Do Dubia Roaches Smell?

Are you questioning if you should feed or breed Dubia roaches but doubt their smell? If you exploring feeder insect options or want to breed your own feeder insects, the smell is a valid concern. In this article, we do a deep dive into the smell of Dubia roaches and explore if it is a concern and how to deal with it. Do you have problems with a bad smell of your Dubia roaches colony? This article is also for you!

Dubia roaches almost lack a smell and a bad odour typically comes from the food you provide or the freshness of the furniture or substrate inside the enclosure. Dead roaches, wet environments, mould and sweet fruits can cause bad odour and haven’t anything to do with the roaches themselves.

If you have problems with any bad odour in your Dubia roaches, we will discuss here what causes it and provide tips to prevent bad smells.

Do Dubia roaches smell bad?

It may wonder you but cockroaches are particularly clean animals. They are often associated with dirty environments and with pest infestations in cities and homes. With Dubia roaches there is no difference. Dubia roaches are clean animals and almost don’t have any odour by themselves.

Of course, the sense of odour is subjective and some don’t like it anyway, but keeping feeder Dubias in your home — or even breeding your own Dubia roaches for that matter — doesn’t mean it will stink in your room or house. I worked with Dubia roaches for many years to feed a large collection of animals and never had much of a problem with bad odours.

So, why is it that you find posts on forums about bad smells? Maybe you have smell problems with Dubia roaches yourself. When there is a bad smell it often indicates some underlying problem. Let’s dive deeper into what can cause nasty odours within your Dubia roaches colony.

Keeping feeder Dubia roaches is easy and affordable, and quite fun too.

What can cause bad smell in a Dubia roaches colony?

Now Dubia roaches colonies can smell bad. Very bad. But this is caused not by the roaches themselves but by the conditions they are living in. As mentioned earlier Dubia roaches — like any cockroach — are clean animals and almost don’t have an odour themselves. But what can cause that nasty smell then? Here we mention the most common smell problems in Dubia roaches.

Food choice

Food is the number one cause of bad smells. And not particularly because of what kind of food they eat (although it is important to make a proper choice about what to feed Dubia roaches), but it is about what the smell of food itself is.

Fruits are good food sources for your Dubia roaches. But you properly have experienced the smell of fruit that has laid in the sun for too long and starts rotting. It causes a sweet but penetrating smell that isn’t particularly nice. If you have (uneaten) fruits laying in the enclosure for too long it starts to smell bad.

Other feeds that are provided quite often are cat or dog pellets. Now, your cat and dog eat them rather quickly and the odour doesn’t have the chance to spread. However, in a warm enclosure like one for Dubia roaches where it lays for a day or two or three, it will start to smell and is not a nice odour I can tell.

Foods you provide oftentimes provide a bad smell, especially when it is in the enclosure longer than 24 hours.

Cleanliness of the environment

Although Dubia roaches might be rather clean, humans are sometimes not. Dubia roaches produce waste in the form of frass (cockroach droppings). When you don’t clean the enclosure and environment on a regular basis it will start to smell. It is like not cleaning the litter bin of your cat. After a while, you will start smelling it.

Now it may that a couple of dead cockroaches have died, probably of old age. If they are in the enclosure for too long without cleaning them up will attract bacteria and mould growth which in turn starts to smell. Because Dubia roaches like high temperatures this process of bacteria growth can go fast and odours will quickly develop.

Ventilation and moist problems

Now it looks counterintuitive, but lack of ventilation causes bad odours more quickly. Without ventilation, the air becomes damp and fresh air lacking and increasing humidity is the perfect condition for mould and bacteria to grow. And this in turn can cause stinky odours.

Yes, without ventilation — the chance for (smelly) air to escape — causes more bad odours. Think of a damp cellar with stagnant air. That doesn’t smell that nice either. It is the same with a closed-off enclosure or insufficient ventilation.

Other problems…

If you have the above-mentioned causes in order and still your Dubia roaches colony has a bad smell it may have other problems. Have a close look at the health and condition of your roaches. When the roaches die too soon and are immature the problem may be a health problem. At least it is time for further investigation, but maybe it is good to let the colony die and start over fresh with new Dubia roaches.

Would you like to start your own Dubia roach breeding colony? I highly recommend you to read the extensive breeding guide I’ve written with lots of practical tips and personal experiences.

How to prevent bad smell

So, it is time to fight the smell! Actually, the causes described above will provide insights into how to prevent bad odours in our colony. But here we discuss them in more detail.

The first thing you can do is to refresh the food regularly, like daily or every other day. Don’t feed too much so there are fewer leftovers that can start to rot. This is especially with wet foods like fruits and vegetables. With dry food, it is less of a problem. However, avoid the dry cat and dog food because these foods have odours that smell more. Try to feed a chicken grain meal or oats. These foods don’t have a strong smell and keep bad odours outside the enclosure.

Keep the environment tidy and clean the enclosure regularly. Remove dead roaches as soon as you see them. However, with breeding Dubia roaches, tiny roaches like to hide and feed on frass. So, too clean of an enclosure impacts the breeding success of young roaches.

Incorporate a regular cleaning routine and refresh regular the substrate or cardboard that is used for hiding. If you only keep them for feeding and don’t have the intention to breed with them, you should place every new batch of roaches in a new and clean environment.

Don’t clean too much with water because roaches like dry environments and humid air cause the cardboard to rot faster. Keep the environment as dry as possible.

The enclosure needs proper ventilation so they have enough fresh air and bacteria and mould growth is prevented as much as possible. Proper ventilation also keeps your air and environment dry so your roaches can thrive and stay healthy.

Keep your Dubia roach bin clean and well-ventilated to prevent bad smells.

To sum it all up

No, Dubia roaches don’t have a bad smell. But yes, they can smell bad which is caused by factors in their environment. Things to consider are the food you provide and to refresh it regularly, keep the environment clean and provide proper ventilation to keep the air fresh and dry.

If you use these tips you keep the smell of your Dubia roach colony to a bare minimum. And if you have any odour problems, it is properly an easy fix. It makes keeping and feeding Dubia roaches so much more pleasant.

Much more to learn!

Want to know more about keeping Dubia roaches or any other feeder insect? I can recommend you to read our article about the general care of feeder insects. Want to take it to the next level and breed your own Dubia roaches? I’ve wrote an extensive Dubia roaches breeding guide packed with tips, tricks and own experiences. Definitely worth to take a peak.

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