What do Cockroaches Eat?
There’s a running joke about that, after a disastrous apocalyptic event wipes out all life on Earth, cockroaches will still be crawling over the ruins of civilization. The insects are famously resilient: hard to kill, resistant to pesticides, and adaptive to almost any environment.Part of this adaptability comes from the roaches’ diet, which includes almost anything. In fact, the list of substances these bugs don’t eat is probably shorter than the list of those they do. However, you’re probably most concerned with the food material that might be attracting and sustaining cockroaches in your home. Luckily, that’s a much more manageable list. Here are a few of the more common cockroach foods in your home, and what you can do about them:
- Food Debris and Mess: This is the obvious one. Everyone knows cockroaches (and many other insects) are attracted to spills, unwashed dishes, crumbs that fall between the couch cushions, poorly stored food, and more. Keep your kitchen and the rest of your home clean from these easy sources of nourishment.
- Paper and Glue: Cockroaches are known to eat paper and glue, especially if the materials are old or damp and moldy. Books and wallpaper are common targets, especially if they get wet. Roaches can hide in bookshelves or behind wallpaper, making glue and paper easy targets. Keep your walls dry and watch out for leaks, and keep your bookshelves neat and orderly.
- Body Waste: These bugs can feed off the waste of people and animals. Feces from pets or pests such as rats and mice are the most common source. Clean up after your pets and take necessary steps to eliminate rodent infestations.
- Other Bugs: Cockroaches are not especially predatory, but will take advantage of easy prey nonetheless. The eggs and larva of insects (even other roaches) often fall victim to roaches. Roaches will also eat dead or dying bugs, even if it means cannibalism. Make your home inhospitable to other insects and frequently clean up areas where bug corpses can accumulate.