Cockroach Substrate

Many people become keepers of pet roaches as a byproduct of their pet reptile hobby. Indeed, my family keeps a small selection of reptiles and that has always fueled my own need to have a wide selection of colonies to cull feeders from. That said, the majority of cockroaches that I keep are raised exclusively for personal interest and for sale as pets. Our bearded dragons, for example, know not the taste of domino roach meat!

The purpose of this page is to discuss the differences between some of the roaches in the hobby and their care. Generally, the care of roaches nearly aligns with the taxonomic family in which a species falls. While there are several families of cockroaches (see Wikipedia link) that do not have much representation in the pet cockroach hobby, there are distinctly three that do.

Family Substrate Recommendation
Blaberidae Blaberus spp, hissers and a few others. Coconut Fiber Disk
Blattidae (often glue egg cases to bits of wood) Composite blend. 
Polyphagidae  Composite substrate. These feed primarily on leaves as nymphs.


We offer 4 types of Substrates.

1. Coconut fiber substrate disks are a cheap, sterile substrate option that hold moisture in when it gets wet. Simply add a cup of water to the disk and wait a few minutes. Continue adding a bit of water every few minutes until the substrate is uniformly hydrated. Our photos above show the amount of substrate that a single disk makes and it's more than you might expect from the smallish disks. $3.50 each.

2. Leaflitter with composite blend. This is the same as the substrate in #3 below but includes a sandwich sized bag of dried leaves. Termites now share the taxonomic Order Blattodea with cockroaches and many of your pet roach species will nibble on wood and leaflitter. A leaflitter component is especially important if you are raising polyphagidae or corydiidae family roaches (domino and question mark roaches, Burmese beetle mimics, Arenivaga, etc.). $15

3. For roaches our composite custom blend of just the right ingredients in a 3 pound shipment is a blend of coconut fiber, compost soil and small hardwood bits. $14

4. The "Composite + HW Cup" is simply the same as #3 above, plus a 2 ounce cup of perfectly decomposed oak wood flakes/sawdust. $16 for 3 pounds.

Please choose Substrate Type in the dropdown menu. (And please feel free to Contact Us and ask for a substrate recommendation for your pet roaches. Please note that substrate does always ship separately by priority mail, except the coconut fiber substrate disks which are small enough to ship with most orders.)

pet roach substrate
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  • Item #: bic796
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Price $14.00

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