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8 Cool Facts & Care Tips for Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

Learn eight cool facts about Madagascar hissing cockroaches and how to take care of them from Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


For a guy that grew up in New York City, it's really had for me to have a business that sells cockroaches for food and for pleasure.

Hissing cockroaches from Madagascar were originally imported into the country to be food for lizards that like large prey. Like monitor lizards, bearded dragons and the lot. But quickly the size of them, their pretty calm demeanor and the inexpensive nature of them turned them into pets. I know many a school teacher who has brought hissing cockroaches because they can keep one animal in their class. And what's easier to keep than a cockroach? You pretty much just keep it in the tank and throw any kind of organic matter in there, and it is good to go. That's all it eats.

It's very simple to breed. As anybody who's ever lived in New York City or any other urban environment understands cockroaches breed readily. We try to keep that to a minimum here at our place. But we do like to tell people that there's nothing to worry about in our climate, anywhere. I come from New York. As far as if the animal gets out it's not going to survive in a cold environment like New York. So if it does escape by any stretch of the imagination you do not have to worry about it inhabiting your house and taking over like other cockroach species.

The hissing cockroach, of course, it's claim to fame, and of course I'm unable so far to get one to do that, is the male of the species when picked up will let out a loud hiss. It pushes air through a series of baffles in its head and out comes sssssss, a hissing noise if you squeeze a little bit. And I can't get one to do it, of course, now. But that's what they do. Hissing cockroaches, therefore, are fun for kids. They are animated in their design. They are used in all kinds of cartoons and television shows from the Lion King to the movie Madagascar. You can see these little guys running around or replicas of them.

They get huge. Three or four inches sometime you'll see them. And long lived for a cockroach. Not unusual for one to be five years old. If you have two or three, you're probably going to get a male and a female and you will have baby cockroaches and you can keep that colony going for a long, long time.

For animal food they're one of the best. Way better than crickets which are very, very dry skinned animals. There's not much meat on them, if you will. A cockroach really has a lot of protein in it. And in some areas of the country of Madagascar they're actually consumed by human beings. Imagine that. I guess anything with spaghetti sauce tastes good, right?

So, the hissing cockroach is an interesting creature. Much misunderstood. Just because it's from the cockroach family doesn't mean it's a bad guy. We like them here at Jungle Bobs. I think you would doo.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach.

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