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Average: 5 (1 vote)

eclerka-belka's picture
Written on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Pssst, guys!

Wanna take a look at a family of hissing cockroaches? I’ll try to dispel the myth that these guys are ugly and disgusting. They are really cute! I had 8 cockroaches in general, but not at the same time.

Our story:

When my future husband and I were about to move in together, his friend gave him the first Madagascar hissing cockroach. We called him Antony (it was the first of two Antonies we kept). He lived in a glass jar at first. Then, we moved him to a cockroach terrarium. After a while, I took the roach and his new home to my apartment. Everyone was joking that I wanted to live with my significant other, but the roach was the first to move in with me.

Then, my future husband joined us, but not alone. He brought two other hissing cockroaches and a Goliath birdeater. This time, the cockroaches were of the opposite sex. We called them Stephan and Dasha.

After a while, our Antony died. And I don’t even know why, we followed all the recommendations our friend gave us. Everything seemed to be okay.

Dasha followed him.

They both just fell on the ground, rolled over and shivered. I tried to flip them, but they fell again, and then they died.

So our Stephan was alone, but not for long. Three other cockroaches, including Antony the second joined him soon enough (yep, we have a very generous cockroach-keeping friend).

During the move in period, I accidentally left a door open cat ate one of the cockroaches. He managed to escape, and I only found half of his body. Yes, I’m such a bad owner…

For about a year, our pets behaved pretty well together. Then, two cockroaches died. Maybe it was because of their age, since we took them when they were adults.

Once, we even had a fugitive cockroach which managed to live 2 months by himself, in our kitchen.

I called him Jake (after the character from the Dark Tower)


In the terrarium, he lived about a year and a half (I’m not including the 2 months he spent as a hobo).

I didn’t know his true age, because he was big when we took him.

My cat was spending a lot of time near the terrarium. He probably hoped to eat Jake, but no such luck.

Our cockroaches lived in a terrarium my husband made for them.


On the bottom, we put coconut fiber substrate. We also put a few branches in there. It’s nice and my cockroaches loved them! They spent most of their time on them and only went to the ground when they were hungry or thirsty. Jake liked to sit on the terrarium walls.

We sprayed the tank twice a week in order to maintain humidity. The cockroaches prefer warm temperatures.

What to feed them?

These guys are omnivorous. You can feed them bread, carrots, beetroot, apples, cabbage leaves and even dandelions. Stephan used to take the latter in his ‘hands’, like humans do.

How to determine gender differences?

You can see the difference by looking at their abdomen, but it’s too difficult for me. The easiest way to determine the gender is to look at their head. Males have two little horns.

So, I’m glad that I had such little friends. They are really cute and absolutely not ugly. I hate regular roaches, they are disgusting, but these were clean, I knew they weren’t dumpster divers, so I had no problem holding them in my hands. They weren’t afraid of us and never hissed.

However, I won’t get new cockroaches since their lives are so short and I was always sad when one of them died. Maybe we did something wrong due to our lack of experience, who knows. But in general, these are wonderful pets and I can totally recommend them!

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eclerka-belka recommends Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

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Category: Other Pets