Have you ever seen bed bugs crawling on your beds and sofas? If so, getting rid of them would be challenging for you. You probably tried several ways to kill them, but do you know cockroaches may help you in this regard? Now, the question arises; do cockroaches eat bed bugs?
Cockroaches can eat bed bugs and their eggs due to their scavenger nature. They are omnivores and can eat anything available to them, from leaves to meat. These two pests have many possibilities to interact since they reside in dark and moist areas. That’s why it’s easy for roaches to eat bed bugs.
To know more about bed bugs & cockroaches, read the complete article.
Relationship between Cockroaches & Bed Bugs
Both cockroaches and bed bugs belong to the insect community that may infest your home and property and causes a nuisance. In general, cockroaches are bigger than bed bugs and have wings, which they can use to fly.
Bed bugs are tiny, brownish-red insects that consume human and animal blood as food. They are unable to fly, yet they can move swiftly. Although bed bugs are easier to eliminate than cockroaches, both are challenging to eradicate. Thus, they are both horrible in different ways.
If you have an infestation of bed bugs and cockroaches in your home, contact a professional pest control company to keep them away.
Reasons, Why Do Cockroaches Feed on Bed Bugs?
As cockroaches are omnivores, they can eat anything available to them. There are a few suggestions about why they do this, even if there is mixed evidence. One reason is that cockroaches may view bed bugs as rivals for food and resources.
Another reason is that cockroaches may like the taste of bed bugs. Regardless of the cause, cockroaches may exacerbate your bed bug problem. It’s better to treat the root cause of an infestation to get a perfect solution. Thus, if you have a bed bug problem in your home, you should adopt immediate steps to remove cockroaches and bed bugs.
What Kind of Cockroaches Eats Bed Bugs?
There are 3500 kinds of cockroaches throughout the world. All have different shapes and sizes. Some roaches have wings, while some can’t fly and have a different way of reproduction. Similarly, some cockroaches eat bugs, while others don’t. Below are the most common types of cockroaches that eat bed bugs:
Although they can consume anything, their preferred food sources are food crumbs inside your kitchen cabinets and in and around your electric appliances. Moreover, outside your home, they love to eat small insects, rotten leaves, fungi, and algae.
German roaches are larger than American cockroaches. They are the most common roaches that eat bed bugs to fulfill their nutritional requirements. According to the Arthropods – New Advances and Perspectives Journal, german cockroaches prefer to eat food rich in carbohydrates, starch, and glucose like sweets. Furthermore, these roaches get inside your home through cardboard or old appliances.
Oriental cockroaches are the smallest number of cockroaches in the U.S. Although they live outside, they can enter your home through the drainage pipes or other obscure openings that lead to their nests. Usually, they eat dead plants, decaying objects, and even bed bugs.
These cockroaches are scavengers and consume nearly everything organic, including blood, decomposing debris, and bedbugs. Moreover, brown-banded cockroaches live in dark and warm, moist areas to maintain their body heat. Thus, you can find them under your furniture and appliances.
Do Cockroaches Kill Bed Bugs?
Yes, cockroaches can eat and kill bed bugs when they have no other option to fulfill their quest. It is well known that cockroaches consume anything, including leftover food and dead insects. As they are omnivores they love to eat:
- Sweet things with a lot of glucose and carbohydrates
- Leftover meat
- Bed bugs and other dead insects
- Books, wallpaper, and hair
Additionally, cockroaches readily swallow bed bugs because they are only the size of apple seeds. However, finding bed bugs to eat is difficult for cockroaches because they hide in places that roaches can’t access, including inside your mattress and furniture.
Can Bed Bugs and Cockroaches Coexist?
No, cockroaches and bed bugs can’t live together. Although cockroaches can live in bedrooms, they don’t prefer to do so. On the other hand, bed bugs choose to live in your bedrooms. Unluckily, you can face both cockroaches and bed bugs problem at the same time. When they enter your home, they infest different parts of it.
Cockroaches are attracted to food, water, and shelter. They love to reside in regions with a good supply of all these things. Alternatively, bed bugs fulfill their nutrients by consuming human blood. Thus, they infest the area near people when they are sleeping.
Bed Bugs or Cockroaches: Which is More Annoying?
