Backyard Brains Logo

Neuroscience for Everyone!

+1 (855) GET-SPIKES (855-438-7745)


items ()

Box of Cockroaches

Box of Cockroaches

18

$36.00

1 - 2$36.00
3 - 10$35.00
11+$34.00
Qty

Need an invertebrate for your Neuroscience experiments? Cockroaches make a nice entry level prep to listen and see spikes on our SpikerBoxes. Though you can buy crickets (which you can also use) at your local pet store, cockroaches (which have larger neural signals and are easier to take care of) may be hard for you to find. We are here to help. A dozen adult orange heads, discoids, or discoid/cranifer hybrids (whatever we have the most of). There is no limit!

For the necessary materials to care for your cockroaches, check out our Cockroach Care Kit

Shipping Information

Cockroaches are the happiest when they aren't in a shipping box for a long period of time. Therefore, we ship cockroaches out on Monday or Tuesday via 2-3 day USPS priority mail. This way they won't sit in the Post Office over the weekend. We ask that all orders be placed before 12:00 noon on the prior Sunday so we can get everything ready to ship out on time with our cockroach supplier (Yes, we actually have one). He lives in Arizona.

Order today to get your roaches by Fri May 05, 2017

Technical Specs

  • Box ships with one dozen (12) cockroaches. Packed with warmers in the winter months.
  • Non-Pest Insects (these are exotic South American roaches that do not thrive without proper husbandry--no worries about escapees taking over your home or school)
  • Length: 1-2"
  • Mean Lifespan: 2.5 years
  • Monogamous: No

How to Care for Your Cockroaches

Many users have e-mailed us curious, bewildered, and frustrated by their lack of education in cockroach husbandry. We know, we know, some skills are just not taught in today's educational system. But, here is a crash course how to take care of your humble cockroaches. With proper care your cockroaches can live 2-3 years, and you can even make a self-sustaining colony. Hatchlings take ~6-8 months to reach sexual maturity.

Technique

  1. We prefer to buy small terrariums from local pet stores (they cost ~$3-$5). You can see a variety of sizes here from our living neuroscience library. We have a few species that we keep isolated for some experiments. You can use any plastic container you have on hand as well, just make sure to make air holes. Discoid cockroaches cannot crawl on glass or plastic, so if your container is big enough, you don't even need a lid!
  2. Fill the bottom of the terrarium with soil. We use unfertilized potting soil we buy from the local hardware store for $1 per 5 lbs, but honestly, dirt from outside your house will work. The cockroaches enjoy burrowing under the soil.
  3. Throw in some toilet paper rolls and wood scraps for them to play in.
  4. For food, we prefer to use lettuce, as it provides water, and doesn't mold. We have heard that dog food is ideal as it's cheap and contains a lot of protein which will cause the cockroaches to grow faster. The dog food molded too easily in our attempts, so we have found that lettuce works fine as a sole food source. Carrots also work.
  5. Throw in your cockroaches. They prefer to be at 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. They can handle colder temperatures but will not grow very fast. Replace the lettuce every week or so, and enjoy your new easy-to-care-for friends! In the documents list on the left is a movie of a healthy sustainable cockroach colony. You can listen to their pitter-patter at nights when they are most active.
In extremely cold weather, we often get a lot of comments about how cockroaches are arriving seemingly dead. A thing to remember is that cockroaches are ectothermic, or "cold-blooded", they cannot control their body heat. If they are cold, their little bodies start shutting down systems and go into a hibernation-like state. This is why we use ice-water for anesthesia during our cockroach experiments; it forces their systems to temporarily shut down. Here is a simple guide for bringing back at least some of your cockroaches to life.

First thing you're going to want to do is put them into a container that absorbs heat easily. Cardboard takes a while to warm up, but an animal terrarium with plastic or glass warms up quickly when placed on a hot surface. Next, you are going to want something that gives off heat. Space heaters, radiators, or furnaces work well, just as long as you can set the container directly next to or on the heat. We want the glass/plastic to warm up so it speeds up the roach warm up.

Place the container next to the heater, keeping the heat at a steady rate if possible. Keep a close eye on them, you want to be checking on them every five minutes for a minimum of three hours. If you see any roaches that are moving, put them in a secondary "recovery" container away from the heat. You do not want to risk overheating their systems. Such movements may be subtle, something as simple as their antennae twitching, their abdomen throbbing, or just a slight leg movement may be a sign of them waking up. The roaches will want food so put food in the "recovery" container along with water gel.

If all goes well, you will have revived all of your patients, but do be aware this is not a miracle cure. Too much cold can kill them, so there is a chance that your cockroaches will either be fully dead on arrival or they will wake up, but be too ill for a full recovery and not survive long. Best of luck on your revival attempts!

Important: If you do live in a cold climate and have indoor heating, you have to be careful as the resultant low humidity will reduce the vitality of the cockroaches. We often tape a piece of wet sponge to the side of the cockroach cage in the winter months. If you notice your cockroaches making incomplete molts (dying while trying to molt), it's because of the low humidity.