As creepy as cockroaches look, you'd think they are vicious predators, right?
Although a nuisance to humans, cockroaches are actually at the bottom of the food chain. They make an excellent source of protein for all kinds of critters, including ones you might see in your backyard.
The bell tolls for the cockroach when it meets the following predators.
Do Toads Eat Cockroaches?
These two creatures are, by far, the most common enemy cockroaches face. Both amphibians regularly scarf down numerous cockroaches in one sitting!
While frogs and toads certainly look similar, they're actually two different animals. Their similarities stem from the fact that toads and frogs both belong to the same scientific Order of animals, called Anura.
Their main differences are that toads have stubbier legs and thicker, bumpier skin. Frogs, meanwhile, have long legs and smooth skin covered in a layer of mucus.
When people imagine a toad in the United States, it is most likely the American Toad.
This animal lives in almost every environment in the country, excluding the southern regions of Florida and some of the barren deserts of the southwest. The majority of these animals are a dull brown or gray in color, but some are red with even darker spots the color of old bricks.
The American Toad eats cockroaches like popcorn and can be found in most yards. They like to live in areas where they have a source of water and a shady shelter. You can encourage more toads to live in your area by creating a section of the garden which has a small pool of water and a raised rock for shade.
Encouraging toads to live near you is a natural and effective way to eliminate troublesome cockroaches and other annoying bugs!
Do Frogs Eat Cockroaches?
Frog species seem to be more common in the U.S. than toads, as numerous varieties can be found throughout North America, especially in the wetter, colder north. The two most popular frog species are the Northern Leopard Frog and the Spring Peeper.
People tend to recognize the Northern Leopard Frog from memories of their old biology classes when students had to dissect a dead frog. These creatures live near ponds, lakes, and other mild, wet environments. Their distinctive green color with black spots helps them blend in with their freshwater aquatic environments. They are 3-5 inches in size and eat cockroaches in addition to other bugs and insects.
Most people have heard the Spring Peeper, but probably have not seen it. This elusive little species lives in grassy and woodland areas, and begins its chorus of croaks during the spring. It is nocturnal, and a dull brown color that helps it camouflage against trees and the ground. It is only 1 inch long and enjoys eating cockroaches as well as beetles and other small bugs.
Take a look at the video below to see how two White's tree frogs, a species native to Australia and southern New Guinea, feast on cockroaches given to them by their caretaker.
Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches?
Lizards are four-legged reptiles with small heads, long tails and bodies, and short necks. Some have eyelids and can blink, but others cannot. They smell with their tongues and are recognizable because of their scaly skin.
Lizards live on every continent, excluding the frosty Antarctica. Cockroaches are among their favorite foods, as are other bugs and insects that they can catch by mouth. The two types that cockroaches need to watch out for the most are actually ones that humans often have as pets: geckos and iguanas.
Check out how the lizard patiently chows down on a live roach in the video below!
Do Opossums Eat Cockroaches?
The opossum is a misunderstood creature in the United States. Lots of people consider it ugly, but it's nowhere near as disconcerting as cockroaches can be.
The opossum is the only marsupial in North America, and an extreme omnivore. This animal is notorious for eating many of the unsavory things humans like to avoid, such as cockroaches, roadkill, worms—even garbage. Like other marsupials, the female opossum gives birth to small, barely developed young that she carries around in her pouch. When they get larger, the children may ride on the mother in a group.
Many people worry about getting rabies from opossums, which is a concern. However, if you don't approach one, it can become a cockroach-destroying machine. Each opossum weighs between 8-13 lbs. when grown and requires slightly more food than the average house cat per day.
Do Beetles Eat Cockroaches?
Believe it or not, some beetles are predatory! This means they hunt and feed on other insects, using them as food for themselves or their larvae.
In the United States, these beetles have been used to control bugs damaging the ecosystem, such as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.
While it's not recommended that you release predatory beetles in your home, they can be a nice addition to a garden to keep cockroaches and pests like aphids away. Some other beneficial predatory beetles in the United States include:
- ground beetles
- soldier beetles
- rove beetles
- lady beetles
- checkered beetles
Final Thoughts on Cockroach Predators...
Any one of these animals can help you keep your property cockroach-free, as long as you don't hurt nature in the process. By using the ecosystem to your advantage, you're taking a more natural approach to pest control and tackling your cockroach problem.
We all know creatures roaming around the garden can be a pesky problem, but sometimes you can team up with them to eliminate a common enemy.
Other Cockroach Articles Reviews
Curious about other cockroach guides? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.