Cockroaches are notorious pests, infesting households and different businesses, and scavenging for whatever food products they can find. These resourceful insects have a high survival prowess that keeps them for long without eating. In general, they feed on anything digestible and can stick around your home even if there’s no food available.
They usually find their way out in the complete absence of food, but such a situation would be highly unlikely because they can still survive on starchy substances around your home’s periphery. Besides, other survival techniques, including cannibalism, make them less prone to hunger and starvation.
The question of whether these pests leave your home when there’s no food in sight depends on whether there are any other sources available. Technically speaking, these insects feed on whatever they are able to digest. Things like human hair, cellulose-based paints, paper, cardboard, and wallpaper paints are their great food sources.
Can A Cockroach Survive Without Food And How Long Can It Live Without Food?
Cockroaches are one of the most invincible insects on the planet, if not the most. They can survive long enough without food but less without water.
When food is unavailable, they minimize their activities and use their body energy for basic survival functions. Since they are cold-blooded, the temperatures around them drive their body’s functions, and you’ll see them being active when the temperatures are high. Naturally, under these circumstances, they become more active while consuming less body energy. However, these insects hibernate during the cold weather to save their energy reserves, especially if food isn’t available.
Cockroaches can go for up to a month without eating. Therefore, don’t expect them to bid goodbye in a few weeks after you resolve to subject them to starvation.
This period can even be extended if they apply their survival techniques, including cannibalism. Females usually produce unfertilized eggs, which they feed on in case of starvation. Besides, they also feed on their nymphs, making them stay longer in a home even if food isn’t available.
However, one thing is for sure. They will eventually leave if their survival techniques reach a dead end, but don’t expect that anytime soon.
What Do Cockroaches Eat In Your Home And What’s Their Favorite Food?
Cockroaches feast on anything they find that is digestible and organic. This natural temperament makes them one of the most resourceful insects among the wider pool. While they consume every organic material, their most favorite meals include decaying food and waste.
Here’s a breakdown of what meals cockroaches can survive on in your home.
– Decaying food
As mentioned above, decaying food pieces found in garbage cans and kitchen corners are a cockroach’s favorite meal. It contains all the important nutrients they need for their body nourishment, including starch, protein, sugar, and even water-based fluids.
Cockroaches also explore areas outside a home to feed on decaying plant matter. This habit makes them more lethal as they only use a home for shelter if there’s no food inside.
– Cellulose-based paint and other starchy substances
Since cellulose-based paints are the new norm and most people are turning their attention towards them due to their sustainability and affordability, this increases the amount of food for the roaches.
In addition to these paints, cockroaches can feed on other starch-based substances, including paper, cardboard, paper bags, human hair, and glue.
Pet potties or litter boxes at home are a cockroach’s food haven. Since they can’t differentiate between what’s disgusting and appalling and what’s not, they regard human and animal waste as excellent meals. Feces are organic substances that meet all their nutrient requirements and are great food sources for these insects.
– Human food
The dry and uncooked food items you store in cabinets and drawers provide meals for cockroaches. These pests can tear through plastic, paper, and foil to reach stored food.
However, water would need to be available as well since they can’t digest and process dry food alone. Water forms an essential part of their diet, and if not available, they won’t make it past a week or even days.
What Do Roaches Feed On If There’s No Food? Do Cockroaches Eat Their Dead?
In the absence of food, roaches usually turn to other organic sources for survival. As pointed out earlier, they’ll feed on anything digestible or starch-based, including paper, hair, feces, and decaying plant matter. However, if water is absent, these insects won’t survive longer than a week.
In cases of extreme starvation, cockroaches usually turn against themselves and feed on others of their type. They attack and kill the weakened ones to nourish their own bodies. Besides, females can lay up to 300 unfertilized eggs, which they largely use as meals. Adults also resolve to eat their nymphs in situations that prompt them to do so for survival.
Finding out that you have a cockroach infestation in your home or business can be very disturbing. These pests breed rapidly, and are difficult to locate, eliminate, and control without the help of a professional cockroach exterminator.
So if you suspect you have an infestation on your property, contact our local pest control experts at American Pest Control in Athens, GA, for a quote or to schedule a free inspection.