Cockroaches are undoubtedly the world’s least favorite insect. These loathsome creatures are well known for their filthy habits and tendency to spread disease, which spells bad news for the health of everyone nearby. Salmonella, E.coli, and Pneumonia are just some of the nasty illnesses you can contract from roaches. Their bodies are coated with harmful bacteria, which they transfer to food, utensils and preparation areas as they walk around. Roaches also produce allergens, such as dead skin and feces, which can exacerbate or even cause asthma in cases of prolonged exposure. Add this to their terrible, musty smell and you’re dealing with the one truly disgusting bug.
It may seem incredible that anything would want to eat a cockroach, but these insects actually have several natural predators. Lots of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species eat cockroaches, many of which may also be present around your home. Cats have also been known to capture and eat cockroaches, which can be a cause of concern for some pet owners. So, what animals eat cockroaches, can they help control your roach population, and is it a problem if your cat gets ahold of them? Read on to find out!
Do mice eat roaches?
Mice are another of the world’s most common pest species and are often found invading homes. You may be wondering if they can help control your cockroach population, but do mice eat roaches?
While both mice and rats do eat roaches, they can’t be counted upon to remove the insects from your home. Cockroaches are fast-moving insects and are difficult for mice to catch; in fact, most times they are completely unsuccessful in their efforts. Even if they do go to the effort of catching and killing a roach for food, there are probably too many of them for a few mice to make much of a difference. What’s more, mice and roaches thrive in one another’s company. Roaches feed on rodent droppings and mice feed on the roaches, leaving you with not one but TWO infestations. If you find rats, mice or roaches on your property, the best course of action is to set about removing them yourself immediately.
Do spiders eat roaches?
Should you rehome your spiders outside, or keep them around in the hopes they’ll help reduce your roach population? Although some spiders do occasionally prey on roaches, they are unlikely to have much impact on the population as a whole. An infestation of roaches can number into the thousands – way more than your average house spider can handle!
A few spider species, however, are prolific cockroach-killers. One such arachnid is the Brown Huntsmen Spider. These many-legged assassins are well-known for capturing and feeding on roaches, making them a valuable addition to any household. Unfortunately, huntsmen spiders are found only in tropical climates, which may not be of much use to you.
Do cats eat roaches?
Generally, cats don’t eat cockroaches. However, these small, fast moving critters make tempting prey and your cat is likely to give chase if it sees one. They will often chew or partially eat roaches once they’ve caught them, which can be concerning for owners. Roaches are covered in harmful bacteria and allergens, so what should you do if you find your cat with a cockroach in its mouth?
The good news is that there’s no need to panic – cats usually don’t suffer any ill consequences from eating cockroaches. But don’t get complacent! Cats can pick up diseases from roaches which, while they won’t harm your feline friend, may make you very sick. Serious diseases such as toxoplasmosis can be transferred to humans from roaches via cats, so be on your guard!
It goes without saying that the best course of action is to eradicate roaches as soon as they appear. This is the only way to completely safeguard the health of everyone in your home, including any pets. If you do keep domestic animals, natural remedies and preventative methods are preferable. Insecticides and chemicals absolutely can harm your cat if ingested, which is highly likely to happen if you use insecticidal sprays, dust or bait in your home.
What else eats roaches?
Besides the most common household creatures, there are several other animal species that feed on cockroaches. These include hedgehogs, frogs, turtles, lizards, and various bird species. Some insects, such as large types of beetles, also feed on roaches. However, the most bizarre roach-eating bug has to be the Emerald Cockroach Wasp. These tiny, parasitic wasp species lay their eggs on the body of the roach. The resultant larvae then burrow into the cockroach, where they slowly eat them from the inside out before bursting, a la Alien, from the roach’s body.
Cockroaches have a surprising number of natural predators, many of which may also be present in your home. Rats, mice, spiders and several other species are known to feed on these insects, but don’t start celebrating just yet! It may be tempting to sit back and do nothing in the hopes that other animals will take care of your roach problem, but unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for cockroaches.
A few spiders and mice are no match for a full-blown roach infestation and won’t even make a dent in their numbers. These fast-moving, rapidly-breeding critters are good at evading capture and even better at multiplying, making them an unstoppable force unless drastic measures are taken. If you have a large population of cockroaches on your property, the best course of action is to call in a pest control expert. A professional exterminator will have the tools and skills to effectively eradicate your roaches, leaving your home clean and pest-free.