Are you looking for a new staple feeder to try? Have you been interested in trying Dubia, but not sure about their care? Well, I'll give you a quick rundown on an easy setup to house and care for Dubia. They're probably one of the healthiest staple feeder you can provide your Bearded Dragon (and other reptiles), in addition to the fact that they move quickly to interest those stubborn Dragons!
Why are Dubia a great feeder and why they're so easy to care for? Well, Dubia Roaches (Blaptica dubia) are more nutritious than other staple feeders in terms of the protein they offer. Dubia don't climb, don't fly, don't make noise, they don't smell bad like crickets, and they have very long lifespans!
When you're ready to get started, head to www.dubiaroaches.com and use the code BEARDEDDRAGONBOX to take 10% off your first order! They have a wide selection of feeders and supplies for every herper.
Supplies you'll need to get started...
A dark plastic bin with smooth sides. They like the dark, so avoid getting clear bins. They also won't be able to climb the smooth sides, so you don't have to worry about escapees when you open the lid. You can get this this one at Lowes for $7.98. I'd recommend getting two, so that you have an extra bin to transfer your Dubia to when you're cleaning your bins. Cut a medium sized rectangular hole in the top and attach some mesh to it to allow ventilation for your new Dubia colony.
Next, you'll need a heat source. Dubia thrive at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32C). You can purchasethis small ceramic heater on Amazon for $14.99. You can use the Digital Temp Gun that you have for your reptiles to make sure your Dubia aren't being overheated or purchase an extra thermometer. Keeping your Dubia at his temperature will promote breeding, as long as you are feeding them and keeping them hydrated.
You'll want to get a few Egg Flats (5 or so) to stack vertically inside your bin. Make sure they are not too tall -- give yourself a few inches between the top of the Egg Flats and the top of your bin. You can cut them with scissors. You want to do this to give them a place to stand. When the Dubia colony grows they will crush each other if they don't have places to go to stand. You can purchase Egg Flats like these for about a dollar a piece at gotdubia.com.
Make sure you don't put water in your Dubia bin or they could drown. Instead, you need to get polymer water crystals or some sort of water gel. You can purchase this Cricket Quencher on Amazon for about $2.99! It's healthy for your Dubia and they will know to go to it when they're thirsty. You can put the cricket quencher in an overturned deli cup lid, other shallow dish, or purchase a special dish from one of the feeder dealers such as dubiaroaches.com or westcoastroaches. We've used both of their dishes and highly recommend either of them!
As far as diet is concerned, you can purchase a special Dubia diet from many online retailers. A simple Google search of "Dubia Diet" or "Dubia Chow" will show you many results. You can also purchase any simple insect gutload food for them, such as this High Calcium Cricket Diet that you can get on Amazon for $3.59. If you want to add nutrients to it, you can purchase Calcium Powder, Multivitamins, and Other Supplements. Try to avoid adding anything high in protein to your Feeder's diets. Another great item that people can buy is the item in the picture, which is Total Bites by Nature Zone, and it includes food and hydration in one container for your feeders. It smells good and it does the job!
And that's it! They don't require anything more than that and you don't need to check on them regularly-- they'll actually breed faster if you leave them alone for a bit. If you want, you can add orange slices and lettuce to your Dubia Colony's food dishes. Fruits like Oranges help promote breeding. Remember to clean your Dubia bin out every week or two, and you can also purchase cheap safety masks so that you don't inhale their frass (droppings). Some people have been known to develop an allergy to their frass over time. Now you're ready to start your own Dubia colony :)
Feel free to ask questions or add your own tips to Dubia Care in the comments!