Can Tarantulas Eat Cockroaches? Yes Or No?

If you are a tarantula owner, there is one question you might want to ask. Can tarantulas eat cockroaches? You probably ask this either because you don’t know what type of cockroach you should give to your tarantula or not sure if cockroaches are safe food for tarantulas. So, can tarantulas eat cockroaches? Here is the answer!

Can tarantulas eat cockroaches? Yes! Tarantulas can eat cockroaches. However, there are only certain types of cockroaches you can give to your pet tarantula. You can’t just give a cockroach that you have caught in your house to your tarantula. The best option is to breed these types of roaches. 

Now that you already know that tarantulas can eat cockroaches, the only problem you have is how you can breed these certain types of cockroaches. However, you should not worry because we will discuss how to breed these types of cockroaches. Also, I will tell you why house cockroaches are not good for your tarantulas. 

Now if you are ready to learn more about this, you can keep scrolling down!

Can Tarantulas Really Eat Cockroaches?

Like I have said above, you can definitely give your pet tarantula cockroaches to feed on. Wild tarantulas tend to catch cockroaches in the wild since cockroaches are very delicious and healthy for them. 

There is one study conducted at the University of Cambridge where they found out that medium-sized tarantulas tend to disregard other prey if cockroaches are available around them. Also, tarantulas resort to this behavior when they are nearing their time to molt. 

Tarantulas know that they should go for cockroaches as doing so will them in molting. Cockroaches have many nutritional benefits for tarantulas, which is why tarantulas love them. This shows that cockroaches are the favorite food of tarantulas since roaches are rich in fat, vitamins, and minerals. 

However, as I have said above, not all cockroaches can be eaten by tarantulas. There are only certain types of cockroaches that you can give to your pet tarantula. Home roaches are not ideal because they won’t give any nutrition to your tarantulas. Later, I will discuss wholly to you why house roaches are not ideal for your tarantulas. 

For now, let us next discuss the different types of cockroaches you can give to your pet tarantula. If you are ready, let us go!

What Type Of Roaches Can I Feed My Tarantula?

There are three types of cockroaches that you give to your pet tarantula. To give an honest review about these three cockroaches, I have included pros and cons. 

Also, these cockroaches are hard to breed, which you should have to consider. You should first know if you can handle breeding and keeping these cockroaches alive. So, let us move on and take a look at the different types of cockroaches you can feed to your pet tarantula. 

Dubia Roach

The first is the dubia roach or also known as Guyana spotted roach, Argentinian wood roach, and orange-spotted roach. This cockroach has a medium size and it can grow from 40-46 mm. 

The dubia cockroaches are one of the most favorite food of tarantulas and favorite of tarantula owners too. Why? Because this cockroach is easy to breed! They are also nutritious for tarantulas. 

Dubia roaches provide the essential nutrients your tarantula needs. However, there is only a lack of calcium (not necessary for your tarantula), phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. 

How To Breed

Like I have mentioned above, dubia roaches are loved by many tarantula owners because they are easy to breed. All you have to do is to provide a proper enclosure, heat them correctly, and feed them consistently. 

For their enclosure, you can simply put them in a plastic container. But make sure that the size of the container you use is suitable for their number. If you have lots of dubia roaches, you need to have a large container. 

For the temperature, you just have to make sure you keep the temp at least 85 F. You can give them fruits or grains. However, their favorite food is semi-sweet veggies. 

How about reproduction? How can you make their population grow? Simple! You just need a male and female dubia roaches present. They will breed on their own and you have nothing to do. The gestation period is about 28-30 days and the eggs will hatch inside the female’s body.


  • Easy to breed. 
  • Very nutritious for your tarantula.
  • Does not smell nasty.
  • Does not produce loud noises.


  • Not available in all pet stores.
  • They hide when put in the cages of tarantulas.
  • Playing dead with tarantulas starts to approach them.

Turkestan Roach

The second type of roach you should give to your tarantula is the Turkestan cockroach, which is commonly known as the Blatta lateralis cockroach. Also, it is called red runner cockroach, rusty red, red runner cockroach, and simply, lat. Adult Turkestan cockroaches can grow up to 1.2 inches. 

Some people mistakenly classify Turkestan cockroaches as German roaches due to their light brown color. However, they are very different. These cockroaches are also nutritious for your tarantulas. However, they also lack something, such as phosphorus, calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. But luckily, they are a rich source of Vitamin B12. 

How To Breed

These cockroaches need proper and careful breeding because they are quick and have a higher chance of escaping their enclosure. If they escape from their enclosure, they can be a pest inside your house! 

These cockroaches prefer a hot and lightly humid environment, it is best to keep them in an area with a temperature of 75-95 F. That is why you can place them in a plastic bin with some egg cartons or substrate inside. 

