What Do Cockroaches Eat? (12 Tips to Getting Rid of Them)

Cockroaches are nocturnal insects living and breeding in dark, moist, secluded places. Due to the ability to deflate their bodies, there is no space they can’t smoothly squeeze into.

The question of what do cockroaches eat is useless since they can consume almost everything they find in the environment. These pests will enjoy sweets, grease, glue, leather, or soap, for instance. Unfortunately, they can endure famine for a long, so their extermination is a tricky job.

What Do Cockroaches Like to Eat?

What Do Cockroaches Like to Eat

In understanding what cockroaches eat, it is important to note that various species, including the adult female dubia roach have specific dietary preferences that contribute to their overall health and growth.

There are probably around 4,000 known types of cockroaches all around the world. They are nighttime bothers and amazingly flexible, adjusting to practically any conditions, making their species incredibly hard to control. Plus, you should also keep in mind that those ugly creatures can fly!

Cockroaches (roaches) types

Scientific classification Cockroaches
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Superorder Dictyoptera
Order Blattodea
Families Anaplectidae

The kitchen leftovers, crumbs, and dirty dishes in the sink are excellent food sources for these pests. They will also enjoy a plethora of irresistible aromas lingering in the kitchen, pantry, bathroom, on carpets, and in the yard, including:

  • Decaying organic matter, like piles of leaves, twigs, and dead tree parts
  • Skin flakes, fingernails, and hair
  • Beer

Remember that no packaging is an obstacle for these resourceful scavengers since they can also chew paper, cardboard, and even plastic to get to the contents packed inside. In such cases, the key priority is to safely dispose of all the contaminated food they have touched to prevent illnesses they transmit.

The bacterial flora within cockroaches’ digestive tract enables them to feed on unbelievable things, like toxic materials, dead insects, garbage, and roach droppings. So, don’t be surprised that these repulsive creatures consider hairbrushes, towels, floors, and even drain systems excellent food sources.

To make matters worse, they will eat the dead family members, their eggs, and the young when food is scarce. In such a situation, American cockroach females will even kill and eat their mates.

Harm of Cockroaches

Harm of Cockroaches

Cockroaches flourish in conditions where they have satisfactory wellsprings of three things:

  • Hideout
  • Food
  • Water

As a rule, our homes give numerous opportunities of every cockroaches’ need. That is a reason why they are undesirable and irritating guests in your home.

Since these bugs are very unattractive, you probably wonder whether they are risky to people and bite or transmit some bacteria. Let’s see.

Does cockroach bite or sting?

It is possible to get bitten by a cockroach, but it is a rare scenario. These bugs are not aggressive at all, and they will always choose a getaway plan instead of going into the fight with humans or predators.

However, there were reported a few uncommon cases when cockroaches bit people during the night. Luckily, these bugs can’t sting or cause poisoning. In fact, cockroaches have no toxins to use for harming animals or humans, so you don’t need to be worried if you get bitten.

Can cockroaches be harmful to a human?

Cockroaches can carry and transmit different bacteria that can cause damage to the human organism. Scientists from the World Health Organization reported that cockroaches can carry up to 30 bacteria types on their bodies and can cause a huge set of illnesses, including:

  • Various infection
  • Cholera
  • Salmonellosis
  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid fever
  • Plague
  • Leprosy

These disgusting bugs’ feces, saliva, and discarded body parts can also cause allergic reactions and asthma in sensitive people.

Tips to Getting Rid of Cockroaches

We can say without any doubt that cockroaches are the most disdained bugs in the whole world. Not only are they transmitters of numerous infections, but they are connected with unhygienic living conditions.

Family homes are obvious objectives and the easiest targets for those trouble-causing bugs, particularly in the kitchen. It is not a strange activity that humans constantly look for different solutions to get rid of cockroaches.

Since these pests multiply at a disturbing and uncontrollable rate, you should do your best to get rid of them as soon as noticing them. While hiring pest control experts is a perfect solution, you can also find some alternative methods to prevent cockroach invasion or make them run away from your kitchen.

1. Clean the house

The first thing to do is clean the house and eliminate any dirt, leftovers, and useless wrapping material attractive to these bugs. Only then is it time to find an efficient method to get rid of them.

Dirty dishes

Dirty dishes spent the night in the sink are among the most widely recognized reasons for cockroach pervasion. Ideally, you should take care of dishes as soon as you finish eating. You should wash them right away or put them in the dishwasher, but never leave anything dirty on the table or in the sink.


Cockroaches and trash never go without each other, and every place full of debris will attract these bugs. If you find yourself in a situation that you have loads of garbage, be ready to meet and fight these creatures.

The quickest way to solve this problem is to buy a trash can with the top cover to keep bugs away. Plus, never let your garbage sit there for a long, but be responsible and take it out regularly.


As I have already mentioned, cockroaches prefer living in the kitchen. Unfortunately, they can find food crumbs and leftovers on the kitchen floor as the perfect food. You can expect to meet those ugly animals when failing to clean the kitchen floor properly. Therefore, it is necessary to wipe a cooker, kitchen counters, and floor after preparing food.

2. Boric acid

Boric acid stands to be one of the best home tricks for getting rid of cockroaches. For the best possible outcome, you need to spread small portions of this acidic powder around the invaded room, mainly corners and dark, hidden places.

Always leave powder around for a while and wait for cockroaches to die when coming in contact with it.

Keep in mind that boric acid has no effect when it gets wet, and you should do a regular check on it and replace piles if needed. Be careful with this toxic powder and place it away from your children and pets.

3. Sugar and baking soda

Another option is to make a basic bait by mixing sugar and baking soda. This solution will be effective and easy to implement and an excellent method of killing cockroaches and controlling their multiplication.

Sugar in this mixture works as a classic bait that attracts cockroaches, while baking soda is the killing ingredient. Your only job is to prepare the mixture and spread it around after locating bugs’ hideouts.

4. Neem oil

Neem stands to be a popular solution for many things, including vermin elimination for many years. It comes from the neem tree (Indian lilac, Azadirachta indica), more precisely from its seeds. You can find it as an oil or powder, and both versions contain powerful components that kill cockroaches.

If you plan to use it in oil form, prepare a small mixture of neem and water in a spray bottle and spray it around those areas suspecting to find those pests. On the other hand, you can use neem powder and sprinkle it on the infected areas in the evening and repeat the procedure the following day.

5. Essential oils

You can use essential oils for a wide spectrum of things like aromatherapy and skincare because they have unlimited usage. But you probably never thought of using essential oil to deter cockroaches from your home.

Peppermint oil stands to be the best one among essential oils for keeping cockroaches under control. Prepare a classic mixture of peppermint essential oil and saltwater, and spray it around the infected areas of your house.

6. Bay leaves

If you find a cockroach’s shelter and don’t want to kill them, you can drive them away. In such a case, you should use different spices to finish the job.

For example, you can crush bay leaves and place them around places you suspect to have invaders or where you spot them. Another option is to boil a few bay leaves and spray that water around the corners. Both methods are excellent for keeping cockroaches far away.

7. Fabric softener and water

Last but not least method you can use to fight against cockroaches is to make a mixture of the fabric softener and water. Once you see a bug crawling around, sprays this solution directly over it. In most cases, it will die after a while.

As you can guess, this solution is very effective when you need to kill one or two cockroaches. Unfortunately, it is better to find some other strategy if you have a massive bug infestation.


Cockroaches are ugly bugs that quickly occupy your kitchen, bathroom, or any other dirty area full of food. Luckily, there are loads of different ways to get rid of them. If none of these solutions gives the results, the only option is to call an expert pest control team.

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