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What Animal Eats Roaches?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton
Last updated on:
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What Animals Eat Cockroaches?

Roaches seem to be one of the gross pests people don’t want to encounter. It has a brown body and smells a little stinky. However, did you know that roaches have an essential role in the ecosystem?

In this article, you’ll learn what animals eat cockroaches. You’ll also see the pros and cons of these pests to animals and humans. 

What are cockroaches?

Roaches or cockroaches are insects with six legs. They are sometimes referred to as bugs, beetles, and even termites. However, roaches are just roaches. They are totally different from the said types of insects.

Cockroaches have a shiny and hard shell-like covering. The covering is also called pronota. Typically, roaches appear to be disgusting to many people. But roaches keep the ecosystem up and running, thanks to them.

However, roaches are not supposed to be in a household. It’s a totally different issue when roaches invade your homes. These pests carry pathogens and germs that can cause diseases. Asthma is one of the leading allergies caused by cockroaches.

List of animals that eat cockroaches

image of cockroach and hedgehog

Roaches are an excellent source of protein for animals. This is why they are vital in the food cycle. Some roaches die naturally, but most die due to their predators.

Many animals eat cockroaches. Some are mammals, amphibians, avians, and reptiles. If you have ever wondered what animals eat cockroaches, this list is for you.

Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are small mammals. They also eat raw meat and can also be called insectivores. These small mammals still need insects as part of their natural diet.

Hedgehogs eat roaches. However, they should only eat dubia roaches. But what’s the difference between dubia and normal cockroaches? 

Dubia roaches are raised and cleaned types of cockroaches. These are the roaches that don’t live in the wild. They can give hedgehogs the right amount of calcium, protein, and fiber.

Frogs

Amphibians like frogs and toads and eat cockroaches too. Aside from flies, they also love eating roaches. 

Both this predator and prey live in a dark and moist environment. This is why frogs encounter and eat roaches often. Frogs are one of the natural predators of cockroaches.

Spiders

Spiders also eat cockroaches. However, not all can eat roaches. Species like brown recluse spiders, jumping spiders, and huntsman are only the ones that eat cockroaches.

Lizards

Lizards eat insects like cockroaches. However, like the spiders, particular types of lizards can eat the said insect. For example, geckos, bearded dragons, and iguanas eat cockroaches. 

Aside from that, monitor lizards and leopard geckos are some of the natural predators of cockroaches. The more enormous a lizard is, the bigger roach it can eat.

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Wasp

The Emerald wasp has a peculiar way of eating cockroaches. Both of them are insects, but Emerald wasps, love consuming roaches.

The wasp stings and poisons the brain of the cockroaches. As a consequence, the cockroach will get paralyzed. After paralyzing the roach, the wasp will take it to its nest. It will then lay its eggs on the belly of the cockroach.

Once the eggs are hatched, the baby wasps will eat the cockroach as their very first meal.

Snakes

images of 2 Snakes

Snakes also eat roaches but not all. Only those small snakes that can survive eating insects can prey upon cockroaches. One example is the ringneck snake and rough green snake. These are small snakes that eat roaches to survive.

Birds

Cockroaches can be difficult for birds to find. But they can also eat it if given with opportunity. Most insect-eating birds will eat cockroaches when their paths cross. Birds like owls, jays, roadrunners, and robins eat such pests.

Alligators and crocodiles

Alligators and crocodiles love cockroach feasting. They will eat any moving thing around them. Since roaches move too much, they become the apple of crocodiles and alligators’ eyes. They simultaneously consume insects and fish as they grow.

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Benefits of cockroaches

image of cockroaches

Cockroaches have an essential part to play in this world. Animals eat these pests to survive. Some small mammals and birds won’t survive without cockroaches. But what’s more surprising is that roaches have something to contribute aside from the food chain.

Plants also benefit from cockroaches. They can transport pollens and assist in plant reproduction. Roaches also consume other animals leftover wherever and whenever. This can increase the nitrogen amount in the soil, which is good for the forest.

Did you know that roaches also have something to offer to humanity? Researchers continue to look for potential human applications of cockroach antibiotics. Roaches have natural antibiotics or germ killers. This could help patients fight infections that traditional antibiotics can resist.

Lastly, people who are amputated should be thankful for roaches. Researches examine the legs of the cockroach and find out that it’s efficient. Its function and structure can help in developing prosthetics and even robotics.

Should you smash cockroaches?

It is not ideal for smashing out roaches when you encounter them. This pest carries germs and bacteria that could spread on your house. 

Likewise, the saliva and protein of the cockroach can trigger allergies. Their feces are also one of the dirtiest things you might not want to touch. 

Roaches surely are beneficial to animals and the environment. However, it’s harmful to humans, especially when it comes to health. So before you hit a cockroach, think twice. You might not want to welcome these pests into your home and spread germs. You can avoid this by keeping your house clean.

What do cockroaches eat?

Now that you’re done with the ‘what animals eat cockroaches’ list, it’s time to know them better. Roaches, as said earlier, are rich in protein for animals. But what do they exactly eat? 

Cockroaches eat any kind of waste in front of them. They are known as the cleaners of the ecosystem. Humanity will be filled with rotten veggies if there are no roaches.

Most roaches eat rotten leaves, especially if they live in the wild. Meanwhile, some consume leftover foods from the garbage. These are the domesticated types of roaches. They are also usually the pests found inside your home.

But no matter where they live or what they eat, roaches are essential in the ecosystem. They are a vital part of the natural environment. 

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