discoid roach colony setup. Cleaner bugs are other small insects or arthropods that help with waste decomposition and maintenance within the enclosure. They aid in breaking down leftover food, feces, and other organic matter, contributing to a healthier and cleaner environment for the roaches.

Some common cleaner bugs that are often used in roach colonies are:

  1. Springtails (Collembola): Springtails are tiny arthropods that feed on decaying organic matter and help to keep the substrate clean. They are excellent at breaking down waste and preventing the growth of mold and fungi.

  2. Isopods (Woodlice, Roly-Polies): Isopods are small crustaceans that are also effective scavengers. They consume decaying plant matter and help with waste management in the enclosure.

The presence of cleaner bugs can promote a more balanced ecosystem within the colony and reduce the risk of mold or bacterial growth due to excess organic waste. However, it's essential to keep in mind that cleaner bugs also have their own needs and must be provided with suitable conditions to thrive.

If you decide to add cleaner bugs to your Discoid roach enclosure, here are some tips:

  1. Choose appropriate species: Select cleaner bugs that are small and peaceful, which won't compete with the Discoid roaches for resources. Springtails and certain isopod species like dwarf white isopods (Trichorhina tomentosa) are good options.

  2. Provide a suitable habitat: Ensure that the cleaner bugs have a proper substrate, hiding spots, and adequate moisture levels to support their needs.

  3. Avoid overpopulation: Start with a small number of cleaner bugs, and observe how they interact with the Discoid roach colony. Avoid introducing too many cleaner bugs, as they might outcompete or disturb the roaches.

  4. Supplemental feeding: While the cleaner bugs feed on waste and decaying matter, you can also provide them with occasional supplemental food sources like small pieces of fruit or vegetables.

Remember to research and understand the specific requirements of the cleaner bugs you choose before adding them to your Discoid roach colony. Regularly monitor the enclosure to ensure that both the roaches and cleaner bugs are thriving, and make any adjustments as necessary to maintain a healthy and balanced environment.

We hope this helps if you're on the fence or just curious :)


Mel & Chris

Luna Roaches

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