What Animals Eat Cockroaches?
It is nice to know that humans are not the only creatures that are anti-cockroach. While we don’t prey on them for food so much as we try to get rid of them altogether, there are animals that eat them. Though it is no question that roaches are one of the most disliked creatures on the planet, they actually make up a significant part of the diet of many other small animals and even some insects.
The Natural Predators of Roaches
Despite what you might think, cockroaches do have their benefits, after all. They are a good source of protein and nutrients for the many amphibians, insects and reptiles that have a taste for them. Here are some of the animals that feed on roaches on a regular basis:
- Toads and frogs
- Lizards, such as leopard geckos, bearded dragons, monitor lizards, iguanas and even panther chameleons
- Certain large species of beetles
- Certain kinds of parasitoid wasps
- Entomopathogenic fungi
These predators attack roaches in many different ways. Toads, frogs and lizards can reach out to roaches with their long, sticky tongues and crush them in their strong jaws. Wasps, on the other hand, will often lay their eggs within adult cockroaches and larvae. When the wasp eggs hatch, they will proceed to feed on the roach, destroying them before they even have a chance. Certain species of entomopathogenic fungi spores infect cockroaches, slowly killing them over a period of weeks.
These natural predators of roaches all have their own individual, but highly effective, way of capturing cockroaches and making them digestible. Roaches make inexpensive and nutritious diets for many types of household pets, such as iguanas. Many lizard owners know that, as a rule of thumb, you can feed your pet a roach that is approximately the length of the space between your pet’s eyes. Depending on the size and type of roach, some lizards can eat up to twenty or more cockroaches at a time.
Why Roach Eaters Can Be Beneficial
Any animal that cuts down on the overall population of cockroaches is doing humans a favor by gobbling up one of the most unwanted species. The more of a lively natural habitat and thriving ecosystem that you have in your backyard, the less likely you are to have a cockroach problem that gets out of control. By eating cockroach larvae and even fully grown roaches, these predators do their part in keeping pesky roach populations in check.