These cockroaches love to eat food with protein. That is why you can give them dog food, meat, and peanut butter. You can also give them apples, oranges, pineapples, etc. 

These cockroaches cannot climb. However, the males can fly. That is why you have to make sure that the lid that covers their enclosure is secured. Also, they will breed on their own as long as there are females and males. 


  • Can find it easily online.
  • Don’t know how to burrow.
  • Will attract your tarantula.


  • Cannot be found in pet stores.
  • Fast and can fly.
  • Can be a pest in your house.

Madagascar Hissing Roach

The last type of cockroach that is beneficial for your tarantula is the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, which is commonly called hisser or hissing cockroach. This cockroach is a good choice if you have a large type of tarantula. Why? Because these cockroaches are one of the biggest types of cockroaches in the world. 

A full-size adult Madagascar hissing roach can grow up to three inches! If you give your tarantula one of these, it will take time for your tarantula to finish it. These cockroaches have no wings. That is why they can scale smooth surfaces, whether it is plastic or glass. 

These cockroaches are a popular choice for adept tarantula owners because they live for a long time. These cockroaches can hiss which can mean three things: mating, fighting, or disturbance. 

How To Breed

Because these cockroaches can scale smooth surfaces, it is best to put barriers in whatever enclosure you want to use. You can also put logs inside their enclosure because they are known to thrive inside organic materials. 

You can also use petroleum jelly near the lid or door of their enclosure. These cockroaches love to eat vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and other green leafy vegetables. They also love protein! That is why you can also give these cockroaches dry dog food. 

You have to make sure that you keep them at a temperature that has 80 to 95 F as they are not used to cold weather because they are tropical species. 


  • Good for large tarantulas. 
  • Easy to breed.
  • Lives for a long time.


  • Good at escaping.
  • Not readily available in pet stores.
  • Noisy since they hiss.
  • It has a smelly odor.
  • Can attract mites.

Now that you know the three best types of cockroaches you should be giving to your pet tarantula, let us move on to the kinds of cockroaches you should never feed to your tarantulas. 

What Kind Of Roaches Should I Not Feed To My Tarantula?

The type of cockroaches listed above are the only types of roaches you can give to your tarantulas. If you are pondering if there are other types of roaches you can give to your tarantula, I am sorry to say there are none. 

There are lots of owners that tend to try to give their tarantulas other types of roaches, such as house cockroaches. These owners have found out that their tarantula will not eat it. 

The three types of cockroaches will work best for your tarantulas. Also, these three types of roaches can work better for you! 

I know that some of you want to try to give your pet tarantula a house cockroach. However, is this safe or good for your pet tarantula? 

You should never give your pet tarantula a house cockroach. The reason why is because there is no amount of gut loading that can ever make them nutritious and safe for your pet tarantula. These cockroaches may have some pesticides, which can make your tarantula sick or poisoned. 

You should also not breed these cockroaches. The reason why is because they breed like crazy! If you caught a female and male, it is hard to keep up with their brood and there are high chances they might escape since common roaches can fly. If they escape, you will have a pest infestation inside your house! 

Can I Use My Pet Tarantula To Hunt Cockroaches Inside My House?

If tarantulas can eat cockroaches, does this mean that you can use your tarantula to get rid of your cockroach problem? 

The answer to this question is no! This is a bad idea! This idea is the same as feeding your tarantulas a house cockroach. Yes, your tarantula will win against the cockroach, but your tarantula might get sick and die. 

You can’t make your tarantula a pest catcher. Why? Because it means that you will let your tarantula out of the cage which can be dangerous, especially if you have small children inside your house. 

By doing this kind of act, you may injure your tarantula, and give it a chance to escape. Also, people living with you might get bitten by your tarantula. 

How Long Does It Take For A Tarantula To Eat A Cockroach?

Depending on the size of the cockroach. If the cockroach is large, your tarantula might eat it for nine hours. However, if it is a small cockroach only, it may take two to three hours for your pet tarantula to eat that cockroach.

Are Cockroaches The Favorite Food Of Tarantulas?

Yes! Cockroaches are one of the favorite foods of tarantulas. In the wild, tarantulas tend to prefer to catch cockroaches instead of worms and other insects. Why? Because cockroaches are scientifically healthy for tarantulas. Tarantulas disregard other prey if they sense there are cockroaches near them.

Can Roaches Hurt Tarantulas?

Nope. Cockroaches have to match against tarantulas. Tarantulas can kill cockroaches in a glimpse. However, if the tarantula is still young and small, larger cockroaches might kill it if cockroaches work together. 

Final Verdict

Tarantulas can eat cockroaches. However, keep in mind that there are only certain types of cockroaches you can give to your tarantula. You should avoid experimenting because it might make your tarantula sick, or worse, die. These types of cockroaches can be found online and sometimes in pet stores. Go to a specific pet store that sells tarantula equipment and food.

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
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