Close-up of a Madagascar hissing cockroach

New lab at LSC lets guests build habitats for cockroaches

LSC News

Earlier this year, during our Conservation Week celebration, we tested out a new activity that allowed guests to get hands-on with our Madagascar hissing cockroaches like never before!

Now we’re excited to announce that our “Built for a Bug” activity is here to stay!

On your next visit to LSC, stop by the lab on the fourth floor in Our Hudson Home. Here, you’ll get to play zookeeper and build a home for our Madagascar hissing cockroaches.

So what kind of home does a cockroach want, anyway? To figure that out, guests start by reading a fact sheet and learning about the different habits of cockroaches.

A child reads a fact sheet about cockroaches
Learning about cockroaches

From there, guests take their knowledge and build a habitat for the cockroach using different decorative items.

Kids viewing objects and deciding which should go in the habitat
Choosing which items should go in the habitat

When building the home, there's a lot to consider. For example, would a cockroach be happy with lots of plants in their habitat? Yes, because they mainly feed on rotting plant material! And would they be happy with lots of bright colors in their home? Maybe! Although cockroaches are nocturnal and tend to avoid light during the day, they might be attracted to the bright colors because they eat brightly-colored fruits.

After the research and design steps, guests enter the testing phase by observing the cockroach for three minutes in their new home. Madagascar hissing cockroaches at LSC spend approximately 78 percent of their time resting, so if the cockroach spends most of its time resting, then that means success!

Kids observing the cockroach in its new habitat
Observing the cockroach in its new habitat

Kids observing the cockroach in its new habitat
Observing the cockroach in its new habitat

A child views a cockroach up close
Seeing the cockroach up close!

This activity is a great way for visitors to learn a little bit about how to take care of animals!

Build a happy home for a Madagascar hissing cockroach on your next visit to LSC, in the Our Hudson Home exhibition on the fourth floor! Sign-up is required.

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