As leopard gecko owners, it can be hard to figure out what insects are best for your gecko. The best ones to feed are crickets, mealworms, and…. Dubia roaches! This article will show you everything you need to know about how to feed dubia roaches in a safe way.
Yes, leopard geckos can eat dubia roaches. Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they enjoy eating primarily gut-loaded insects. Leopard geckos are fans of live food, many choosing not to eat insects that aren’t moving. Dubia roaches help nourish and feed the gecko without being unhealthy for them. They are a leopard gecko staple food.
Now you know that leopard geckos do enjoy eating dubia roaches. Keep reading on to learn how to give these to your leopard gecko properly.
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How Many of Them Can They Eat Per Day or Week?
The amount of dubia roaches your leopard gecko eats will be dependent on a few factors, such as age, body length, and health.
Baby leopard geckos should be fed every day. They can be fed 5-7 small roaches every day until they get to be about four inches long. It equates to about 35 small roaches per week. It may go up or down depending on the needs of your specific baby gecko.
Juvenile geckos can be fed roaches that are a bit larger. Geckos of this age can be fed every day as well.
Meanwhile, adult geckos can be fed large dubia roaches. On average, these roaches get to be about 1. inches long. Adult geckos need only be fed every other day, and they should be given two insects per one inch of body length.
So, if you have a 6-inch leopard gecko, that equates to 12 dubia roaches every other day for feeding. It comes out to 48 roaches per week if feeding four days out of the week.
Your leo may eat more or less depending on their body length and appetite.
How Big Should Dubia Roaches Be?
You can buy varying sizes of dubia roaches for your leopard gecko, depending on the reptile’s age. Thankfully, dubia roaches are sold in varying sizes because many reptiles enjoy eating them.
For baby leopard geckos, you should look for dubia roaches that are about 3/8 of an inch in length.
When it comes to juvenile leopard geckos, you should opt for dubia roaches that are a 1/ 4 inch in length.
When it comes to adult geckos, medium size dubia roaches are OK. These size roaches get up to 1.5 inches long and are appropriately sized for adult leos eating every other day.
Leopard geckos love to eat dubia roaches because their bodies are soft, easy to digest, and the gecko has an easier time catching them than crickets.
Dubia roaches also do not smell, which makes them great for leos who take their time eating and easier on owners as they perform daily cleaning tasks like fecal matter disposal and old food removal.
What Are the Nutritional Values of Dubia Roaches?
Aside from being easy to keep, and odorless, dubia roaches are also very good for your leopard gecko. Some keepers even consider them better than crickets.
Dubia roaches that have been raised correctly and fed properly contain over 20% more protein and calcium than other feeder insects you can find for sale. Dubia roaches also contain a smaller amount of chitin when we compare them to crickets. It makes them much easier to digest.
If you plan on raising dubia roaches yourself, make sure you are feeding them properly to ensure good health for your leopard geckos. Good gut loading is also essential, and we will talk about that a bit later on in the article.
Their nutrition is also plentiful- thanks to the fact that these insects are easy to breed. They also reproduce quickly.
You can feed many leopard geckos and other reptiles if you are a huge herp fan and have multiple reptiles. Becoming adept at breeding these will ensure your leo eats well every meal.
Do They Need to Be Dusted with Calcium?
Yes, all insects that you feed to your leopard gecko should be dusted with calcium. Even though dubia roaches are very high in nutrients, calcium still remains a big deal in your leopard gecko’s diet. Personally, we use Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 supplement.
It is lead and phosphorus-free. It is easy to dust onto the dubia roaches- we simply put the supplement into a sandwich bag along with the roaches, shake it, and then empty the bag into the habitat. The leos love it, and their bones stay strong and healthy.
This formula includes Vitamin D3, which is excellent because our leos do not go outside too often. It is tasteless, odorless, and colorless and is a no-nonsense way for leopard geckos to get the necessary calcium.
Do They Need to Be Gut Loaded?
Yes, gut loading is necessary to make sure the leopard gecko gets the nutrients they need. Remember, these creatures do not eat fruits or veggies, so the way to get all the necessary nutrients to live healthily is done by eating gut-loaded insects properly.
The way to do this is to gut load the roaches at least 24 hours before you plan on feeding them to the leopard gecko.
Use a mix of leafy greens, veggies, and fruits to gut load. Use Vitamin A rich foods like pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots. For leafy greens, add calcium, kale, and broccoli.
Fruits are OK to use for gut-loading but avoid citrus fruit as these can make geckos sick if they eat insects that have been gut loaded with this type of fruit.
What’s Good About Dubia Roaches?
Dubia roaches are great because they grow quickly and are relatively easy to breed. If you have multiple reptiles, it is easy to set up a colony at home, and this will keep your leos fed without the need to buy them constantly.
The roaches come in a variety of sizes. You can find roaches that fit leos of all sizes, from those that are babies all the way to large adult geckos.
Dubia roaches are quite nutritious in nature, and they also lack an odor. It makes it easy on you as the owner and is much more pleasant for people who come to visit/others that reside in your home with you.
These insects also do not fly or jump, so geckos who are feeling a bit weak can still have something to eat.
What’s Bad About Dubia Roaches?
The “cons” of dubia roaches are that it is harder to find these in pet stores, ergo making it harder to get started breeding or buying them.
Secondly, roaches are often thought of as disgusting, even though we know we have to feed them to our geckos to ensure proper nutrition.
Lastly, we found they cost more than other staple foods for leos like crickets and mealworms.
Dubia roaches are a great way to keep your leopard gecko healthy and nourished. They are easy to breed and are loaded with nutrients. Proper dusting and gut loading will ensure stellar nutrition. If your leopard gecko could thank you- they absolutely would!