Any lizard that feeds on insects can comfortably eat cockroaches. How cockroaches taste depends on their habitat and what they eat. The Madagascar hissing roaches is one of the lizard’s favorite meal because it is naturally tasty and sweet.
Depending on the type and size of the roaches, lizards can eat 8-15 cockroaches in a day. Big roaches will satisfy them faster as compared to the small ones. Lizards hate bitter roaches that feed on sewer and shrubs I.e the Florida woods cockroach. Their favorites include the Dubai and Madagascar cockroaches that taste like meat.
However, herbivorous lizards like the Iguana do not like eating cockroaches because they will not be able to digest their proteins. The proteins in cockroaches can cause severe stomach upsets for herbivorous lizards. Their main diet consists of plants and they will only eat roaches or other insects if there is no alternative.
Is it safe for lizards to eat cockroaches?
It is okay for lizards to feed on roaches as long as they are fresh. Cockroaches do not sting and their bites are not deadly to lizards. This makes them a safe diet for lizards. Baby lizards can also eat little roaches as long as they can fit in their mouths.
Cockroaches in their natural form do not contain any poison and it is safe for lizards to eat them in plenty. Most roaches that live in the kitchen will not harm lizards because they feed on food particles and hide in kitchen cabinets during the day.
However, most roaches are dirty and they are known to crawl in sewers, drainage, and toilets. This means that they contain bacterial and fungal infections that may be dangerous to lizards. Lizards can easily get infections and feeding on old random roaches can hurt them.
A study done on the bearded dragon lizard proved that they can get diarrhea with serious stomach upsets if they eat dirty roaches. They are sensitive to dirt and roaches tend to carry lots of bacteria that can be harmful to a lizards intestines.
It is also not safe for lizards to eat dead roaches that have been lying around for long because they are tasteless and full of germs. Lizards prefer fresh roaches over those that are dead and dry.
Lizards that eat roaches
It has been observed that some lizard do not enjoy feeding on roaches. In other words, not all lizards will eat roaches depending on the species and their eating habits. The bearded dragons and the house lizards are the leading group of lizards that can eat cockroaches comfortably.
Leopard geckos can also eat cockroaches without any difficulties. If there is no other source of food, they can live on roaches alone. In a day, leopard lizards can eat 15 small roaches. If they get roaches that are breed and reserved for consumption, they can eat more.
Do blue lizards eat cockroaches? Yes, it is true that the blue lizards can eat roaches just like they can feed on other insects and bugs. Their main meal is bugs and insects and they will eat cockroaches without any problems.
Huge lizards like the combo dragon and the monitor lizard can eat cockroaches but that is not what they will spend their time looking for. It will take dozens of lizards to satisfy their appetite. They will only eat them as a by the way and if they see them around because they prefer large prays with lots of flesh.
When out in the wild, the green tree monitor lizard will hunt and eat big roaches that grow up to over 100mm in length. Those roaches are big enough to get the lizards attention and this will be a good meal for them.
Alligators can eat roaches but their huge will make go for other preys. Roaches are tiny and you can imagine how many they will have to eat. It is therefore pointless for adult alligators to hunt cockroaches. However, the young ones may eat them but still, they will need lots of them to get satisfied.
Cockroaches that lizards like to eat
There are several types of cockroaches out there and all of them will never taste the same to lizards. There are those that they will prefer to eat. The habitat of a cockroach will play a big role in how it tastes. Different species live in different environments. Here are roaches that lizards like to eat:
1. Lizards and hissing cockroaches
The one that tops the list is the hissing cockroach. This roaches have a tasty touch to them that can be compared to chicken meat. Lizards will always be found in places where those roaches live.
If the hissing roaches come indoors, house lizards will feed on them. However, those roaches prefer to live out doors in the wild but those does not mean that they cannot infest your home.
Lizards can hunt and eat several of those because they can live just by feeding on them both in the wild and in a cadge. They love eating proteins and this is why they end up with a good taste for lizards. They are popular in the Madagascan highlands and that is why they are identified by that name.
2. Dubai cockroaches for lizards
Another type that lizards like to eat is the Dubai cockroaches. They are also called orange-spotted roaches because of the physical appearance that makes them unique. Those can also be found on sale because almost all reptiles will eat them.
If you live in Florida, you should know that you can not buy and import the Dubai cockroaches because they are illegal. This is because the environment in Florida can provide a good habitat for them and an infestation can be a huge problem.
The Dubai cockroach is a great meal for lizards because it is healthy and contains lots of proteins, calcium, and fat that are naturally important in a lizards diet. A lizard that feeds on Dubai roaches will also stay hydrated because those cockroaches are rich in moisture.
3. German cockroaches
House lizards will always hunt and eat German roaches at home. German roaches are the most common indoor roaches and they will live anywhere in the house as long as it is warm dark and moist. Those roaches can even come to your bed and lizards in the bedroom will crawl your bed while chasing them.
In most cases, house lizards will eat for the young ones because they are easy to catch and eat. The older ones are fast and can detect danger very fast so lizards will have to hustle to find them. The old ones will be easy prey for lizards because they tend to be slow and lizards can be fast enough to kill them.
In most cases, the old German roaches are not tasty and house lizards will eat them partially. This is one of the reasons why you may be finding only dead cockroaches at home in the morning. Those can also cause stomach upsets to lizards and diarrhea because they live in dirty places.
4. Baby roaches
The size of the roach will also determine if a lizard will eat it or not. The bigger the roach, the harder it will be for a lizard to hunt it down. Lizards tend to hunt and kill baby roaches because they are an easy target. Baby roaches still soft and digesting them will be easy for lizards when compared to the old ones.
Young lizards also find it easy to eat baby roaches because they are harmless and easy to swallow. Their wings are also not developed and this makes them fleshy for lizards. Adult roaches with wings can sometimes be difficult for lizards to prey on because their wings cover the flesh.
Lizard eating cockroach video:
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency: Lizards for controlling roaches – School IPM
- Research Gate: Lizard Energetics and dies
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.