When starting a colony of Blatta lateralis there are many important things you need to know, especially if you have never started a colony before. These roaches are actually taking the feeder market by storm because of the ease of caring for them. First off let's talk about what Blatta lateralis look like. Blatta lateralis are also known as rusty reds, or Turkistan roach. These roaches are small like crickets but they do not require perfect temperature or humidity like crickets do. They also do not smell or die off quickly like crickets tend to. Male lateralis are light colored with wings, and females are dark with no wings. Lateralis are fast movers so be prepared to chase them if they do escape. The upside to them being so fast is that they are fast breeders, because they lay eggs instead of live birth allowing your colony to grow at a fast pace.
Housing your Blatta lateralis is very easy. Any container such as a glass tank or plastic container works well with lateralis since they are non-climbers. Make sure that you have plenty of egg cartons in your container so that you roaches are able to breed. Also you need to keep humidity above 40%. You can get your humidity higher my occasionally misting your container with water. A heat mat can be placed at the bottom of your container of you can place a heat lamp on top of the container to keep a high temperature. The container's temperature should be between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You could also use a pre heated reptile room, nocturnal light bulb with a reflector, heat tape, human heating pad, or a heat cable to keep your container at the right temperature. Make sure you always keep mold out of your colony's container. Mold can destroy your whole colony.
Feeding your Blatta lateralis is also very easy. Lateralis will pretty much eat anything, but you need to keep in mind whatever you feed your roaches you will also be feeding your pet. Providing your roaches with a high protein diet will allow them to better feed your pets later. Dry cat food, whole grain cereal, baby cereal, fish flakes, or roach diet. You can use dry dog food but it does not have as much protein as the dry cat food. You can put their food in a small dish or in the corners of your tank. Strangely enough lateralis often take their food from the dish and move it to their hiding spots to eat. Water is also very important to the health of your roaches. Water crystals are wonderful to use because they are not messy like liquid water.
Blatta lateralis are wonderful feeder roaches especially for smaller pets such as, tarantulas, geckos, and baby bearded dragons. Any pet that you would normally feed a cricket to you can feed lateralis to. Lateralis also have soft shells so it makes it easier for your pet to digest and allows them to have a higher meat to shell ratio. It is best to allow your colony to fully grow before you start only feeding from it. Your colony should have at least 1 male to each 3 females, allowing you to feed your pets the extra male roaches. Following these tips and growing a healthy colony of Blatta lateralis will ensure that you can keep your pet healthy without spending a lot of money.