cockroach on a clear surface

Roaches consume almost anything in the homes they invade, from the bread and pasta in pantries to the fruits and vegetables scattered across countertops. 

These pests aren’t too picky when it comes to their next meal. They’ll consume almost anything if they can’t find the right ingredients in the kitchen and aren’t afraid to snack on their fellow insects, either!

But what do cockroaches consume indoors? Do roaches eat bed bugs, ants, or spiders?

Keep reading to know what pests roaches may turn to in your home and how a comprehensive pest management plan can help keep these creepy critters away.

Invading Roaches You May See in North Carolina

Across the country, multiple cockroach species regularly infest American homes. Some may crawl in from outdoors, while others have to be introduced by outside sources. 

German cockroaches can’t live on their own in the wild. This species has adapted to only live near humans to guarantee their survival. Without frequent access to food, water, and temperature-controlled buildings, these pests wouldn’t survive. 

German cockroach on a green leaf

Besides German roaches, you’ll also find American cockroaches, smokey brown roaches, and wood roaches in North Carolina. These pests thrive outdoors, but most will come inside to feast on whatever you have stored in your kitchen. 

American roaches are the largest roach species in America, sometimes growing over an inch and a half in length. While German cockroaches are more common inside, these hefty invaders can still sneak inside for shelter and food.

As their name suggests, wood roaches primarily infest wooden structures outdoors but may invade wooden items inside, especially when carried in from firewood. Don’t worry, though! These pests aren’t interested in eating any wood inside like termites. 

Smokey brown roaches are another common outdoor species, primarily inhabiting garden beds, rotting wood, and leaf litter. Be careful jumping around in raked leaves during the fall, as these pests may be hiding inside. 

You can expect to see smokey brown roaches during the winter months. Freezing outdoor temperatures are often too cold for these pests to sustain themselves outdoors. 

North Carolina residents will see German cockroaches invade their homes, mainly because of their widespread population and familiar place in many grocery stores, restaurants, and packaging. 

However, don’t be surprised if you spot one of these other species lurking around. No matter the type of cockroach in your home, contact us for help! Plus, check out more information about common North Carolina roaches here.

What Do Roaches Eat?

So, we know that roaches are common pests indoors and outside, but what keeps them coming to our garden and doorsteps?

Roaches are opportunistic with all of their meals, meaning they’ll eat almost anything in their path when hungry. Typically, nothing is off the menu for these six-legged creepy crawlers. 

But even these pests have their limits, and avoid certain foods in your home for other available delicacies. Do roaches eat bed bugs and other common indoor insects, or do they turn their nose up to other invading bugs?

Will Cockroaches Eat Their Own Kind?

Surprisingly, yes! Cockroaches sometimes eat other roaches indoors, even if they’re from the same group.

It’s common for cockroaches and other insects that prey on decomposing matter to turn on their species once they’ve kicked the bucket. After a nearby cockroach dies, others turn their deceased friend into their next meal. 


These pests will even prey on living roaches to meet their nutritional needs if they can’t find other food sources. If an infestation has grown out of control and there’s not enough food to go around, stronger roaches could begin feasting on more vulnerable members. 

Multiple German cockroaches gathered together

You can often discern if you have a severe infestation by the presence of roaches during the daytime, visible damage to your food, or discarded shells, limbs, and droppings. Whenever you find these signs of cockroaches, contact us immediately to remove the pests. 

Similarly, the roaches may turn to eat themselves if you’ve eliminated their potential food sources. While crafty, even these pests can go hungry when you clean up any potential meal, like crumbs, unsecured food, and other pests.

Do Roaches Eat Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are another common indoor insect with a population on the rise. Like the German cockroach, bed bugs can’t survive away from a human host. Their reliance on blood keeps them tightly intertwined with human society.

These tiny pests can invade multiple locations like a hotel, office building, hospital, or even a plush seat in a lobby waiting room. They’re expert hiders and can latch onto clothing or bags to move around from location to location. 

Once inside your home, bed bugs are tricky insects to eliminate. Because they hide away in the seams of your mattress, carpeting, or along baseboards, it can sometimes be impossible to find their ranks. 

Plus, it’s highly difficult to remove bed bugs on your own. While some DIY treatments can work for pests like ants, flies, or wasps, bed bugs aren’t something you’ll want to miss. These pests can hide away for weeks, only emerging once you think you’ve beaten an infestation.

Many storebought pesticides can’t solely get the job down, and you’ll need to rely on professional bed bug services to eliminate them before their numbers continue to grow out of hand. 

Thankfully, Innovative Pest Solutions provides excellent bed bug services that can help control the infestation in your home!

While pesky and often frightening insects, bed bugs aren’t indestructible. In fact, many insects regularly prey on these tiny brown critters that routinely disrupt your sweet dreams and cause you to lose sleep.

House centipedes regularly eat bed bugs. These tiny pests have speed on their side and can quickly snatch up a wandering bed bug as it’s leaving its hiding spot to feast on blood. 

Some spider and ant species also consume bed bugs too. But do roaches eat bed bugs in your home? 

Cockroaches will eat any invading bed bug they find indoors. Because they’re opportunistic eaters, they’ll consume about anything in your home, especially if there’s a large enough bed bug population in your room. 

However, you shouldn’t rely on roaches to help control your bed bug problem. While convenient, bed bugs will quickly reproduce without sufficient control methods. Roaches are another pests you don’t want sticking around due to their numerous health concerns. 

Despite their help in culling these blood-sucking pests, you should focus on removing both pests and any other roach attractants indoors. 

What Don’t Roaches Eat?

It’s hard to find a meal that roaches won’t enjoy eating. Besides the food in your pantry, they’ll also head toward the trash, pet food, book bindings, toothpaste, soap, and pet waste. 

blue and white toothpaste on a white, blue, and green toothbrush

Hey, they’re not picky! It’s hard to find a meal that roaches won’t enjoy eating.

However, roaches may not consume certain poisons. Not only are they swiftly becoming immune to certain store-bought pesticides, but they also recognize them as items to avoid. 

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that roaches avoid coffee grounds or things flavored with bay leaves, and certain minty smells can also keep them at bay. Hungry cockroaches aren’t likely to pass up a meal, so don’t assume they won’t snack on any of these items. 

When you have roaches indoors, you’ll want to eliminate them fast. Not only can they breed quickly, but these pests can spread harmful bacteria onto your countertops and into your food. 

To keep your family safe and healthy, contact us at Innovative Pest Solutions to remove any cockroach problem you may have. Our technicians will visit your home and find the source of a pesky infestation. Contact us today to learn more!

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