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HomeHissing Cockroaches as Pets

Hissing Cockroaches as Pets

Hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa), also known as Madagascar hissing roaches or hissers, are relatively large insects that are known for their ability to make noise and their ease of handling. Hissing cockroaches make ideal insect pets, as they are easy to care for, inexpensive, and make interesting captives.

How big can a hissing cockroach get?
Hissing cockroaches start life as 1/4"" nymphs (baby roaches), and can reach adult size at 5-6 months of age under the proper conditions. Large adult males may measure up to 4 inches in length, and weigh almost an ounce!Hissing cockroaches will grow throughout their lives, and shed their exoskeleton when they do so. Young roaches will shed much more frequently than older animals. After your pet hisser sheds, it will be soft and white for several hours. madagascar hsising cockroach cockroaches for sale joshs frogs molting
How long can a hissing cockroach live?
Hissing cockroaches typically live 2-3 years, but can live up to 4 or 5 years with excellent care.
How should I house a hissing cockroach?
Hissing cockroaches are very easy to house - they certainly do not need much room! 1-2 hissers can be housed in something as small as a 1/2 gallon container, as long as it has adequate ventilation. A group of hissing cockroaches should be housed in a 10 gallon or large habitat. A screen top is a must, in order to prevent escapes - these roaches can easily climb glass. Some may prefer to place a layer of petroleum jelly along the top inside rim of the enclosure, to keep the hissers from reaching the top.At Josh's Frogs, we use coconut fiber, kept slightly damp, as a substrate. We also provide a piece of cork as a hide and climbing obstacle for the roaches. Coupled with a small food and water bowl, your hissing cockroaches are sure to thrive!Hissing cockroaches are fine at room temperature, but will grow and breed much faster if kept warmer, up to 95F. You may wish to use a heat pad or heat lamp in order to provide them with warmth.We strongly recommend housing your pet hissing cockroach in a  Josh's Frogs Hissing Cockroach Kit. IMG_20140227_113502
What does a hissing cockroach eat?
Hissing cockroaches are not too picky about their diet. Many people feed dry dog or cat food - we prefer Josh's Frogs Roach Rations. Fresh fruit, such as banana, apple, strawbetters, orange, etc should be offered a few times a week. Leafy greens (such as collard, turnip, and mustard greens) are also a great treat. Remove any uneaten fruit after a couple days, so that it does not spoil in their enclosure.
How do I breed hissing cockroaches?
Well, you put a male and a female together and . . . they have babies! There really is not much to breeding hissing cockroaches. Hissers can reach sexual maturity at 3 months of age, although 5-6 months is more typical. Just make sure you have both sexes (males have much more pronounced 'horns' than females - pictured below), and give them time. A female will have up to 3 litters a year, with each litter consisting of 2-3 dozen little nymphs. The female hold eggs inside her body until they hatch, about 60 days after the hissing cockroaches mate. Josh's Frogs recommend keeping hissing cockroaches warmer (80F - 90F) if you wish to breed them. With older animals, males typically display prominent horns on their head.

 madagascar hsising cockroach cockroaches for sale joshs frogs sexing

Hissing cockroaches can be sexed at a much younger age by looking at their rear from underneath. Males have 3 smaller segments at the rear of their abdomen, while females have one.

Where are hissing cockroaches from in the wild?
Hissing cockroaches are from the island of Madagascar, where they live in a tropical/subtropical climate in rotten logs and the leaf litter on the forest floor.
A Note on Shipping
Due to state Law, Hissing cockroaches cannot be shipped to Florida
Links of Interest
Looking for further reading? Check out these sources on Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, linked below! Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Care, from A very basic care sheet. Hissing Cockroach Care Sheet. A basic care sheet from Petco. Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Wikipedia article with some neat information, including hissing roaches in the movie.