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Why Are Dubia Roaches Illegal in Florida?
Dubia roaches are a very popular feeder insect for owners of all kinds of reptiles. They have a lot of benefits, from their nutritional value to how easy they are to keep in colonies.
But for reptile lovers in Florida, it’s not that easy. Florida has outlawed dubia roaches statewide. But why? And what options does that leave you with?
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the dubia roach debacle. We’ll also offer some alternatives so you can get your reptile pets everything they need.
Dubia Roaches in Florida - No Dice!
So what exactly is the deal with dubia roaches in Florida? The state has punished anyone buying or selling dubia in the state harshly in the past [https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/01/30/Florida-man-busted-over-roaches/33571296403938/ ], with hefty fines and even jail time. What gives?
Dubia roaches are incredibly easy to keep in captivity. Their inability to climb walls and general laziness makes it very easy to keep them in one place. And most places in the US, if they were to escape, the climate would almost definitely kill them.
But not in Florida. Florida’s climate is almost perfect for roaches to survive and reproduce. This has worried state officials for a while. Because, if by some accident, a colony of dubia roaches were allowed to escape into the environment, it could be disastrous.
Here’s why. Dubia roaches, like most insects, are capable of reproducing very quickly. If released into an environment where they could reproduce, they would quickly spread and become invasive.
While it’s not clear what effects that might have in the long term, invasive species are never good. They often disrupt food chains, become crop pests, and in some cases, spread disease. Because we can’t predict what would happen if wild dubia roaches began spreading across Florida, the smart move is to prevent it from happening.
Hence, it’s illegal to bring dubia roaches into the state. But where does that leave you, the reptile owner in need of easy feeder insects? Let’s talk about some alternatives to dubia.
What Are Some Alternatives For Dubia Roaches?
In short, dubias:
- Are nutritious for reptiles
- Are really bad at climbing
- Have a long maturation period
- Don’t need much to survive
This makes them ideal if you’re going to have a dubia colony. Particularly, because they mature slowly, they’re great if you have reptiles of multiple sizes. When you go to pick out a few roaches to feed your pets, you’ll always have the right size feeder.
So what can we find that checks the same boxes?
Most similar to the dubia, discoid roaches check all of the same boxes. First, let’s check out their nutritional facts.
- Moisture: 66%
- Protein: 20%
- Fat: 7%
- Fiber: 3%
- Ash: 1%
- Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio: 1:3
Comparing to dubia, discoid roaches have almost the exact same nutritional value. They’re both high in protein and low in fat, making them a good everyday feeder for lizards like bearded dragons.
Discoid roaches have one major benefit over dubias - they do not cause respiratory problems like dubias. The frass from the dubias will become immediately airborne, and can cause allergies. Discoids do not have the same issue, and generally do not cause allergenic reactions.
Both dubia and discoid roaches could benefit from added fiber and calcium, but this can be solved through gut loading and/or dusting. Overall, discoid roaches are very healthy.
Furthermore, discoids are just as easy to keep and breed in captivity as dubia roaches. They can’t climb walls, and though they have wings, they don’t fly. They also mature in a similar timeframe as dubia roaches. Best of all, discoid roaches are legal in all 50 states!
Black Soldier Fly Larvae
Another viable option for replacing dubia roaches are black soldier fly larvae. These wingless wonders are high in protein and calcium, and easy to keep. Here’s an overview of their nutritional value:
- Moisture: 61%
- Protein: 17.5%
- Fat: 14%
- Ash: 3.5%
- Fiber: 3%
- Calcium to Phosphorus ratio: 3:1
So like dubia and discoid roaches, black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) are a great high-protein food source. They grow a lot over their larval stage, meaning you can pick out grubs to suit reptiles of any size. And their calcium content makes them perfect for supplementing your pet’s diet with a nutritious snack.
As far as keeping them goes, BSFL are fairly easy. Most folks keep them in a composting bin, feeding them kitchen scraps. They will grow until they’re almost ready to pupate, at which point they’ll exit the compost bin via a specially-designed ramp. At this point, you can easily collect them and feed them to your pet or chickens.
As composting grubs, they’re easy to keep outdoors. For folks who are worried about feeder insects escaping in their house, this is definitely a plus. And, you get the added bonus of using them as a garbage disposal for all your kitchen scraps. BSFL can eat just about anything, including meat, dairy, citrus, and even animal waste.
Between these two friendly critters, any reptile owner should be very satisfied. They’re both healthy, easy-to-keep insects. Best of all, you can order them easily from us!