What Can Cockroaches Eat? 20+ Items Answered

I am going to kick this post off with one of the most obvious comments on this site! A cockroach will eat most things. It is drilled into their survival mechanism to eat anything and everything. Nothing is sacred. Not even (spoiler alert) other roaches! Although I have already answered this, I need to go deeper into some of the items to see if a roach can eat them. So, what can cockroaches eat? Let’s take a look…

Before we begin, it is worth considering that roaches are attracted to food in your home, among other things. It is important to store all food correctly if you are prone to a cockroach invasion!

What you will learn in this post:

  • What can cockroaches eat?

What Can Cockroaches Eat 20 Items and more Answered

What Can Cockroaches Eat? 20+ Items Answered.

Can cockroaches eat paper?

Yes, cockroaches can eat paper.

Cockroaches are likely to simply chew through the paper to get to more nourishing food though.

Can cockroaches eat card?

Cockroaches can eat card, yes. Having said that, the answer is very much the same as paper, they will eat it, but they are more likely to chew through it to get to a food supply.

Can cockroaches eat concrete?

No, a cockroach cannot eat concrete. It can, however, move little bits of broken concrete out of the way to get to something else. But, if the concrete is cured correctly, and has no damage, then it is cockroach proof!

Can cockroaches eat metal?

Metal is another thing that is safe from a cockroach! Metal is too strong for roaches to eat, or even for them to chew through.

Can cockroaches eat humans?

Cockroaches will happily feast on our dead skin cells, and they have been known to bite humans, but we are not in danger of being eaten alive by one, or even a group of roaches!

Can cockroaches eat cats or dogs?

No, there is a much higher risk that your can or dog will feast on the roach though. Ultimately, a roach will not eat a cat or dog, but it will eat dead skin or hair from all animals.

Can cockroaches eat poop?

This is a gross answer, but yet, cockroaches do eat poop. Poop of all kinds! Unfortunately, this means that cockroaches will wade through poop and then will happily walk over your countertops.

Can cockroaches eat each other?

Yes – cockroaches can and will eat each other! Personally, I have trodden on a cockroach only to see another roach stroll out and feast on the dead cockroach while it was still warm!

Can cockroaches eat spiders?

Yes – and if you are scared of spiders (arachnophobia) then it is good news. Having said that, would you rather have spiders or roaches in your home? Personally, I would rather not have any… but at a push, I would opt for spiders over cockroaches. It is worth knowing that spiders also eat small cockroaches, so you may not be that lucky if you are a spider hater.

Can cockroaches eat insects?

Yes – cockroaches eat most insects. They have absolutely no problem with eating insects because they offer everything that a cockroach needs to survive.

Can cockroaches eat wood?

Yes – a roach can eat wood. Although, this is the same as paper and card. A cockroach is much more likely to chew through wood to get to another food substance, and will only eat wood if there is nothing else around.

Can cockroaches eat glass?

No, glass is another item that cockroaches cannot eat. This is good news because it means you can store food in a glass container without the fear of a cockroach getting in and feasting on your food.

Can cockroaches eat fruit?

Yes, cockroaches can eat fruit. In fact, it is one of the food types that cockroaches will chew through other items to get to.

Can cockroaches eat chocolate?

Absolutely! Cockroaches love eating sweet stuff. Chocolate is very high on the list of food types that cockroaches like. Always store your chocolate well, because it is kind of depressing going to the pantry and seeing that a roach has eaten it first!

Can cockroaches eat crickets?

Yes, cockroaches will eat crickets. For a roach to get near a cricket, it will either have to sneak up very very quietly or will need to stumble upon an injured cricket.

Can cockroaches eat clothes?

Whilst cockroaches opt mainly for organic substances, they do have the ability to eat clothes if they need to.

Can cockroaches eat maggots?

Yes – a cockroach will eat maggots without any issues at all.

Do cockroaches eat garden plants?

Yes – there are some species of cockroaches that eat garden plants, so if you are prone to a roach invasion, you will want to add some additional security around any plants you are particularly fond of.

Do cockroaches eat books?

Yes, roaches have been known to feast on books! I don’t think they have a preference for any specific author or genre though. It makes sense that they would go for horrors…

Do cockroaches eat nuts?

Yes, cockroaches do eat nuts. In fact, they will eat pretty much anything… whether it tastes nice or not.

Do cockroaches eat drywall?

Roaches can eat drywall, which can go on to cause some damage to your home. Not only can cockroaches eat drywall, but they will also poop over them, which makes them look grubby and dirty. You will want to clean that off straight away.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do cockroaches bite people?

Yes – cockroaches have been known to bite people. They will also eat our dead flesh and cells! Roach bites are not very common, which is good news.


What can cockroaches eat? We have covered 20 + items on this list and will add more if asked! Some of them are shocking too!

Whilst cockroaches tend to eat whatever they find; there is a danger whenever they scurry over a surface that you will use for food prep. For instance, if a cockroach chows down on some dog poop before treading it over your countertops, it could transfer some parasites from the poop onto your food surface.

If your home has a cockroach problem or is prone to cockroach invasion, then you should already be wiping down your food prep surfaces before and after using them.

Good luck – and if you have any questions about roaches or other pests, please get in touch!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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