Dubia Roach Cleaner Crews
Dubia roaches are cleaner and more odor free than other similar feeders such as crickets. Even so, there is some potential for decay or mold in a Dubia roach enclosure. This could be due to death of some of the roaches or accidental wetting of the roach chow which could cause mold or fungus to grow.
Enter the cleanup crew! Our cleanup crew consists of Alphitobius diaperinus, commonly known as the "buffalo beetle" (not to be confused with the pesky carpet beetle, sometimes called the "buffalo moth") or the "lesser mealworm" since both the larva and the beetle resemble small mealworms and mealworm (darkling) beetles. Note that some sources sell what they call "buffalo beetles" that are actually Tenebrio Obscurus. These beetles are related to the Alphitobius diaperinus beetles that we sell in that they're from the same family in the classification tree, but are from a different genus and species.
The buffalo beetle life cycle is similar to that of most beetles: tiny eggs hatch into small worms which feed and grow until they're ready to pupate. At this stage they no longer eat and change into a shape that somewhat resembles the character in the old movie "ET", hence their nickname of "alien". After a short time, these "aliens" morph into small, black beetles.
The cleanup beetles have a long and interesting history. Some species are used by taxidermists and biologists to strip the flesh and skin from their specimens and leave the bones when they are needed for study.
The larval worms and beetles feed on dead Dubia roaches and moldy roach food. They don't harm the roaches and are not harmed by them either. If the beetles happen to get into your reptile cage, it will likely consume the reptiles droppings and dead skin, so it will clean up your reptile cages as well. Cleanup beetles have some other advantages as well: The larval worms may serve as another source of food for your extra small reptiles. So, get cleaner by purchasing some of our cleanup crew beetles (coming soon)!