Free Shipping on Orders of $25 or More! (Shipping Only Available to the Continental U.S.)

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches spend most of their time hunting for food sources. This often leads them into houses where they can easily find something to eat. Understanding what these pests eat can help you get rid of cockroaches in your home.

What Attracts Cockroaches to Your Home?


Some cockroaches like to spend time indoors. However, some prefer to be outside but are attracted to items in your house. Check out a few things that can attract cockroaches to your home.

  • Shelter: Though American and Oriental cockroaches prefer to be outdoors, they’ll head inside when temperatures drop. Your house provides them with the warmth and shelter they need.
  • Food: Cockroaches enter homes in search of food. They’ll eat anything from crumbs to your pet’s food.
  • Moisture: These pests also prefer a moist environment. You can find them in damp areas including basements. Leaky pipes and faucets can attract cockroaches.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches aren’t picky eaters and will eat plant and animal materials. They’re skilled scavengers making it easy for them to find food in your home. These pests love to eat your left behind crumbs. They’ll eat meat, greasy or fried food, starches, and sweets. Cockroaches can also be attracted to alcohol. Reducing their access to food sources will help to control cockroaches and other bugs.

Where Do Cockroaches Look for Food?

Cockroaches love human food

Cockroaches aren’t afraid to roam around your house looking for food. Here are the most common areas where they will find their next meal.  

  • Counters & Tables: Cockroaches aren’t afraid to crawl on countertops and tables looking for crumbs. Wipe down your counters, tables, and stovetops to deter cockroaches.
  • Dirty Dishes: Food left on dirty dishes can easily attract cockroaches to your kitchen. It’s best to not leave dishes in the sink overnight.
  • Pantries: Cereal, cookies, chips, oatmeal, and other ingredients in your pantry are perfect for hungry cockroaches. They can chew through cardboard, paper, and thin plastic to access food. Unfortunately, if they end up in packages they will contaminate the food.
  • Floors: It’s easy for crumbs to get left behind on floors, and cockroaches can easily spot them. Sweep and mop floors regularly to avoid attracting pests. If you have carpet, don’t forget to vacuum because crumbs can get stuck in it.

Do Cockroaches Eat Pet Food?

Dog bowls

Your pet’s food is just as tasty to cockroaches as your food. When bowls are left out overnight, cockroaches have easy access to a food source. It’s important to wash your pet’s bowl regularly since crumbs are often left behind. You don’t want cockroaches sharing a bowl with your furry family members.

Do Cockroaches Eat Poop

Remember, cockroaches are NOT picky eaters. Feces contains a rich source of nutrients that cockroaches seek out, and these scavengers will readily eat it wherever they find it.

Roaches will eat rodent droppings, and other animal poop. They will even eat one another's poop. Another reason to make them scarce by keeping things clean, clean, clean.

Other Cockroach Eats


Cockroaches don’t just eat your crumbs, they also feed on other things in your home.

  • Paper: Cockroaches can digest cellulose, which allows them to consume paper materials. They’ll snack on magazines, newspapers, cardboard boxes, documents, and book bindings.
  • Dead Skin: It may be gross, but cockroaches feed on dead skin flakes, hairs, and fingernails and toenails.
  • Plant Matter: Some cockroaches will eat decaying organic plant matter. Leaves, dead branches, trees, and twigs can all become a snack for these pests.
  • Trash: Your trash bin may be the perfect spot for cockroaches to find food.
  • Insects: Cockroaches will also eat dead and living insects.

Will Cockroaches Eat Clothes?

Dirty clothes contain your dead skin, hair, and even food crumbs, which appeal to cockroaches. If these pests have trouble finding food, they will eat fabric. If you’re dealing with an infestation, cockroaches could damage your clothes and other fabrics.

Do Cockroaches Eat Bugs?


Cockroaches will eat other bugs. They are known to eat a variety of pests including bed bugs and their eggs. These pests eat living and dead bugs. Some cockroaches will even eat other cockroaches. Oriental and German cockroaches eat the carcasses of their dead. Some are known to eat cockroach eggs and nymphs if food sources are scarce. Some female American cockroaches will kill and eat their mates.

How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches?


If you discover cockroaches, you’ll want to act quickly. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate a cockroach infestation.

  • Remove Food Sources: Clean your kitchen, being careful to wipe up spills, grease, and crumbs on countertops, in cupboards, and underneath/between appliances.
  • Eliminate Hiding Spots: Take time to remove potential sheltering spots for these pests. Remove empty boxes, newspapers, magazines, and other clutter where cockroaches can hide.
  • Reduce Moisture: Repair or replace leaky plumbing, pipes, and faucets in your home and yard.
  • Seal Cracks & Gaps: Check your home’s foundation for cracks and seal any you find. Make sure screens and weatherproofing are in good repair. Cover vents with mesh. Seal gaps between windows, doors, outer walls, and areas where utility hardware enters your house.
  • Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: Our Ant & Roach Killer and Home Bug Spray kill cockroaches on contact. They also provide residual repellency helping to deter cockroaches.
  • Use an Insecticide Dust: Applying dust to areas where cockroaches have been seen can help to eliminate an infestation. Our Spider & Insect Dust and Bed Bug Killer can be placed in out-of-the-way areas including underneath countertops, inside cabinets, and in wall voids.
  • Use a Bait: Our Roach Killer Gel bait can help to get rid of hidden cockroaches. The bait attracts and kills these pests. When cockroaches return to the nest and die, others will eat the carcasses and the bait.

Got tips and tricks to get rid of cockroaches at home? Post a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

For scientifically-tested, effective cockroach control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published