There are several ways you can heat your dubia colony. What is best for me may not be best for you, but I have tried almost every way you can think of. Here are my top tips and tricks for heating a dubia bin.
Method 1: Using a heat lamp to heat your dubia bin
This is probably my least favorite way to supply heat to your colony and I would assume the roaches would agree. The pros of using this method is that the heat lamp will provide warmth from the top of the bin. This will allow the top of the bin, where roaches typically sit, to be and stay warm. The cons of this method is that a heat lamp uses a bulb to conduct heat. This bulb will shine light into the bin which can cause your roaches to be distressed because they do not like the light and prefer it to be dark in their homes. The heat lamp is effective at keeping one area of the colony warm while the others may still be cold. Heat typically rises, meaning that the warmth may not be reaching the bottom of the bin which then forces the roaches to sit at the top of the bins. The heat lamp can also run up the electric bill and the lamps will need to be replaced every few months.
Method 2: Using a heat pad to heat your dubia colony
This method rings in at number 2 on my list. I find this method to be simple and effective for commercial use and individual bins. There are several styles of heating pads on the market. I prefer the Flexxwatt heat tape. I use this combined with a thermostat to regulated temperatures inside the bins. Pros: This generates heat from the sides and/or bottoms of the bins. The larger the heat pad, the more the roaches can spread out. Cons: You will need to purchase a thermostat to go with your heat tape, making the set up cost quite hefty. Operation costs can be significantly high with the heat tape. Purchasing a fire retardant heat tape is something I highly recommend. Flexxwatt heat tape is an item that can be purchased through our website.
Method 3: Raise to room temperature where your dubia roaches are!
This is the most preferred method. When using this method, the entire room should be heated to a certain temperature that is optimal for roaches. Pros: Each bin will get the same even temperature, minimizing hot or cold spots in the bin. There is no risk of melting plastic bins because of extreme hotspots and the fire hazard risk is much less with this method. Cons: Using dry heat reduces the humidity in the air. Dubia roaches rely heavily on high humidity in order to molt and breed properly. Depending on the style of heat and the size of the room you are working in, your electric/gas bill may increase.
I am sure there are other ways to heat roach enclosures. These are just 3 that I have tried. For each method, there are pros and cons. Choosing what best suits your capability is key. If you are breeding dubia roaches for profit, be sure to factor in your overhead costs such as heat and set up costs. Let us know if you have a different way of heating your dubia colony or have tried one of these methods! Please leave any questions or comments for us at the bottom!