Do Roaches Eat Dead Roaches? Interesting Roach Facts

Do Roaches Eat Dead Roaches

Roaches are a problem that plagues every living person. They are often found in homes and businesses alike, and their presence is not something to be taken lightly. Many homeowners try to get rid of roaches by killing them or poisoning them. 

One of the most common questions about roaches is whether or not they eat each other. It seems that humans are especially turned off by the idea of one roach eating another roach. This article will address the eating habits of roaches.

Do Roaches Eat Dead Roaches?

Yes, roaches do eat other dead roaches. Cockroaches are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. This cannibalistic behavior is quite normal for most types of roaches.

Cockroaches prefer to dine on whatever is most readily available; if food sources become scarce, they will turn on each other. Cockroaches have been known to eat their kind while they are still alive.

Facts About Roaches

The roach is one of the oldest creatures on this earth and is a resilient little critter; it has survived through five major extinction events, including the dinosaur extinction. 

Their long-lasting life is due to their adaptable nature and ability to survive extreme environments. 

They have been around for about 300 million years and are a very successful species. There are 4,500 species of cockroaches spread across every continent except Antarctica. 

The most common roach species is the German cockroach, which can be found in almost every region of the world; in houses, restaurants, and food factories. 

They are great breeders and can produce five egg cases per month. Each egg case contains about 30 eggs.

The largest species, the giant burrowing cockroach, can grow over 4 inches long. Here in America, we tend to see them in two forms: the giant, fat, ugly-looking German cockroach and the smaller, brownish-colored American cockroach.

The American cockroach is a relatively large cockroach species, and it is probably the most common household pest in North America.

The American cockroach has a light brown color, around 1-1/2 inches long. They like to hide in warm and damp places such as basements, sewers, steam tunnels, and bathroom plumbing. 

They can live almost anywhere where food and water are available, but they need at least 32-degree temperatures to survive.

Roaches are one of the most hated creatures globally; they are the bane of many people’s existence. 

Their disgusting creatures are disease-carrying pests that thrive in dirty and unsanitary places. 

Roaches are also known for their scavenging habit of eating almost anything, including living things.

The common roach can be found in every part of the world but prefer warmer climates. They have spread so much because they can travel by water and land. This adaptability has enabled them to spread worldwide, even remote locations.

Roaches find their way into your home through tiny cracks and holes, mainly behind appliances and cabinets. 

Homes in warm climates with humid conditions like Florida are more susceptible to roaches than others.

Yet even though there are so many reasons to hate them, they do have one redeeming quality: they eat other roaches! It is a vicious insect cycle of life and death. 

Roaches will eat each other until there are no more left, at which point they might die off themselves due to extreme starvation.

What Do Roaches Eat?

You know that cockroaches are scavengers, and they will eat pretty much anything, right? But there are specific things that they prefer to eat. Cockroaches are omnivorous, which means they will eat both plants and animals. 

However, they prefer a meat-based diet because it provides them with the most energy. 

  • Roaches eat all sorts of meats, including dead insects and some rodents.
  • Sugary foods
  • Decomposing organic matter, such as garbage and dead plants 
  • Fermented foods
  • Baked foods
  • Injured, dying, or dead cockroaches
  • Fatty food
  • Starchy food
  • Flour

They also eat their feces, which may sound disgusting but is a great way to recycle nutrients back into the system.

Why Do Roaches Eat Each Other?

There are many reasons why roaches eat each other;

Food Scarcity

The first reason roaches eat other roaches is that they’re pretty hungry. 

If a roach stumbles upon a dead roach in its search for food, it’ll quite often eat the dead roach right there on the spot. There’s no difference between eating dead roaches and other food scraps.


Roaches also eat other live roaches to escape starvation as a last resort. If one cockroach species is starving and another is not, the roach will prey on the other roach to survive. 

The main reason for cannibalism between cockroaches is the lack of an alternate food source. 

If a population is isolated, food will run out, and they will turn to eat each other. One study showed that when the food supply was cut off in a population of cockroaches, there was a 100% increase in cannibalism.

Roaches are cannibalistic

They often eat the dead carcasses of other roaches or even each other. And not just in times of food scarcity. Even if there are plenty of food sources available, roaches will still eat each other. 

Prevents Overcrowding in colonies

A study found that cannibalism among cockroaches can be beneficial since it prevents Overcrowding in colonies. 

The study published in the journal Animal Behaviour revealed that cannibalism is an integral part of how German cockroaches (Blatella germanica) regulate population numbers.

Mating Conflicts

Scientists have long known that cockroaches engage in cannibalistic behavior. When a female is ready to mate, she releases a pheromone called a sex attractant. 

This attracts males from miles around, who will fight each other to the death for the chance to mate with her.

The victor gets to mate, and the loser becomes dinner. 

Why Are Roaches So Hard To Kill?

Few creatures on this earth cause as much disgust and hatred as the common cockroach. They’re practically immortal, they spread disease, are ugly, scuttle around in the dark, and they’re downright frightening when you see them.

There’s a saying in the pest control industry that there are 50 more you don’t see if you see one cockroach. 

These pests are well-known for their resilience and ability to adapt to most forms of pest control. Here’s a look at why roaches are so hard to kill.

They’ve Evolved Over Millenia.

Roaches have been around for over 280 million years and have adapted throughout the ages, and during that time, they have evolved several different survival strategies. 

One of them is cannibalism. If a cockroach finds itself in an especially dire situation, it will eat another member of its kind to survive.

They can also live for months without food, and they can even survive being doused with boiling water. They can survive on almost any food source and digest anything they eat.

They Are Resilient

Roaches are resilient creatures. They can survive for up to a week without their heads and a month without food. 

These sneaky, filthy pests can survive a nuclear fallout and even resist the effects of toxic chemicals and withstand radiation from a nuclear blast. They are one of nature’s actual survivors.

They Can Withstand Extreme Weather

Roaches can also withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, making them very difficult to eradicate. It’s nearly impossible to drown a roach in water since they can breathe underwater for up to 45 minutes.

They Live In Colonies

Roaches can be challenging to get rid of because they live in colonies, like ants or bees. A colony is made up of groups that are interdependent on one another. If you destroy one group in the colony, it will create a domino effect, and the rest will survive.

Are Roaches Hunters?

Roaches aren’t hunters. They aren’t particularly territorial animals either; they are pretty social. A group of roaches is called a colony, and some colonies can have up to 25,000 members! 

Roaches don’t just hang out with other roaches, though; they also make themselves at home in dark corners of our houses.

Where Do Cockroaches Nest?

When you think of a cockroach’s abode, you probably imagine a dark and dingy hole in the wall. 

This is more likely to be the case for roaches like the German cockroach, which are ground-dwelling and don’t do well in high humidity areas.

However, their homes are much different when it comes to American cockroaches. These cockroaches prefer higher, dryer areas like attics, basements, and bathrooms. They can even be found nesting on top of kitchen cabinets and under sinks.


To sum up this article, roaches do indeed eat dead roaches. Not only that, if food is scarce, they’ll eat each other alive.

Roaches are a pretty disgusting insect. They carry germs and spread disease, so getting rid of them is a good thing! Contact professional pest control services if you need help eliminating roaches from your home.