Cockroaches and bed bugs are annoying in different ways. They are challenging to eliminate and kill because they reproduce quickly. Bed bugs are more annoying or worse than cockroaches because of the following reasons:
- They suck your blood while you are asleep
- Bed bugs cause severe itching and skin allergy
- Actively look for hosts among humans
On the other hand, cockroaches are annoying due to following reasons:
- They can contaminate your food and transmit harmful diseases
- Roaches may cause asthma and other respiratory problems
- Moreover, they are larger and are fearful
Additionally, neither is preferable to the other because they both produce distress and anxiety. Therefore, whenever you see them crawling into your home, follow immediate actions to eradicate them.
Do Cockroaches Bring Bed Bugs?
Yes, cockroaches can bring bed bugs into your home while passing through dirty areas. When traveling, you need to look for bed bugs because they are frequently present in hotels. If you discover any bed bugs in your hotel room, address the issue to the front desk to resolve it.
Additionally, place your luggage off the floor and away from your bed to prevent bringing bed bugs back to your home. When you return home, inspect your luggage thoroughly and wash your clothes with hot water to kill bed bugs. Vacuum your bags and put them away till your next journey.
Can You Eliminate Bed Bugs Using Cockroaches?
Cockroaches may kill or eat some bed bugs but they can’t eliminate their whole colony. Your home becomes infested with bed bugs because they reproduce more quickly than cockroaches can consume them.
Moreover, bed bugs are challenging to locate due to their small size and preference for hiding in spaces that cockroaches cannot access. In contrast to bed bugs, which require a human host to survive, cockroaches are seen in bathrooms and kitchens. Therefore, there is little chance of their interaction.
Do Cockroaches Have an Impact on Bed Bugs Presence?
Yes, cockroaches may impact bed bugs’ presence. The odor of cockroaches allures bed bugs, which they use to seek refuge in your home. It may lead to severe bed bug infestation that needs an expert to resolve.
Although cockroaches don’t cause bed bugs, they create an atmosphere more conducive to their growth and reproduction. Before a cockroach infestation turns into a bedbug infestation, it’s important to address any cockroach issues you may be experiencing.
Other Predators of Bed Bugs
Even though cockroaches are common predators of bed bugs, below are some other animals that prey on bed bugs.
According to the Cornell University Library, house centipedes are predatory animals and prefer to live in moist areas in and outside your home. You can see them most commonly in your house during the cold weather. As they are active hunters, they are always looking for their prey and eat any insects coming their way, including bed bugs.
Mites, especially house dust mites, are common predators of bed bugs and are present in dusty areas. They are very small insects and can’t be seen by the naked eye. These mites eat the dead skin of humans and bed bugs because they love to hide in bedrooms. Moreover, they also eat silverfish and allergenic mites.
Masked Bed Bugs Hunter
The little, black bugs known as masked bed bug hunters are only 17 to 22 mm long. They are assassin bugs that coat their body in sticky substances to disguise themselves as dust. Though they assist you in getting rid of your bed bug infestation, their bite hurts like a snake’s. Moreover, they don’t suck blood but bite you when afraid.
These ants are similar to common household ants and are translucent and honey-colored. They breed in warm areas throughout the year and are commonly found in America and Europe. Due to their preference for larger, more difficult-to-control populations, pharaoh ants are ineffective at eliminating bed bugs. However, they can help you find bed bug hiding places.
Thanatus Flavidus Spider
It is the only species of spider that prey on bed bugs. They have flat bodies and are black and brown colored. These are also known as cellar spiders because they love to live in moist and dark areas. Moreover, these spiders help to eliminate bed bugs from your house without harming you.
Although cockroaches are annoying creatures, they are the natural enemy of bed bugs. They can eat anything available, from food scraps to bed bugs to fulfill their nutrient requirements.
Nevertheless, cockroaches can’t always attack and wipe out a bed bug colony, even if they kill and devour bed bugs. Consequently, to thoroughly eradicate the bed bug infestation at your home, it is strongly advised to employ an external bed bug killer or contact any bed bug-killing professionals.
Chandra Neupane, A. (2022). Food Detection and Feeding Behavior of Three Species of Household Cockroaches, Blatella germanica (L.), Periplaneta americana (L.), and Supella longipalpa (F.). IntechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.108499