Are you wondering if you could use other animals and insects as a method to control the cockroaches in your home?
Good news, plenty of insects and animals enjoy killing and eating cockroaches.
Here we’ll go over 16 species that eat roaches and which one is the most suitable solution for pest control in your home.
Quick Navigation: What's in This Guide?
- 1. Spiders
- 2. Frogs
- 3. Toads
- 4. Hedgehogs
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Spiders feed on common indoor pests such as Mosquitoes, Flies, Clothes Moths, and cockroaches.
And if left alone, Spiders will consume most insects in your home.
One of the most effective spiders for cockroach control is the Huntsman spider.
Huntsman spiders prey on all sorts of insects, but they especially love roaches.
And while they look scary and they are harmless to humans.
If you can get past their scray nature, they are the best biocontrol methods for roaches you can use.
That said, don’t expect these hunters to eliminate an entire infestation.
Cockroaches reproduce rapidly, and it’s unlikely that your huntsman spiders can consume all of them.
Other common household spiders also eat spiders, but they are not as useful as the huntsman spider.
Here’s some of them:
- Jumping spiders
- Cobweb spiders
- Wolf spiders
- Parson spiders
- Grass spiders
Frogs are carnivorous.
They love to feed on insects such as beetles, flies, crickets, and ants.
And when it comes to cockroach control, you can undoubtedly rely on them.
But they are not a very good solution for roach infestation outdoors.
For one, frogs need plenty of water to survive.
Although frogs live on land, they need to be near a large pool of water.
Frogs do not drink water as we do. They consume water by soaking their skin on it.
And without a big pool of water near them, they will die.
So to take care of frogs, you’ll need to have a large pond in your garden. But, for most of us, that idea is impractical.
Frogs are also toxic to pets and carry salmonella, so they are not the ideal ones around your home.
Finally, most of the areas that cockroaches hide outdoors are too small for a frog to see and enter.
Toad is a type of frog.
And just like frogs, toads will eat cockroaches happily.
If you have cockroaches in your garden or outdoor cockroach, letting a few toads loose can significantly reduce their numbers.
That said, toads come with disadvantages.
For one, some toads are poisonous and can cause harm.
Also, toads carry the same disease as cockroaches–salmonella.
Finally, just like frogs, toads are unable to see or enter most of the cockroaches hiding places.
Hedgehogs eat roaches and they are powerful pest control.
According to the AWF, one hedgehog can keep an average garden free of roaches by eating up to one-third of their body weights in just one night.
Unfortunately, however, it’s illegal to own a hedgehog as pets in many states across the U.S.
That’s because hedgehogs can threaten local eco-systems by competing with native animals for habitat and food.
Hedgehogs can also carry diseases and bacteria, such as salmonella and Mycobacteria.
Wasps don’t eat adult cockroaches.
But wasps disables roaches to feed their young.
Here’s what I mean.
One wasp in particular kills cockroaches, the parasitic wasp.
Parasitic wasps paralyze roaches to lay their eggs inside them. They do this to sustain their young when they hatch.
The roach remains stupefied until the baby wasp is done feeding on it.
Some wasps (Evania appendigaster) specifically target roaches eggs called ootheca.
These wasps lay their egg on ootheca to feed them once they hatch.
Studies have shown that releasing thousands of these tiny wasps in a cockroach-infested structure can eliminate roaches’ eggs in huge numbers.
That said, releasing thousands of wasps in your home is not a practical method of getting rid of roaches.
Most cat owners can testify that cats love to play with nearly anything small that moves.
Cat’s love to play with anything that moves.
They also like killing roaches.
But it’s not always to eat them.
When cats chase and capture roaches, they often play with them and leave them once they are done.
As such, cats are not a very good solution at eliminating infestations.
Not only will they not clean up after their mess, but there would also be too many roaches in an infestation for a single cat to handle.
6. Ground Beetles
Ground beetles preying many invertebrates, including on ants, caterpillars, worms, and yes- roaches.
Due to their insatiable appetite and their abundant populations they are commonly used for biological pest control in agricultural farms.
You could potentially use ground beetles to treat cockroaches in your home although the method remains untested.
They pose little to no threat to people.
- They don’t Carry diseases
- Unlikely to bite humans, feed on insects.
- Don’t cause any property damage
- Can’t reproduce indoors so it’s easy to control population size.
Lizards eat all kinds of insects, including roaches.
That said, they are not ideal for eliminating roaches in your home.
Lizards can’t reach most locations where roaches live and travel, such as small holes and crevices.
Plus, roaches breed much faster than lizards.
Meaning there would be too many roaches for lizards to exterminate.
Finally, lizards can transmit salmonella through their feces and urine.
This disease can cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and vomiting.
Some snakes prey on cockroaches.
Brown snakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are known to eat the critters.
But the instances are rare and far in between.
So while these snakes eat roaches, they are not a viable option for controlling insects in your home.
Possums are omnivores.
And they love feeding on unsavory things such as roadkills, worms, garbage, and yes-cockroaches.
That said, they are not an ideal solution for your cockroach problems.
Possums carry a bacterial disease called leptospirosis.
This disease can cause kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory complications.
Possums can transmit leptospirosis through their urine and feces.
Plus, possums will attack if they feel threatened.
