Cockroaches are a relatively peaceful pest.
For the most part, they’re happy to just live inside the human home and aren’t known to bite very often; they can bite humans, but that rarely happens.
Cockroaches, however, are still on the food chain, which means that they have predators and animals who wish to have them as a tasty snack; some animals even eat roaches as part of their everyday diet and routine.
So which are these natural predators that can relish and enjoy roaches while we dread their existence?
Let’s find out
Does Anything Eat Cockroaches?
Cockroaches can be a healthy and full protein diet for some animals that feed on roaches regularly.
Cockroaches have many natural predators like spiders, frogs, geckos, and many others.
Though these species are hated by many, but, still can be a proper food for some animals; the animals that prey regularly on cockroaches are:
- Toads and frogs
- Certain large species of beetles
- Certain kinds of parasitoid wasps
- Entomopathogenic fungi
These predators have their own way of preying on the cockroaches.
Toads, frogs, and lizards can reach out to them with their long and sticky tongues, while, wasps often lay their eggs within adult cockroaches and larvae.
When the wasp eggs hatch, they will feed on the roach, destroying them even before they have any chance.
Like this, different insects have their own way of preying on cockroaches and eat them.
Why Animals Eat Cockroaches?
Though roaches are considered the most hated species; these insects have their own nutritional value too.
Some insects that regularly prey on the roaches get really expensive and rich in protein; even human beings have started to prey on these insects because of their nutritional value and rich protein substitutes.
Roaches can be considered a way to provide proteins, and that’s why many animals prefer eating roaches instead of other insects.
So, What Eats Cockroaches?
Cockroaches have several natural predators to look out for; some cockroach predators include toads and frogs, beetles, iguanas, geckos, and certain types of wasps.
Each predator has its own unique way of catching the cockroaches- toads and frogs use their sticky tongues to grab them and then their strong toothless jaws to crush them; parasitic wasps, on the other hand, use a more aggressive tactic.
They will lay their eggs inside adult cockroaches and their larvae; when the wasp’s eggs hatch, they will begin to feast on the cockroach or its larvae.
This slowly destroys cockroach larvae before they have a chance to hatch and causes a slow and painful death for adult roaches.
A general understanding among the reptile pet owner community that a lizard can be fed cockroaches is the size of the length between the lizard’s eyes.
Some household lizards can eat as many as 20 cockroaches at a time; if you’ve spotted small baby roaches in your house, they can also be an easy target for lizards.
Although uncommon, some cats may find cockroaches to be a good snack, as well; indoor cats that happen to find a cockroach in their area will often stalk, play, and then eat the roach.
This practice may be unsettling to pet owners and could cause worry- what if the cat gets sick? Are the roaches harmful?
However, cockroaches are safe for felines to eat.
In fact, the act of catching the cockroaches can be good for the cat’s health; it helps the cat to exercise his or her natural hunting instincts by allowing them to chase, catch, and kill a form of prey.
Cockroaches are also full of nutrients that can be beneficial to your cat’s overall health; it isn’t recommended to allow your feline friend to eat their fill of cockroaches, though.
Mice have been known to eat roaches on rare occasions; if a mouse finds a dead cockroach and happens to be searching for food, it may eat the roach as it is an easy meal, even if it isn’t a highly preferred dish.
Pet owners who keep mice should avoid allowing their pet mouse to eat roaches that come in from outside; however, wild cockroaches can contain dangerous parasites that could harm a domesticated mouse.
Birds also eat roaches, but this is very rare; some bird owners will feed their birds cockroaches. This isn’t recommended as it can be dangerous for birds to eat this type of insect.
Only experienced bird owners should attempt to use cockroaches as a meal for their bird, but even they should be avoiding it.
Ants will usually only eat the bodies of dead cockroaches drying up or decaying, as they are scavengers and not hunters.
Hedgehogs may or may not eat cockroaches; if a hedgehog finds a cockroach and can catch it, the hedgehog could turn it into a snack.
Like with mice, hedgehogs that are domesticated and kept as pets shouldn’t be allowed to eat roaches that have come in from outside.
Which Animals Eat Roaches?
There can be several insects that eat roaches as their food; some of these insects include lizards, frogs, parasitoid wasps.
They strike the insect for their food and help in providing benefits to the environment and human beings as well.
By eating cockroaches, these animals provide double benefits; they not only provide food to their empty stomach but, in turn, also help us in eradicating these species.
Do Mice Eat Roaches?
Yes, mice can eat roaches.
Mice can almost kill and eat anything, and a nice tasty cockroach goes well; amazingly, the mice can eat a roach out of a glue trap without entangling themselves.
Occasionally, professionals have reported seeing mice eating roaches; considering mice can eat any insect, cockroaches will never be their first choice for food.
Do Rats Eat Roaches?
Yes, rats are great fond of roaches.
Rats can normally attack and eat the roaches in a few matters of time.
Rats can be considered great hunters of roaches who prey on insects to eat and fulfill their hunger.
Do Spiders Eat Cockroaches?
There is no proper proof that a spider can eat a roach.
Normally, it is challenging for a spider to handle an adult roach, but many can handle small roaches.
Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches?
Yes, they do; however, it depends on the size and species of the lizard.
But, a cockroach can be a straightforward target for them.
A lizard can eat as many as 18-20 roaches in one row; however, lizards should be kept out of the areas where insecticides have been used.
Eating them may poison the lizard, and it might die.
Do Geckos Eat Roaches?
Geckos may eat roaches but, either way, a free-roaming gecko doesn’t help in the roach problem around.
Because roaches go out of their way to live and breed in some of the places their predators can’t reach.
Though it is not considered tactful to help the roach’s problem, this can sometimes be very harmful to the geckos as cockroaches are probably too big for the gecko to eat safely.
Do Centipedes Eat Roaches?
It turns out to house centipedes can actually eat cockroaches and other household pets.
It is an unpredictable, large, aggressive insect; a centipede can eat tons of cockroaches in its lifetime to survive in this environment.
Do Crickets Eat Roaches?
Crickets are omnivores and can eat roaches.
Crickets typically reside in an area with plenty of grass, and it can be very uncommon to see these insects in a garden or yard.
It usually lives on organic plants and some other animals; it is pretty uncommon to see a cricket eat a roach, even though having the ability to prey.
Do Frogs Eat Roaches?
They are regular hunters of these species providing a clean environment.
Do Birds Eat Roaches?
Yes, birds eat roaches since a bird can easily capture and prey on this insect.
Do Ants Eat Roaches?
Of course, ants can prey on the roaches.
The outcome of this fight cannot be easily determined and depends on the ants and cockroaches.
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In general, cockroaches can become a meal for nearly any creature who eats insects and is higher than them on the food chain.
If food is scarce enough and cockroaches are abundant, animals that don’t normally eat roaches can be caught chomping down on them in order to survive.
These insects are considered very dangerous as they carry the bacteria on their body and contaminate the food, thus spreading various diseases.
Nonetheless, various animals and even insects prey on them; human beings have also started eating cockroaches because of their nutritional value and protein.
Hence, it can be concluded that roaches are definitely eaten by many insects and animals-whether big or small- acting as a source of nutrients for their predators.