Egg crates are the most well known style of housing for dubia roaches. Why? These create a ton of surface area for the roaches to climb! More surface area mean more dubia roaches per bin. When running a business, this is extremely important. Typically I use the egg flat which holds 30 eggs.
There are two different styles of egg flats. I utilize the paper pulp style made from recycled cardboard and paper. The crates with a “+” on the bottom of the cell (egg holding area) seem to hold up better than the ones that come to a strict point. I believe this is due to the outside edging being slightly more fortified.
UPDATE: I have found egg crates that are "extra fortified" and plan to give these a try on my next pallet purchase.
But that’s not the point of this blog. The question has arisen to me, how many times can I reuse an egg crate in my dubia bins before I should throw it out?
Does bacteria build up in dubia roach bins when the egg crates are old?
I think so, I am going to test a few bins next to each other, one with reused materials and one with fresh crates. (I do not have a microscope to count bacteria.) If the crates get moldy then the experiment will have to cease and I will be changing out the crates. I predict the bin with used crates will have more dead than the one with fresh crates. In this test I am not looking for production levels on the breeders; although I will do my best to also note this. The dubia roaches will be tested over 2 6-week cycles.
Egg crates in Dubia roach bins results.
I never got around to posting this blog earlier, although I did run my test. What I have found was egg crates had a minimal effect on the overall roach health. I did find that immediate stress from changing containers into brand new crates, caused a few to die off within the first 2-3 days. I suspect that long term this still may have some effects. I did find that there was approximately a 10% increase in production for bins with cleaner crates. I also found that while cleaning the bins, the smell and amount of dust in the air was much less when cleaning bins with cleaner egg crates.