What Do Cockroaches Eat in Your Home that Attracts them?

Cockroaches have a varied diet that differs among species. But what do cockroaches eat in your home that makes your house attractive for them?

Maybe you are trying to figure the answer and keep such food away from the house to end the infestation. Well, in this post, you will learn about what cockroaches eat and how to get rid of an infestation.

Is the cockroach infestation at your place stressing you out? Do you want to know why these tiny crawlers come to your house? If so, you are in the right place. Here, you will know about all the different things that cockroaches dine on inside the house.

Just before we go into what they eat when they come into your home, you should also check out what cockroaches hate, then use them as repellant tools.

An interesting fact about cockroaches is that they are nocturnal pests and enjoy eating at night. You may never know about a cockroach infestation until you stumble upon their feast in the middle of the night.

What do Cockroaches Eat in your Home the Most?

what do cockroaches eat in your home

Apart from the wood-eating genus Cryptocercus that consumes an exclusive diet of woods, most cockroaches are generally omnivorous scavengers that eat any type of organic food source. They feed on dead objects that are rich in proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Additionally, cockroaches eat fruits, vegetables, plants, and fibrous materials.

Cockroaches are particularly attracted to sugar, meat, cheese, and sugar. But they are not picky eaters. The pests would eat any food item that they come across in the kitchen or dining area.

Cockroaches may resort to cannibalism when there is a shortage of food. The pests are known to eat other roaches and even feed on their wings and legs. They may also eat household items in the event of food shortages, including:

  • Soap
  • Bookbindings
  • Leather
  • Toothpaste
  • Paper scraps
  • Skin flakes
  • Starch-based paints
  • Nylon clothing
  • Wallpaper

Now that you know what cockroaches generally eat let us look at different species of the cockroaches and what they eat inside the house.

Different Roaches Species and what they Eat

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are one of the most common species of roaches in the US. Also known by the scientific name of Blattella germanica, German cockroaches prefer homes and reproduce at a fast rate. They are a common problem in apartments and other types of shared apartments.

How to Identify:

German cockroaches have two dark sprites that run down the thorax or middle part of their bodies. An adult German cockroach is light brown and measures only 0.5 inches. A juvenile or nymph German cockroach is darker, smaller, and has a tan-colored stripe running down the back.


German cockroaches diet consists of a variety of food items. This includes bread crumbs, book bindings, toothpaste, soap, and so on.

German cockroaches eat a variety of household items, including book bindings, crumbs, soap, toothpaste, and other scavenged items. The roaches can spread diseases by contaminating cooking and food surfaces. Also, the cockroaches leave behind eggs on the food that can result in food poisoning and asthma attacks.

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are also a common sight in apartments and homes in the US. The scientific name of American cockroaches is Periplaneta Americana, but they are also known as sewer roaches or palmetto bugs. While less common as compared to German roaches, they may contaminate your food and trigger allergic reactions similar to German cockroaches.

How to Identify:

American cockroaches are reddish-brown. They are more significant than German cockroaches measuring about 3 inches. A yellow band outlines the middle section or thorax. They have wings but don’t usually use them to fly.


American cockroaches prefer a diet consisting of fermenting food. Moreover, the cockroaches may also search for bread crumbs and scraps. They may also feed on fungi, wood, leaves, and smaller insects.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are a dangerous pest that mostly lives outside, but sometimes infest houses. These roaches have the scientific name Blatta orientalis. They are primarily found in homes with lots of vegetation around. These cockroaches don’t fly and move more slowly as compared to other species. They also cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces, unlike the American and German roaches. As a result, they become trapped in bathtubs and sinks.

How to Identify:

Oriental roaches are smaller than American cockroaches but bigger than the German roaches. They measure about 1.25 inches with a dark color that ranges between black and reddish-brown. The wings of male oriental roaches are bigger than those of female cockroaches.


Oriental cockroaches’ diet is even grosser than that of American and German cockroaches. Their diet mainly consists of feces, garbage, and decaying animal and plant matter.

Wood Cockroaches

Wood cockroaches include the Virginia wood cockroaches, Pennsylvania wood cockroaches, Boll’s wood cockroach, Brad wood cockroach, and 12 other species. The scientific name of the cockroaches is Parcoblatta. Similar to Oriental cockroaches, they mostly thrive outside but occasionally infest houses. Homes situated in the forested areas are at particular risk of infestation by wood cockroaches during the summer and spring.

How to Identify:

Wood cockroaches have a brown color and are about an inch long. The edges of wood cockroaches are white. Wings of females are about 0.5 inches shorter than the wings of male wood cockroaches. Nymphs or small wood cockroaches don’t have any wings.


The diet of wood cockroaches is mostly dead trees and fallen logs. They also feed on decaying organic matter and wood furniture. They may come inside your house along with firewood.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches

Brown-banded cockroaches are known by the scientific name Supella longipalpa. The cockroaches prefer to live in indoor spaces but are less common as compared to American or German cockroaches in the US.

How to Identify:

Brown-banded cockroaches have narrow bodies that are yellow to light brown color. They are 0.5 inches in length, similar to wood cockroaches. Females are darker brown color, while males are commonly golden-tan colored.


The diet of brown-banded cockroaches includes a range of items. They eat garbage as well as human food items. The cockroaches are dangerous inside the house due to the risk of spreading bacteria and other harmful pathogens. They also leave behind egg cases and old skin on food items that can result in food poisoning and asthma attack.


So for the question what do cockroaches eat in your home, I guess it has been answered. To prevent infestation, you can decide to keep such food away or you can decide to either use some repelling techniques. If you discover that it’s above your capacity, always contact a professional pest exterminator for eliminating cockroach infestation.

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