Below I’ve tackled this questions – “do cockroaches eat bed bugs?” Most people dread from the disgusting sight of domestic cockroaches.
Natural/biological pest control remedies like Bed Bug Predators have now become popular. So, do roaches eat bed bugs?
Simple answer, YES – Cockroaches are known predators of bed bugs, which wreak havoc in millions of homes. However, only some species of cockroaches eat bed bugs.
Particularly the American and the German cockroaches are very fond of feasting on bed bugs. Others cockroaches that eat bed bugs include the oriental and the brown-banded cockroaches.
Details: Do Cockroaches Eat Bed Bugs?
It is very uncomfortable to have bed bugs inhabit your home. They hide in furniture, pillows, clothing and luggage near their human host. Bed bug bites cause unbearable irritations and allergic reactions to human bodies.
However, cockroaches can save you from these bites by feasting on these nocturnal insects. Both insects emerge at night after you switch off the lights. In their four hours of actively scavenging for food, cockroaches will feast on bed bugs before they even get a chance to feast on human blood.
To roaches, bed bugs seem like a nice snack. You might wonder how roaches are able to locate bed bugs. They have acute sensory and survival instincts that enable them to easily locate and feed on bed bugs.
Related: Get Rid of Bed Bug Bite Scars
Which Cockroach Species Eat Bed Bugs?
Several species of cockroaches are very fond of eating bed bugs. The most common bed bug-eating cockroaches include the German and the American cockroaches. Others in the list are the oriental and the brown-banded cockroach.
1. American cockroach (waterbug)
It’s the largest household roach in America. They are fond of fermenting material, but will feed on almost any kind food. When indoors, they feed on crumbs that scatter on the floor, under appliances, behind kitchen cabinets and insects such as bed bugs.
Their typical outdoor diet may include, small insects, decaying leaves, fungi, algae, etc.
2. German cockroach
German roaches are almost the size as American ones. They will eat anything that has nutritional value including other pests like bed bugs. They easily find their way into new houses by getting a ride in cartons, bags and second-hand appliances.
Do Cockroaches Hunt Bed Bugs?
Just like bed bugs, cockroaches come out to search for food during the night. So, they’re likely to hunt and feed on bed bugs as they search for something to eat. The two insects have adapted to feed at night as a way of avoiding predators and enemies like us.
At night, when everyone is asleep, there’re fewer disturbances and these insect know it’s their time to eat. If they were to feed during the day, you would of course be their greatest threat. But, at night, these creatures will feed uninterrupted.
Cockroaches will harbour in your mattress and furniture, making them very close to the bed bugs that are waiting for you to sleep in order to feed on your blood. Usually, cockroaches will hunt on these bed bugs as they emerge from their hideouts.
Since they will have to cross walls from their hideouts to get to their human host, they became easy targets from the active cockroaches.
Are Cockroaches a Sign of Bed Bugs?
Once cockroaches get into your house, they will stick there as long as there is something for them to eat or until you exterminate them. You probably know that roaches can eat anything that they come across. They scavenge for anything from food to things like paper, wood and glue.
If there’s nothing for them to eat, including bed bugs, roaches will quickly leave your house and go hunting for food. That means, if roaches have nothing else to eat and you have bed bugs, it possible that they will stick around.
However, you can’t have a scenario where cockroaches have nothing to eat at all. And since they don’t depend on bed bugs as their main diet, roaches will stick in your house whether you have bed bugs or not.
Cockroaches Vs. Bed Bugs – Which is easier to Control?
Cockroaches are simpler to kill because of their tendency to eat any food or even non-food substances. So, if you lay poison baits or traps having food, it is possible to kill cockroaches. A good example of a cockroach trap is bait traps with glucose. Since they love to eat sweet things, glucose will easily lure them into your poison baits or traps.
On the other hand, bed bugs only feed on blood from warm blooded animals. So you won’t expect them to be lured into baits and traps meant for cockroaches. However there are traps and lures for bed bugs.
One of the best method to kill roaches and bed bugs, is to use heat treatment.
In heat treatment, your house is heated to temperatures above 120°C, so that no bed bug or cockroach can survive. The bugs are exterminated quicker with increase in temperatures. It requires professional equipment and expertise to heat the room to the required temperatures.
Not only will you effectively kill bed bugs and cockroaches. If other pests including ants, flies and termites reside in your house, they will also die during the heat treatment.
In addition, most of the available pesticides can be used against roaches and bed bugs. A good example is permethrin.
Disadvantages of Roaches To Kill Bed Bugs
While cockroaches can help you kill bed bugs in your home, they could escalate into a real problem. These creatures are known to be survivalist and can multiply rapidly in a very short period. Don’t be tempted to depend on them to kill bed bugs in your house. Just like bed bugs, roaches are equally difficult to rid of.
Roaches are also associated with a lot of contamination in our houses. They are known to pass on germs that may cause diseases such as gastro-enteritis and dysentery in humans. Other diseases that may be transmitted through these creatures include, salmonella and stomach related illnesses.
These diseases become possible when roaches leave their pathogenic infected faeces or secretions on surfaces and food substances.
Cockroaches also cause asthmatic reactions among children and the elderly during their regular molting.
Do cockroaches eat bed bugs? NO. The fact that cockroaches eat bed bugs does not make them a reliable pest control method. You have noticed that bed bugs don’t constitute the main diet for cockroaches.
Cockroaches feed on almost anything they come across. That means, they don’t go hunting for bed bugs wherever they are. Obviously, you can’t resolve to have enough cockroaches to feed on the bed bugs in your house.
You would end up with a hoard of roaches, hence creating another problem. Furthermore, bed bugs reproduce very rapidly and will replenish their population in a matter of time.
Simply speaking, these natural predators will never make a difference to your bed bug infestation. The best solution is to adopt some of the well-known methods like pesticides, bait traps or the DIY bed bug controls.