Mystic Garden Exotics

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches - Caresheet*

Quick facts

  • Affection - none to minimal 
  • Difficulty of care - easy
  • Cost of care - minimal
  • Lifespan - up to 5 years (average 2-3 years)
  • Size - up to 4 inches long
  • Housing - 10-20 gallon aquarium with lid
  • Food - dog or cricket food, fruit and vegetables
  • Smell - none


  ♦ Caring for your Hissers

 housing Hissing roaches should be kept in a 10 gallon or larger glass or plastic aquarium with bedding 1-2 inches deep. Do not use cedar or pine bedding. I recommend Critter Care or something similar. For a more natural environment you can use eco earth or other dirt type substance from a pet store or clean dirt from your yard. Do not use sand, potting soil, or dirt that may have chemicals in it. They also enjoy having objects in the tank to crawl on and in such as bark, egg cartons, moss, rosks, etc. Hissers are from the tropical climates of Madagascar and do best in temperatures from 75-90 degrees. Hissers cannot fly but are amazing climbers. You should have a very secure screen type lid that covers the tank completely. If this is not possible, you can smear petroleum jelly all along the top on the inside of the tank so they cannot climb out. Hissers are odorless but, as with any pet, their cage must be kept clean to prevent possible odor from old food, wastes, and spilled water

feeding Hissers do well on a diet of cricket food or dry dog food supplemented with fruits and vegetables. They especially like citrus fruit. Don't feed them iceburg or other head lettuces. Ground up egg shells are a good source of calcium and protein. Water should be supplied in a shallow dish with a natural sponge, cotton, moss, or rocks if the bowl is too deep for them to crawl out of. Cricket water crystals are another option.

breeding Roaches are easy to breed. All they require is adequate food and water, housing, and temperature. To encourage breeding, a temperature of around 85 is ideal, along with good dark hiding places and a high humidity level.

behavior/handling These are very docile creatures. Depsite their intimidating hissing they are completely harmless to humans. They do not bite, sting, inflict any pain or emit any odors. They have small spines on their legs like many insects that enable them to cling tightly to your furniture, clothing, and even skin. Some roaches seem to enjoy having their sides rubbed and you can see them respond to you by moving their surprisingly flexible abdomen to your touch.

 * I am not a vet. This care sheet is based upon my experiences as a pet owner and breeder, as well as experiences from other owners/breeders. You may print this for your own personal use, but do not sell, redistribute, or remove copyright information.              © Layla Reid, Mystic Garden Exotics