Heating Roach Enclosures
Heating A Roach Enclosure is very much like heating your reptile enclosures. Since a large majority of roaches are tropical, they will require supplemental heating in order to maintain temperatures within the enclosure that are higher than the ambient temperatures in the room in which they are located.
There are many ways to heat your enclosures and each will be depictive of the housing you are using.
If you are fortunate enough to have a heated room dedicated to your reptiles, you may not require additional heating for your roaches. If your rooms temperatures fall within the accepted range of temperatures for the species of roach in which you are breeding, you are all set!
Reptiles are cold blooded and require additional heat sources to create basking spots and for thermoregulation. If you are using an external heat source like a ceramic heat emitter, you could place your roaches enclosure on the top of that tank, beside the heating element.
This will provide supplemental heat to the roaches but it could also pose as a fire hazard.
Under Tank Heater - Heat Mat - UTH
Under tank heaters are great for reptile enclosures and are ideal for heating roaches. These units are typically used with glass enclosures and should be limited to use with glass roach enclosures as well. Plastic housing can cause melting and potentially start a fire.
Follow the instructions for installing the UTH. Wherever you placed the UTH on the enclosure, make sure that is where you place some roach motels or egg crate.
Heat tape is the ideal solution when used in conjunction with a rheostat or thermostat to control the temperature. Heat tape can be used with plastic enclosures so long as the temps are being regulated.
Place the tape under the enclosure so that it is slightly offset from being down the middle. You want to have it geared more toward the back of the enclosure. As with the UTH, you want to place some roach motels or egg crate over the heat source within the enclosure. Instruction for wiring heat tape can be found here: Wiring Heat Tape
Heat cable is very much like heat tape in how it functions. As with heat tape, heat cable must used in conjunction with a rheostat or thermostat to control the temperature. To use this as the heat source for your roaches, you should adhere it to the back wall of the enclosure using aluminum foil. Do not place in the enclosure. Use it externally.
Human Heating Pad
Human heating pads can be used to heat your tropical roach enclosures. It should be set on low and can be adhered to the side of the enclosure or placed underneath.
Incandescent Light Bulb
If you are using a mesh screen as the top of the enclosure, a normal incandescent bulb can be used to add supplemental heat. You could also use lighting designed for nocturnal viewing so that the lighting can be used both day and night. A reflector hood will help magnify the amount of heat being pushed into the enclosure.
Ceramic Heat Emitter - CHE
If you are using a mesh screen as the top of the enclosure, a CHE can be used to add supplemental heat. Ceramic heat emitters come in varying watts and each produces different levels of heat. You will need to experiment to find out which will be of the best use to you. In many instances, it is best to use these elements with a rheostat.