Roach Articles by Takeshi Yamada, Brooklyn, NY


To prevent outbreak of “Bad Mites”, and control the “Bad Mites” population, I have been using following methods. These systematic techniques seem very effective.

1. Use chicken bones as “Mite Bate” to attract them. Get rid of the chicken bone with mites on it with a pair of tweezers within a few days (before the chicken bone dries).

2. Replace the (moist) old foods within a few days. Hissers need some kind of food all the time. Nevertheless, placing raw, fresh, moist foods more than they can finish within 24 hours is “too much”. Place ground dry dog food on small plastic cups/trays as their basic daily diet.

3. Keep the tank floor as dry as possible.

4. Do not spill waters outside of “chick water” or low-rise water dish with sponge in it.

5. Do not spraying too much water with an atomizer. Do not spray directly onto the “Hisser Apartments” made of toilet paper roll cores.

6. Clean the tank floor (their fecal pallets) periodically. Although Hissers and their fecal pallet do not produce any offensive smells, it is a very good idea to periodically scoop out their fecal pallets at the bottom of their “apartment section” with a large spoon. I do this every few weeks for my 300 Hissers in a 10-gallon tank with a big spoon.

7. Get rid of the substrates. (I have no substrates for some of my tropical pet roaches’ tanks.) Otherwise, do not place too much substrate that holds too much moistures and waters.

8. Clean the entire tank completely when above methods failed. (See the step by step comprehensive cleaning method I use in my other article.)

9. Warm up the tank “from the bottom”. The best way to control the mite population is keeping the tank floors dry. Recently I have been very successful on new method I introduced. During the winter months, I place the tropical pet insect tanks on a wooden table by the heater to keep the tank warm up “from the bottom”. This also keeps drying the tank floors very effectively and consistently despite the high humidity inside of the tropical pet insect tanks.

(10). One of the professional Hisser breeders uses “pill bugs” or better know as “rolly-pollies” in their Hisser Tanks to control mite population. I have not tried this method yet but love to know the results when you tried it.

Breeding pet insects is one of the most popular hobbies (for both children and adults) in Japan. Among them, the Japanese Bell Crickets (Suzumushi) are so popular that they are even sold at department stores and drug stores all over in Japan. Suzumushi is truly the king of all the singing insects in Japan and being loved by people for many centuries. There is also a Buddhist Temple called “Suzumushi Temple” in the ancient City of Kyoto where some 50,000 Suzumushi sings all year long to welcome worshippers of Buddha with their absolutely beautiful singing. There are also many websites dedicated for Suzumushi and its cultural entomology. Some of the websites have videos and sounds of Suzumushi singing.

Many people who breed Suzumushi in Japan report that they are disturbed by seeing the Ashibutokonadani breeding rapidly in their tanks. To breed Suzumushi, moist substrate is absolutely necessary for adult females to lay their eggs and the eggs to grow/hatch into nymphs. Thus, their substrate becomes ideal breeding ground for these “Bad Mites”. It seems those parasites eat foods of Suzumushi and dead Suzumushi on the ground during the warm/hot seasons. Nevertheless, those “Bad Mites” do not feed on the eggs of Suzumushi during the freezing cold winter season - the temperature seems too cold for them to breed. Unfortunately, I did not find any websites there describing how to control those small devils yet. I assume people get rid of them by simply disposing old foods where they gather.

Good luck to you and your pet insects!
(c) Takeshi Yamada 2002


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