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What do Cockroaches Eat?

What do cockroaches eat? This is a question asked by two types of people.

The one faces a roach infestation, and the other group breeds feeder roaches like the red runner and discoid roaches for their exotic pets.

I will be answering both the queries and solving this problem all at once.

Cockroaches eat everything from plants to filth to animal matter. However, cockroaches love eating starchy food, including bread, sweets, donuts, and bakery items.

On the other hand, feeder roaches like to eat proteinous food, including egg-white, pulses, and cat food. Also, try to maintain a well-balanced diet with vegetables, including lettuce, potatoes, carrots, fruits, and pulses.

From hotels to apartments, cockroaches are everywhere. They are the sturdiest insects out there, with survival capabilities beyond our imagination.

You will be amazed to know that cockroaches are thought to have survived nukes after they appeared out of the rebel of Hiroshima nuclear attack.

Tired of cockroaches? Invest in only these products and follow the guide to eliminate roaches!

Use these products, and you will be roach free in less than a week.

1. Advion Cockroach Gel Bait (Review)
2. Gentrol IGR Point Source (Review)

Other Products to try:

1. Combat Roach Traps (Easy than gel baits)
2. Hot Shot Foggers (To kill in masses – 95%)
3. Pet Safe Killers (Uses Essential Oils)
4. Ortho Defence Outdoor Roach Killer (Prevent Roaches)

Cockroaches are omnivorous

Cockroaches are omnivorous and therefore can eat and digest anything from plant matter to animals. Nature has designed cockroaches to be natural scavengers, and that’s why they eat everything organic.

However, not all cockroaches are the same. Some prefer to eat more decaying matter like garbage and feces, while others eat plants and fruits.

Here is a list of eatables that cockroaches eat indoors,

1. Garbage

Cockroaches are attracted to the smell of garbage and therefore love to eat it. Garbage includes rotting organic matter such as pieces and peels of fruits and vegetables.

Uncovered Garbage bins inside the house are the favorite spot for roaches to mingle around at night.

Unfortunately, not only the roaches residing inside your house are attracted to garbage, but your house might get infested by roaches coming from your neighbors.

Therefore, you must cover garbage adequately to avoid infestation.

2. Leftover Food

Cockroaches love to eat the leftover food on the kitchen table or around your house. These leftover foods include bread crumbs, sweets, pieces of fruits, and vegetables.

Cockroaches eat leftover food usually at night because they are afraid of humans. Therefore, it is advised to always cover leftover food or keep it safe inside the refrigerator.

3. Bakery Items

cockroach eating burger

Bakery items have a strong pleasant smell that attracts everyone from insects to humans. Cockroaches love to eat bakery items, including donuts, biscuits, bagels, buns, rolls, and cakes.

Any of these bakery items spilled around the house or left unattended attract roaches, and therefore you must keep them covered or keep them inside closed inaccessible cabinets.

4. Fruits and Vegetables

Roaches eat fruits and vegetables, both fresh and rotting. The fruits with a strong aroma attract roaches more than those with a subtle smell. Fruits with a strong aroma are mangos, apples, durian, and rotting fruits.

Interestingly, citrus fruits including lemon, oranges, and mandarin are good at keeping roaches away. Therefore, cut orange and keep it with other fruits to keep roaches away.

5. Filth

Cockroach eating grease

Dirth, pieces of hair, feces, and other filthy items attract roaches into eating them. That is why filthy houses attract roaches more than ones kept clean.

CockroachHabitatLove eatingLess eating
GermanIndoorsStarchy food/Bakeryvegies
Smokey BrownOutdoorsGarbageAnimal Matter
AustralianOutdoorFecesAnimal Matter
What do Cockroaches Eat?

Do Roaches Eat Ants?

You will be amazed to know that cockroaches fear ants roaming around the house. Although cockroaches eat dead ants, they never eat live ants. Instead, ants attack roaches and even kill them by zombifying them.

Oriental cockroach loves eating ants more than any other cockroach.

What do Cockroaches eat in the Outdoors?

Interestingly some of the biggest cockroaches live outdoors and never infest homes. Similarly, almost 30 cockroaches in the US live in the wild and never infest homes.

Cockroaches living in the wild do not have bakery items, garbage, or sweets to feed on. Instead, cockroaches eat plant leaves both fresh and decaying, fruits, tree bark, and flowers outdoors.

It is essential to know that some cockroaches live outdoors but are accidentally brought inside the house and therefore are known to infest homes. For example, the famous Wood Cockroaches are brought along with woodpiles, and when they infest homes made out of timber.

These roaches are accidentally brought outdoors, eating anything present, from plants to starchy food.

CockroachHabitatInfestation Eating
Wood CockroachTimberlandYesLeaves/Wood
Megaloblatta LongepennisWild GrassesNeverRotting leaves/Fruits
Red Runner Sandy DunesModerateHerbs
Death’s Head CockroachWildlandNeverDecaying Leaves
What do Cockroaches eat in the Outdoors?

What to feed Feeder Roaches?

Feeder roaches are a unique class of roaches used as food for exotic pets. Exotic pets might be geckos, lizards, bearded dragons, and many more. Feeder roaches are,

  1. Red Runner Cockroach
  2. Discoid Roach
  3. Dubia Roach
  4. Lobster cockroach

It is essential to know that some roaches, such as the Dubia Roach, are illegal in some states, including Florida, California, and Louisiana. The feeder cockroaches are different from other roaches in the following features,

  1. Contain low Chitin (Polymer of amino acid that is difficult to digest)
  2. High protein
  3. High Moisture content
  4. Rich in calcium and vitamins
  5. Easy to keep and breed because they cant escape

Because of these features, feeder roaches have unique food requirements when breeding. The diet of feeder roach should be rich in proteins and vitamins yet balanced with fresh veggies and fruits.

Feeder cockroaches eat the following things,

  1. Powdered Pulses
  2. Fresh vegetables including potatoes, legumes, lettuce, and carrots
  3. Fruits including guava, apple, and mangoes
  4. Egg white
  5. Bread and peanut butter
  6. Cat food

However, I recommend you buy prepared food for roaches that meet all their requirements.

The best cockroach food available online is G&T Country Living and Dubia Roach Chow. It also comes with repacked water crystals to keep your roaches hydrated.

ItemsWill Cockroach Eat it or Not
Other roachesYes! Oriental & German Cockroach eats other roaches
ClothesRarely when food is scarce
Dog foodYes! Fondly
Cat foodYes! Fondly
HairsYes! Humans’ and pets’ hair
FecesYes! The Australian and American cockroaches live on it
WoodYes! Wood Cockroach eat rotting wood but not all
Spicy ItemsYes! Do not affect them
SugarThey love it
Sealed FoodNo! until the food is sealed
Coffee Yes!
Bed BugsYes!
AntsYes! But dead ants
Salt No!
Tooth PasteYes!
Baking SodaYes! But when mixed with other items
InsulationYes! When Starving
What do Cockroaches Eat?

Additional Read!