#ExquiSeed is a newspaper pullout of a joint collaboration between Universiti Putra Malaysia and New Straits Times, exclusively distributed around UPM's green campus only!
Different, unusual and extraordinary; those three words describe Izrin’s unusual hobby of rearing pet insects very clearly. She might appear to be your kind of girl-next-door quality but mind you, she keeps cockroaches as her darling pet in the bedroom! Let us get to know this sweet girl’s profile before going deeper with our interview session.
Birth date: 2nd of May 1989
Origin: Kuala Lumpur
Hobby: Keeping insects as pets, taking photos and watching animes.
-Sekolah Kebangsaan Menjalara
-Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bandar Sri Damansara 2
-B. Ed. TESL in UPM (third year).
- Instagram (Izrin Hariri)
- Facebook (Izrin Hariri)
Izrin started this hobby out of curiosity a couple of months ago after being influenced by her classmate on campus, E-Jynn who breeds “Dubia roaches” or scientifically known as “Blaptica Dubia”, the orange-spotted cockroach. She is fairly allergic to furry animals so being the girl playing around with her pet insects is quite a shock to most of us.
“I never developed any fear for insects and I became interested in them as they are different than the usual cockroaches everyone, including the guys is so afraid of”, she says.
Izrin never thought of keeping Dubia roaches as pets as insects are normally perceived as pests, especially cockroaches. She now has 7 Dubia roaches; 6 females named “Charlie” and a male called “Richtofen”. She further adds that people would give her the odd looks and remarks when she shows her Dubias around but there are some who encourage her obsession.
Her roaches only need very low maintenance that costs her less than RM 10 every month. They feed on the non-flavoured jelly that is actually their water source and grain-based dry pet food or oats to help them grow bigger and healthier. She also feeds the roaches fruits such as papaya, apples and vegetables occasionally.
“I always check on them on a daily basis to monitor their food and water supply. I will also clean them once a week depending on my schedule. The Dubias are very sensitive to light and they will find dark spaces to hide even underneath each other!”, she adds on.
In fact, Izrin goes the extra mileage in pursuing her hobby by doing further readings online or meet with the original breeder for information. She would also love to attend gatherings for exotic pets’ keepers to exchange more knowledge and get to know the people who share the same interest.
“I find my hobby interesting because I like to do things that are not common and I am not doing them for the sake of attention. However it would be great if other female friends chip in as well as I feel so alone in this”, says Izrin.
For those who are wondering, these Dubias are very well-behaved and they are kept in a plastic container with egg crates so they can roam freely or rather hide. This species of roaches cannot fly even though the male Dubias have wings compared to the females with little wing stubs. You can follow her Instagram and Facebook account for video feeds and photos of her Dubia roaches.
“Insects are as interesting as cats and dogs and they deserve to be loved and cared too even if they don’t meow or bark like other animals. Best part of keeping Dubias as pets—they don’t smell, they don’t bite and they can’t fly! Don’t worry about being called weird, that makes the two of us!”, Izrin then concludes.