What do Roaches Eat in Your Home?

By Bridget Ambrose

Roaches. One of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. These tiny pests can sneak in from the outdoors, delivered packages, or appliances. 

Once you have roaches, these pests are tough insects to eliminate. Besides their ever-growing resistance to storebought pesticides, roaches are sneaky bugs that hide in unreachable locations you may have trouble finding. 

But what do roaches eat that keeps them sticking around our homes?

Don’t worry about the questions! We have your back. Keep reading to learn more about a roach’s diet and how you can eliminate the foods they enjoy the most.

Why Do I Have Roaches?

This answer may vary depending on the type of roach infestation in your home. German cockroaches don’t exist alone in the wild, as these pests require constant contact with humans to survive. 

If you have a German roach infestation, chances are that these pests snuck into your home from groceries or recently delivered packages. Houseguests that have roaches may similarly introduce these pests into your home accidentally.

Once German roaches infest your home, they can rapidly multiply before you realize a serious problem is afoot. According to the University of Kentucky, these insects give birth every few months, and their egg sack can contain up to 40 eggs at once. 

Other common roaches, like the American cockroach, can live outside. This species primarily populates sewers or other damp locations. You may even find handfuls of the roaches bedding down in your garden soil. 

American cockroaches aren’t as common as German cockroaches, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see them indoors. Our dwellings are often stocked with food and are safe from harsh elements. Many pests head inside for food and shelter, and roaches are no different. 

If the weather outside isn’t fit for the insects, or they’re searching for food, they’ll set their sights on your front door. 

What Do Roaches Eat Indoors?

So, what food entices these insects to extend their stay in our homes?

Roaches aren’t fussy eaters. They’ll devour almost anything you have, even leftovers not fit for consumption.

Like most insects, cockroaches prefer food items high in sugar or starch. Bread, cookies, cereal, rice, or pasta are favorites of these invading pests.

Remember that burger from last week that you threw away? Cockroaches may begin rifling through your garbage can for a taste! Cockroaches will dine on any dried, raw, or cooked meats too. 

Generally, roaches will eat about anything in your home. Because of their broad palette, they can find almost anything to consume. If food is left out, they’ll sneak toward it during the night for something to eat. 

Roaches will eat soap, toothpaste, paper, and glue from book bindings if they can’t find traditional food sources. They may even consume pet food, dander, hair, or waste. If your furry friend uses the bathroom inside, be sure to clean it up before roaches stop by!

Plus, roaches will even consume other insects. While frequent purveyors of decaying matter, they’ll eat alive bugs they find while foraging. If one of their own dies, roaches will consume the corpse for energy. 

What Do Roaches Eat Outdoors?

We know what roaches eat indoors, but what do they eat whenever they live outside?

While their options are more limited, roaches have an abundance of potential food sources in the great outdoors. 

When living in the woods or fields, roaches will eat any decaying plant matter or insects. They’ll feast on rotten wood, flowers, grass, or shrubbery. Any decomposing items are fair game for roaches!

If roaches live outdoors in the city, cockroaches may consume discarded food on the streets, in dumpsters, or in sewage. While gross to us, American cockroaches will regularly eat whatever they can. 

Roaches generally prefer to eat much of the sweet substances we store in our homes. That’s why roach infestations are common and so hard to eliminate. Once they get a taste of the good stuff, they’re less likely to leave!

Even though certain roach species are common outdoors, you’re more likely to find them indoors in many of proof.’s service areas. German cockroaches are the most prolific species in the United States and regularly infest thousands of homes each year. 

Eliminating Roach Infestations

You know what roaches eat, but you’ll still need to try a few tricks to avoid an infestation from growing too large. 

While it’s challenging to prevent German cockroaches or other species that may enter your home from packaging and groceries, there are still methods that will keep their population at bay until a pest professional can visit your home. 

Cleaning up around your home is one of the easiest ways to keep a roach infestation under control. Because they will consume anything, reducing their food sources can make them hungry and decrease reproduction. 

Start by wiping down your counters with a wet cloth. This will pick up any stray crumbs and even cleanse some easy-to-remove stains. Don’t worry about leaving any crumbs on the floor! You can sweep them up later. 

After starting with a clean slate, start cleansing stubborn stains with a kitchen cleaner. You can create your own with bleach or use your favorite store-bought cleanser to get the job done. 

Now, thoroughly sweep your floor, reaching behind and under appliances where crumbs and particles may hide. Mop everything once completed to keep your home squeaky clean and prevent roaches from spreading. 

Because most severe roach infests occur from accidental introduction, it’s often difficult to prevent bugs completely. However, when insects invade your home, consider contacting us here at proof. Pest Control to lend a hand!

We cover various roach species, including the German Cockroach. Our roach removal services will target existing adults and eliminate newly hatched nymphs with a follow-up treatment and inspection. 

Don’t wait for a cockroach infestation to grow out of control! Contact us today!

Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.

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