As long as hissing cockroaches are kept in a clean enclosure, and their food is replaced every few days, they stay perfectly clean. Bacterial growth is much less likely in a dry environment, in comparison to the damp spaces that house cockroaches live in. Mites are sometimes attracted by cockroaches, but these can easily be removed.

Hissing cockroaches as pets
The differences between hissing cockroaches and house roaches


Hissing cockroaches are named by their ability to make a sharp hissing sound, typically when threatened or when attempting to attract mates. Although they aren’t closely related to typical house cockroaches, are they just as dirty?

Hissing cockroaches as pets


When thinking of cockroaches, you may imagine the terrifying insects that invade homes and ransack cabinets, and are impossible to remove. However, some cockroach species are commonly kept as pets.


You may be interested in keeping insects as they are interesting to handle and observe, and have modest housing requirements. Madagascan hissing cockroaches in particular make good pets if you are new to keeping insects, as they have a docile nature.

Typically people keep multiple hissing cockroaches. A 5-10 gallon fish tank will house them comfortably. This will take up the edge of a desk or the top of a small dresser. They’ll need aspen wood shavings and some hiding places in their tank, which should be kept in low light. No heating pads are needed, as long as your room is always above 24°C/85F.


Hissing cockroaches should be fed lots of different fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a high-protein pellet foods. Dry dog food is sometimes suitable- but always consult an expert with specific brands before feeding your cockroaches. They’ll also need a shallow dish of water for drinking.

Hissing cockroaches live for up to 5 years, and will shed their exoskeleton 6 times before reaching maturity.

They can be a great pet for kids, as they are obedient and calm. They don’t move quickly and skitter about like other insects, and will tolerate you handling them.


The differences between hissing cockroaches and house roaches


Hissing cockroaches are not at all as dirty as house-infesting cockroaches, especially if you keep their enclosure clean.

House roaches live in damp, dirty environments such as sewers, bins, and bathrooms. They may move between places, and will leave behind bacteria and parasites they collect. The cockroaches do groom themselves, but the germ-filled environments they survive in makes this difficult.


In contrast, you will keep your pet cockroaches in an environment where it is much easier to stay clean. Dry wood chips are a much harder environment for bacteria to grow. You’ll just need to make sure to discard old uneaten food and their shed exoskeletons, as these could attract mites. Although mites are a part of the hissing cockroach’s natural habitat, you may be allergic to them. Watch out for the tiny bugs when handling your cockroach. To remove any mites, you can place the cockroach in a small dish of flour or cornmeal. This will knock the mites off.


Overall, the hissing cockroach makes a great pet for watching over and handling. They aren’t associated with the spread of any disease, and as long as their enclosure is kept clean, they will be too!


Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshop where your will be able to see, learn and interact with the insects and other wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more that will be perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about animals and have fun too.