Rodents like rats and mice have a wide range of delicacies including roaches. Since they are good hunters, rats will not hesitate to chase roaches around the house and eat them. However, this will only happen when they are hungry and there is no other food.
Rats can eat cockroaches but only as an alternative. It has also been observed that dead roaches produce a decaying protein odor that attracts rodents. Rats’ favorite roaches are the female ones that have tasty milk in their abdomen.
Naturally, rats are very smart and they will go for easy meals unless they are separate. They cannot go for a week without eating and they will eat almost anything when they are starved. They will eat both live and dead roaches just to survive.
In this article:
Is it safe for rats to eat roaches?
It is okay for rats and mice to feed on roaches that are pacifically kept for eating. A perfect roach meal for for those rodents include the hissing roaches and the Dubai roaches that are generically kept. However, the common house roach can cause stomach upsets and diarrhea in rats.
Cockroaches from the rains can also be poisonous to rats because they pic a lot of bacteria. Those can get stuck on their legs and bodies. They also feed on stools which can remain on their body both internally and externally.
Eating dead roaches can also harm rats and mice especially when they die from poisonous insecticides. The toxic chemicals will still remain in their system and when rats ingest them, they may have stomach pains.
Clean roaches are rich in proteins which can boost a rat’s immune system. If you keep finding dead roaches in the morning and you did not poison them, then rats could be the culprits. Normally, rats will eat the roaches but they will leave wings because they are difficult to chew and swallow.
Why rats eat cockroaches
Rats prefer eating female roaches because they have milk that is rich in nutrients. This milk is sweet to rats, mice and other rodents because it contains sugar and fats. Additionally, it is rich in proteins and amino acids that are good for growth and development.
Rats will simply hunt the cockroaches by physically chasing, catching and eating them. They will also feed on the dead ones in case they come across them. The parts of a roach that rats and mice will leave behind after eating it include the antennae, legs and the wings.
They will also start eating a cockroach from the abdomen because it is a meaty area. In most cases, they will also leave the head and go for a new catch. When feeding on a female roach, they will eat almost everything because of the rich tasty milk that they keep in their body.
Adult roaches attract rats as compared to the young ones. Baby roaches are less meaty and rats will not really bother with them. Even if they eat them, they will end up spitting them out because they are not as tasty as the adult ones.
Surprisingly, roaches make a good meal for rats and mice especially if they are kept on a diet. Those that eat fresh vegetables, meat, and fruits are the best for rodents. Clean roaches can also be fried, boiled, or salted for rats and mice to eat. You will be amazed by how much they will enjoy feeding on them.
Do rats keep roaches away
Roaches are afraid of rats because they are a danger to them. However, you cannot depend on rats keep roaches away because they only eat them as an alternative. Only starved rats will eat roaches out of desperation. It is a serious hustle for rats to chase and catch cockroaches and this is a last option for them.
They will first look for their favourite meals and if they find none, that is when their survival instincts will kick in. Since the two are all nocturnal, they will go looking for food at night but the drama will start if there is no food.
A house that is infested with rats will also attract roaches because those 2 can coexist. Even though they will not live side by side because one can eat the other, cockroaches can eat rats’ poop. In most cases, a roach-infested house will also attract rats since there will be plenty of feeding alternatives.
It is therefore a myth to think that rats can keep roaches away since both will stay in a dirty house. They share the same habitats and both will always hide from humans and come out in the dark. Their droppings can also be similar in appearance unless you are very keen on details.
Do rats eat roach bait?
Rats can feed on roach’s bait without any problem. Generally, cockroach baits consist of their favorite meals like starch and meat. Rats have the same taste and they will happily feast on any bait that contains both.
If a rat happens to eat a roach’s bait, it will also get poisoned. The amount of poison consumed is what will determine if they will die or not. Rats can tolerate more poison as compared to tiny bugs and cockroach bait will only kill them if they consume it in significant amounts.
If the bait has just a little poison that is enough to kill the roaches, it will only make the rat sick for some time. Rats have a good immune system that will try to clear the toxic bait as much as possible. The bait will only kill them if it is loaded with toxic chemicals which is rare for a roach’s bait in most cases.
Rats and roaches share a direct feeding habit and this is why an infestation of one will invite the other sooner or later. Cockroaches will eat almost everything that rats can eat and those two can be found under one roof as long as they both have different hiding areas.
Just like rats and mice, roaches are also omnivorous meaning that they can feed on both vegetables and meat. Both can also eat dead decaying mater when they lack their favorite meals.