Updated: March 30, 2023

Cockroaches are one of the most fascinating and misunderstood insects in the world. While many people loathe them, others are intrigued by their resilience and adaptability. For those who fall into the latter category, finding a reliable source to buy live cockroaches can be a challenge. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best places to purchase live cockroaches for pets or research purposes.

Pet Stores

Pet stores are a great place to start when looking for live cockroaches. Many stores carry them as food for reptiles and other exotic pets. While not all pet stores will carry live cockroaches, you can usually find them at larger chain stores like Petco and PetSmart.

One benefit of buying from a pet store is that you can see the cockroaches in person before purchasing them. You can also ask the staff any questions you may have about the care and feeding of cockroaches.

Online Retailers

Online retailers are another option for purchasing live cockroaches. There are several reputable companies that specialize in selling insects like cockroaches for pets, research, and education.

One advantage of buying online is that you can often find a wider variety of cockroach species than what may be available at your local pet store. Additionally, many online retailers offer overnight shipping, so you can receive your live cockroaches quickly and safely.

Some popular online retailers for live cockroaches include:

  • Backwater Reptiles
  • Josh’s Frogs
  • Topflight Dubia

Local Breeders

If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, you can try reaching out to local breeders. Cockroach enthusiasts may breed their own colonies and sell offspring to other hobbyists or researchers.

One benefit of buying from a local breeder is that you can usually get more information about the specific colony of cockroaches you’re purchasing. You can ask about the age, health, and genetic history of the insects, which can be important factors for those using them in research.

To find local breeders, you can check online forums and social media groups for cockroach enthusiasts in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are live cockroaches legal to buy and own?

Yes, in most states, it is legal to purchase and own live cockroaches. However, there may be restrictions on certain species or quantities of insects, so it’s important to check your local laws before making a purchase.

What should I feed my pet cockroaches?

Cockroaches are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein sources like dog food or cat food. It’s important to provide a balanced diet for your pet cockroaches to ensure their health and longevity.

Can cockroaches be kept as pets?

Yes, many people keep cockroaches as pets. They are low-maintenance and can be fascinating creatures to observe. However, it’s important to note that not all species of cockroaches make good pets, and some may require specialized care.

Are live cockroaches dangerous?

While many people fear cockroaches, they are generally not dangerous to humans. However, some species may bite if provoked or mishandled. Additionally, some people may have allergies or asthma triggered by exposure to cockroach allergens.

Can I use live cockroaches for scientific research?

Yes, live cockroaches are used in a variety of scientific studies. They are often used as model organisms for studying topics like behavior, evolution, and ecology. However, it’s important to follow ethical guidelines and ensure that the insects are treated humanely during experimentation.


For those interested in keeping live cockroaches as pets or using them for research, there are several reliable sources for purchasing these fascinating insects. Whether you choose to buy from a pet store, online retailer, or local breeder, it’s important to do your research and ensure that you’re purchasing healthy and ethically-raised cockroaches. By following these tips, you can find the perfect source for your live cockroach needs.