They are not ideal around pets and children.
Mice, like cockroaches, are one of the most common household pests.
They are not very picky eaters and will happily eat cockroaches.
In not uncommon to see mice eating cockroaches off sticky traps without harming themselves.
That said, mice are not ideal when it comes to eliminating entire infestations.
Cockroaches are tiny and can hide in small crevices that mice can’t reach.
It’s more likely that the mice and the roach population will have a beneficial relationship.
Although mice may eat some cockroaches, they will leave droppings for cockroaches to eat.
Similar to mice, rats also eat cockroaches.
Most of the behaviors and characteristics that are common in mice apply to Rats as well.
The main difference is that rats are larger, less agile, making it harder to catch and eat roaches.
Birds are another animal that can eat cockroaches.
They love to snack on outdoor cockroaches such as the Oriental, Asian or Australian cockroaches.
But, they are not a very practical control method for roaches.
For one, birds live outside. So, they won’t be much use for indoor roaches.
Also, birds are most active during the day, while roaches are nocturnal.
And even for roaches outdoors, they are not a very practical solution.
That’s because roaches usually hide under mulch or woods, out of sight of flying birds.
The most common species known to eat cockroaches are the red imported fire ant (RIFA), black sugar ant, or other sugar ants.
But don’t rely on these ants to take care of the roaches in your home.
While they will undoubtedly eat roaches, it’s highly unlikely.
Cockroaches are much faster than ants making it easy for them to escape.
Unless the roaches find themselves surrounded by a colony of ants, it is unlikely that ants could successfully terminate a cockroach.
Plus, ants themselves are an intrusive household pest.
While very few carry diseases, ants will eat your food and sometimes bite you.
Land turtles and aquatic turtles are capable of eating cockroaches.
Land turtles and aquatic turtles are quite fond of cockroaches and will gladly snap one up for food.
Unfortunately, turtles are too slow and significant to be of any help eliminating roaches.
Because roaches are fast, it is very uncommon for a turtle to catch a cockroach, let alone eliminate an infestation.
There are many species of parasitic nematodes.
Some infect humans and animals, while others infect insects, including roaches.
Nematodes are an effective solution for controlling cockroaches.
Insect-eating nematodes don’t pose any danger to humans or pets.
But they are deadly to roaches.
Nematodes enter insects through the openings in their. For cockroaches, this is often through the spiracles.
Once inside, they release a deadly bacteria that kills the roach within 48 hours.
This bacteria is harmless to humans and other animals.
One study showed that placing nematodes in bait could deliver a ninety percent mortality rate in German and American cockroaches.
This result and the fact that they are harmless to humans and pets make nematodes one of the best biological pest controls for roaches.
16. House Centipedes
House centipedes may be scary, but they are great at killing roaches.
These insects are known for killing unwanted pests in houses, including flies, spiders, and cockroaches,
They are active hunters meaning they engage and kill their prey.
Two of their front legs contain venom, which allows them to kill them pretty rather quickly.
Centipedes wrap their legs around their prey to prevent them from moving.
If they were to get caught or bitten by another insect, they could release their legs to escape and return later for a kill.
House centipedes could be a realistic approach to limiting and controlling small cockroach infestations.
Unlike other pests, house centipedes are harmless to humans and won’t damage property.
They don’t carry diseases and will not hurt your pets.
As such, these insects are an excellent option for biological control.
Next time you see a house centipede in your home, think twice before killing it.
They may be silently saving you thousands of dollars on pest control services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Pets Eat Roaches?
The two most common pets, dogs and cats both cockroaches but do so sparingly and not consistently.
Other pets such as birds and lizards can also eat pets.
Lizards are especially effective at eating cockroaches while birds will eat them if they see them for long enough.
What Birds Eat Roaches?
Most birds will eat roaches if they see them. The problem is that cockroaches hide in dark, crevices that birds cant’s see.
Also since cockroaches are nocturnal, cockroaches can often get away from birds without much struggle.
What Animals Will Eliminate Cockroaches?
Using another insect or animal as a form of biological pest control is difficult to manage.
These efforts are often done outdoors and not indoors meaning there is very little research regarding the effectiveness of certain animals to eliminate cockroaches.
Some animals that have the potential to be successful are lizards, centipedes, nematodes, and spiders.
All these animals are fast and can get into small crevices to kill cockroaches in an efficient manner.
With large infestations any type of biological pest control is unlikely to be sufficient due to how fast cockroaches reproduce.
What Spiders Kill Cockroaches?
The huntsman spider and the crab spider are two hunting spiders that can kill roaches rather easily.
The huntsman spider in particular is popular in Australian homes, can eliminate roaches rather quickly.
Most infestations are likely too large for spiders to eliminate completely.
What Is Biological Pest Control?
Biological pest control is the act of using other animals or insects to eliminate a pest.
For example, parasitic wasps are sometimes used to eliminate certain cockroach and beetle species.
Likewise, other animals such as nematodes have been effective at eliminating a variety of insects.
This type of pest control is rarely used indoors and mainly used by farmers to control large populations of pests on their farm with large pest populations.
What Lizards Eat Cockroaches?
Not all lizards can eat cockroaches.
But there are some in particular that relish roaches such as the:
- panther chameleons,
- bearded dragons,
- Leopard geckos