Do rats eat roaches? Well, we all know that rats and roaches both are pests that bring disease to our home. Rats and roaches love to live in a humid, warm, and dirty place. Then, surprisingly, rats sometimes eat cockroaches. The rat sniffing it first then strike at it swiftly that it frightened. This fear caused the rat to keep attacking the cockroach until it escaped or captured.
If the cockroach gets captured, it will be killed by getting its head removed first then the rest of its parts—wing covers, wings, and each of the legs—will be chewed like a snack. Sometimes only the soft part like the abdomen or its whole body will be eaten by a rat.
Why Do Rats Eat Cockroaches?
Apparently, cockroach provides nutrition for rats. Based on this data analysis, a roach like the dubia roach in the adult form contains 6-7% fats, 21-23% protein, 2.6-2.9% fiber, 700-800 calcium, and 2600 phosphor. So, roaches are rich in vitamins and minerals which fortify the rodent’s immunity. Their exoskeleton is the benefit of a rat’s digestion system.
Moreover, a study shows that cockroach milk from Diploptera functata has a higher nutritional potential than other mammalian milk. This milk is rich with essential nutrients such as conjugated linoleic acid, oleic acid, short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids,omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is great for a potential food source, but, still, further researches are still ongoing to prove it.
On the other side, rats are known as omnivores. Even they can eat anything, if you pet them, make sure you’re feeding them foods that are nutritious and not harmful. Pet rats, just like wild rats, eat cockroaches. In fact, they can catch them out of glue traps without getting trapped themselves. Pet (domestic) rats should not eat cockroaches since they could be carrying pesticides and diseases.
Not only other animals like rats, but also cockroaches themselves eat each other, according to research. Cockroaches get eaten whether or not they trapped or within the wild. Rats could kill moving roaches and capture them. Cockroaches are not easy to catch because they moved so fast, but rats are smarter. This is often much easier for rats that are bigger and able to contain them for an extended time.
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Do Rats Eat Roaches as The Primary Food Source?
Rats don’t prey on cockroaches regularly, mostly because they are hard to catch. They use them as supplements to their diet. Rats in the wild need extra protein to survive, so they hunt roaches. But if you pet it, your rat is probably getting enough nutrients. Besides, roaches are filthy and could carry diseases and pesticides that could harm your pet rat. This goes for all other insects.
If you’re not having rodents as a pet, don’t consider this as an option to exterminate cockroaches. Cockroaches are a pest for several reasons, rodents, especially rats or rats can also become a nuisance on your property. They can carry diseases, destroy property, and reproduce quickly, often leading to infestations that can be difficult to control.
Furthermore, cockroaches are often rather difficult for rats to catch, because they’re faster. However, people provide both roaches and rats with far more convenient and accessible food sources in their pantries and pet bowls, because those pests eat almost everything. This means cockroaches might be more of an occasional treat than a main course in a mouse’s diet.
Do Not Keep Rats as Natural Predator for Roaches
You may start to think that rats are the natural predator for roaches, so you can take some benefits from the existence of the rats. But, in this case, you have to know that rats are just as bad as cockroaches to have in the home, if not even worse. Rats eat and contaminate our food, and their chewing habits can cause extensive damage to our homes’ structural interior, as well as to our belongings. Their gnawing can even be a fire hazard if rats chew through electrical wiring.
Then, perhaps worst of all, rats are disease carriers; they can transmit several dangerous illnesses to people and their pets, including tularemia, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Hantavirus, and the plague (yes that plague— the one that killed millions of Europeans during the Middle Ages).
Next, rats can transmit these diseases through their urine and droppings, as well as their nesting materials, not to mention by way of their bites. Then, there’s the potential for even further infestations or diseases rats can bring along with them on their backs—yes, rats often have fleas or ticks themselves that can be transferred to you and your pets.
Considering all the problems rats can introduce when they infest our homes, people should definitely not rely on these rodents for pest control, even if they do make a small dent in cockroach activity around your house.
Here are the signs of rats’ infestation in your house:
- Food debris. Rats are scavengers. They will munch your cardboard or even plastic bags to get to the food, and that includes your pets like dog food or birdseed (in addition to human food). You might see tiny bite marks in boxes, or other evidence that your food packages have been tampered with. As well, they might leave crumbs behind. Sometimes, though, they transport the food back and forth to their nests, the crumbs might be more obvious by a nesting spot than by the food storage area.
- Get to know what mouse droppings look like — they are very small, pellets look-alike, that are usually pointed at one end. It is often mistaken as roaches’. You might see them on floors, countertops, or inside cabinets if it’s a traveled area for rats.
- If you hear scratching in the walls or running sounds at night, keep listening, that means they’re going to search for some food or go back to their nest.
- Nesting space. Rats often enter a home when the weather starts to cool in the fall. They want a warm spot to sleep, breed, and birth babies. If you see a spot in your basement or attic where the insulation has been disturbed or other debris looks awry, or the awful smell, it could be a sign that rats are nesting. Don’t forget to check your empty boxes.
- Traffic patterns. Rats use specific travel patterns. You might be able to spot dirt like droppings under ceiling joints or on the walls where they’ve passed.
Another important sign you have to notice is that if you hear or see rats only at night, it’s possible that the mouse population in your home is still small and controllable. If you begin seeing them during the day, which could be an indicator that you have a large mouse problem and you have to get rid of them immediately.
Well, that is all the discussion on the question do rats eat roaches. Well, it can be concluded that rats do eat roaches as an additional diet menu, and it is not recommended to keep rats as natural predators for cockroaches.