Cockroaches are universally reviled. While some species of cockroach can be quite helpful as scavengers and are generally innocuous, others are disease-carrying pests that many would rather not see in their homes or businesses. Cockroaches tend to be secretive, preferring to keep out of sight where possible. So if you’re trying to figure out what eats cockroaches and have discovered some unwelcome guests in your home or business, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways of getting rid of them for good. The good news is that there are plenty of potential predators that love eating cockroaches and will happily make a meal out of them on a regular basis. Read on to learn more about what eats cockroaches and how you might be able to exploit these natural predators to help you get rid of them for good…
What eats cockroaches?
Cockroaches are extremely resilient creatures, capable of surviving in a wide variety of environments. They are also omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of organic matter, including plants, decaying matter, and – in the case of some species – small quantities of meat. The only species of cockroach that can be killed by a single blow are the Australian species, and even these can survive up to 45 minutes without their head before finally dying of blood loss. So, what eats cockroaches? Well, the bad news is that there are a wide variety of potential predators, most of which have a pretty hearty appetite and tend to view cockroaches as particularly tasty treats.
To begin with, let’s look at what might be the most surprising predator of cockroaches – fish. Fish as a rule tend to be omnivorous, feeding on whatever they can find in the water around them. So, while most fish won’t actively hunt for cockroaches, they are likely to consume them if they find them in their environment. Fish that eat cockroaches and related pests include tilapia, catfish, and carp. Fish are often used to control pests, but the species that consume cockroaches are unlikely to be kept as pets for pest control outside of an aquarium setting.
While most snakes are strictly carnivorous, there are a few species that will also eat eggs and small insects like cockroaches. These include corn and garter snakes, king snakes, and milk snakes. As with fish, most snakes that eat cockroaches aren’t likely to be kept as pets for pest control outside of a controlled environment. If you do have a particular species of snake that eats cockroaches in your home, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks they pose. Corn and garter snakes, for example, have been known to prey on small children and can deliver a fatal bite if provoked. King snakes, on the other hand, rarely bite and are unlikely to pose a threat unless provoked or handled.
Cockroaches are one of the staples of the diet for many species of bird. So, if you see cockroaches in your home and you have a nearby bird roost, you may want to consider moving the roost to prevent the resident birds from eating your roaches. Gulls and crows, for example, are some of the most common bird species seen eating cockroaches. Depending on the species, bird roosting structures are often designed to accommodate large numbers of birds. So, be sure to place the roost far enough away from areas with high populations of cockroaches to avoid attracting them to the roost.
Roach-eating rats and mice
In a similar vein, rats and mice are also known to eat cockroaches. You’re likely to find rats in urban environments where they’ve been drawn to food sources like garbage and human waste. You’re less likely to see mice eating cockroaches, as mice are primarily nocturnal and prefer to lurk in dark, enclosed spaces.
Finally, it’s worth noting that a number of insects pre-date the cockroach as an insect pest and will happily dine on these pesky creatures. Some of the most voracious insect predators of cockroaches include ladybugs, praying mantises, and dragonflies. As with the previous examples, you’re unlikely to see insect predators actively hunting for and eating cockroaches unless they are kept as pets.
Cockroaches are some of the most resilient and tough pests in the world. They can survive extreme environments, and they can even regrow lost limbs. But despite their hardiness, cockroaches are positively delicious to a wide variety of predators. What eats cockroaches? Well, pretty much everything! If you’re trying to get rid of cockroaches in your home or business, you can try attracting some of these natural predators with a quality roach bait.