Call Today (410) 312-7233
Home Blog  What Do Cockroaches Eat?

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Dec 22, 2022

What do cockroaches eat? As omnivores, cockroaches eat almost anything they find, whether plant or animal-based. Understanding their feeding behavior is key to eliminating them and preventing collateral problems such as food and surface contamination.  

What Attracts Cockroaches?

Cockroaches are most attracted to food and water sources. These sources could be the crumbs on stovetops, the spills on your floor, the food in your pantry, or the old forgotten snacks in a cabinet.

In addition to food and water, roaches infest homes in search of shelter. They will squeeze themselves into crevices of your windows/doors or cabinets where they can hide.

Be aware the roach species may influence the key attracting factor. For instance, German roaches are more drawn to water sources, unlike American cockroaches, that primarily seek warm, humid areas like garbage dumps.

The brown-banded cockroach loves warmer, darker places like your furniture, while the oriental cockroach prefers moist areas like basement drains. The Pennsylvania wood cockroach prefers the outdoors.

Understanding cockroaches and their preferences make their extermination more effective in the short- and long-term.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches are opportunistic omnivores. They will eat plants, animals, and organic matter in your home. Roaches will also eat the food you eat. It could be the scraps on your stove pots, the scraps on plates in the sink, your cat’s or dog’s food, and the food in your pantry. They seem to prefer moist food or food close to water sources as they need water for digestion.

If they cannot access these foods, they will look for other organic matter in or around your home. It could be your trash or the compost pile.

And they don’t stop there. They will forage for food in drain pipes or in your bathroom. They will eat both human and animal feces if they come across them.

When all else fails, they will start eating paper, dead insects, wallpaper glue, bookbinding, and even their young ones. Females may also lay unfertilized eggs to fight starvation.

They are also attracted to dead skin tissue, hair, and fingernails. In severe cockroach infestations, they’ve been known to bite humans, especially at night.

In short, the answer to ‘what do cockroaches eat” is anything organic that meets their nutritional requirements.

Can Cockroaches Survive Without Food?

Cockroaches can survive several weeks without food. However, they can only last up to 7 days without water. Being cold-blooded and having an open circulatory system help cockroaches survive without food.

Starving as a cockroach control method is unlikely to work. But, you could leave out dry food without water, which will likely kill roaches faster.

Expert Cockroach Control & Prevention

Roaches are adaptive, and some have developed resistance to most pesticides. Instead of experimenting with one chemical after the other, work with cockroach control experts. You can trust the roach professionals from Phenom Pest Protection to take care of your problem fast.

We inspect your residence to identify the roach species and develop a custom extermination plan to eliminate the infestation. Call our team at Phenom Pest Protection today to get rid of cockroaches for good.


Are you an existing customer?

Got my first service done today and was happy to see that not only did I get a great deal, but they did everything they told me they were going to do, and they were right on time!! Heather did my service and she did a great job! Highly recommend this company if you like working with organized and reliable people who have a vision for growing a company through customer service! “PHENOMenal!!”
a happy customer in his home in fort worth texas

Matt B.

Phenom Pest Protection received an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 354 reviews.