What happens when you find a roach that seems like an interesting insect that you don't want to kill? Don't worry- you're in good company. People all over the world keep roaches as pets. The reasons may vary, but the idea is the same- roaches are interesting creatures who are hardy and that need little care. With a little moisture and plenty of scraps to eat, a pet roach stays happy.
One of the many types of roaches that people keep as pets is an Australian cockroach called the rhinoceros cockroach. This roach is a little over three inches long and can live as long as 10 years. In Australia they are often sold under the name "macrobug" or "rain beetles" to avoid the stigma of cockroaches. According to BBC News, some owners of these roaches claim that they recognize their names when called.
The Madagascar hissing cockroach is another popular type of pet roach. This is one of the largest types of cockroach, measuring about three inches long at maturity. These roaches make a hissing sound when threatened, and occasionally a whole tank of them will hiss at once for reasons that aren't clear. Hissing cockroaches don't have wings but they can climb glass, making them an interesting pet to observe. They can live as long as five years in conditions are right.
Pet roaches can be hard to contain because they can flatten themselves to make an escape attempt. Many types of roaches can flatten themselves down to the thickness of a dime. When keeping pet roaches, use a glass or Plexiglas tank with a lid that fits tightly to avoid any escapes. Most roaches like warm temperatures and a loose substrate that they can burrow into. Wood shavings or compost are good substances to use as substrates. Pet roaches are inexpensive pets and require little maintenance, but they can aggravate the allergies of anyone in the household.
Supply a pet roach with a small water dish and add food to the enclosure regularly and remove any uneaten food after a few days and you have a happy pet to observe and interact with.