do cats keep cockroaches away
Cockroaches are among the most reviled pests in homes, restaurants, and other indoor environments. But cats that roam outdoors may be coming to your aid if you have a roach problem. That’s because cats are perhaps the cockroach’s natural predator. Cats are the only predators that routinely hunt and kill cockroaches for food—and they do it with ease. A single outdoor cat can catch and eat dozens of cockroaches over an evening or two. And if there is a plentiful food supply, a single cat can kill and eat hundreds of cockroecaes in a single season. If you have an outdoor cat, keeping it inside will reduce its predation on your home’s indoor pests (which is better for both the cat and you). However, if you have an indoor roach problem, there are ways to enlist your cat as an ally against these nocturnal nuisances.
How do cats hunt cockroaches?
Cats are typically crepuscular—that is, they are active at dusk and dawn. This is the time when they feed most actively. In the case of cockroaches, cats stalk them, usually from a perch like a counter or bookshelf. They jump down on the roach, which scurries away. The cat chases the roach, grabs it in its teeth, and kills it by shaking its head like a dog. Cats have been known to catch huge numbers of roaches in a single evening. They may even go out of their way to search them out. Cats are not the only predators that feed on cockroaches. Dogs and raccoons will eat them, too. But cats are the only ones that regularly hunt them as if they were prey.
Will having cats keep cockroaches away?
Cats will sometimes kill roaches in your home, especially if you have a big infestation. But it’s unlikely that they will keep the roaches away entirely. Cats are not territorial—and they won’t stay put in a single room. Instead, they go where they want to go. If they see a roach in one room, they will follow it to another room. Cats may keep roaches away from a particular food source, like a cat food dish. But they won’t keep roaches away from your kitchen, bathroom, or other areas where they breed and thrive. As tasty as they may be, roaches aren’t a sufficient food source for a cat. Cats will likely keep roaches away from their food, but only if they are in the same room.
How to enlist your cat to help kill cockroaches
If you have an indoor roach infestation, and you have an indoor cat that is not being fed enough, allocating some of the cat’s food towards the roaches may help. Catch a few roaches and feed them to your cat. What you feed the cat will likely go toward its daily caloric requirements (roughly 100 calories per day for each pound of body weight). Catching and feeding roaches to your cat will help it gain weight. If your cat is underweight, this is especially important. Catching and feeding cockroaches to your cat will also help it get some much-needed roughage that will help it with both digestion and overall health.
Using dry ice to get rid of roaches
You can use dry ice (solidified carbon dioxide) to kill roaches. The sublimation of dry ice from a solid to a gas creates an extreme drop in temperature—as much as 80 °F (27 °C). When applied to a roach, this extreme cold kills it immediately and leaves no mess behind. Since many people don’t have dry ice in their homes, this method may not be practical for most people. However, you can use the same principle to kill roaches with a homemade CO2 trap.
Using pepper to get rid of roaches
Roaches don’t like the smell of pepper. Sprinkle some black pepper in areas where they like to hang out, or put a pepper shaker near them. You can also mix black pepper with your cat’s food. Sprinkle some pepper and black pepper on pet food to get your cat to help you with a roach problem.
Using boric acid to get rid of cockroaches
Borax and boric acid are toxic to roaches and other insects. You can use it to kill roaches. Boric acid is safe to use around pets and kids. You can also use essential oils to repel roaches.
Cats are perhaps the cockroach’s natural predator. If you have an outdoor cat, keeping it indoors will reduce its predation on your indoor pests. If you have an indoor roach problem, you can use your cat to help you get rid of them. Use these tips to keep your cat healthy and well-fed while also keeping your roach population at bay.