Wholesale Roaches was founded to meet the market demand for quality, abundantly available, affordable Blaberus discoidalis (Discoid) roaches.
How does one become a cockroach farmer? What depraved and twisted life leads someone to hoard bins full of 1000s of very large cockroaches? For me it started with a seemingly harmless question “Hey baby can I get a Tarantula?”. Although my wife looked at me like I was crazy, after a bit of lobbying I was granted permission… Six months and 37 Tarantulas later I had to figure out how to reasonably feed my growing collection.
As most do, I started with crickets. I took a dislike to crickets rather quickly due to them being prone to early death and horrible odor. This had me running to the pet store before every feeding to ensure fresh feeder crickets. Next on the list was meal worms. I had the perfect storm of a very tiny sling going into molt and a hidden meal worm that had turned into a darkling… the tarantula lost the exchange, and that incident abruptly ended my use of meal worms. This brought me to wax worms. They were cheap, readily available, easy to store…They were perfect! That was until I discovered the rancid smell of a wax worm left past 24 hours. What options did I have? What do other people do? For the short term I went back to crickets and my search for the perfect feeder began.
The internet was full of suggestions and possibilities. It quicky became apparent that the preferred choice feeder is cockroaches. Mostly Shelfordella lateralis (Turkestan, Red Runner, Rusty Red, Red Lat) and Blaptica dubia (Dubia, Orange-spotted roach, Tropical Spotted Roach, Guyana spotted roach, Argentinian wood roach). NOPE!! NOT A CHANCE!! The thought of cockroaches was repulsive. The thought of having a single cockroach in my house literally churned my stomach. However, the data was impossible to ignore. I could find no other readily available feeder that beats both the nutritional profile and ease of care as roaches.
Okay, deep breath, let’s give it a try. I placed my order for 50 Dubia roaches for $15 and waited patiently for them to arrive. Two weeks later nothing. I contacted the vendor and they said they could not ship to me because I live in Florida. They had not communicated this to me nor refunded me. They simply took my money and waited to see if I would ever ask for a refund. They told me about Discoid feeder roaches but they also told me they were sold out, and that was the story everywhere. Apparently “Sold Out” is the number one product for discoid breeders. I turned to local pet stores and reptile shops: Sold out, Sold out, Sold out. About two weeks into my search, I had a friend that was able to pick up a container of 15 nymphs for me from a local store. I finally had the unicorn Discoid cockroach in my hands, well, in a container in my hands anyway. I attempted my first feeding and nothing. It was a bust. I dropped the roach in, the T jumped about as much as I did when the roach attempted to crawl on my hand and then the roach buried itself. WTF! I was determined to figure this out. I went to Google and YouTube for how to get this done and by the time the container was finished I had a good handle on the process. The problem was I only had half my critters fed and no Discoid roach supply available for more, so back to crickets I went.
During the next couple of months, a container here or there of Discoids would become available and I would snag them immediately. Supply was not the only vexing point. Paying around a buck each for a cockroach was leaving a sour taste in my mouth, figuratively of course, so I decided to breed my own.
Acquiring breeder Discoid roaches is an adventure I will leave for another post, but we have spent a year acquiring every breeder colony we could and let them do their thing, breed like roaches! This has led to a building full of high-quality food for my Ts and a new business. I bet my wife sure wishes she had said no!