Do you have a problem with roaches in your home? They are one of the most common pests that people deal with. Roaches can be difficult to get rid of, and they will keep coming back if there is food available for them. In this article, we’ll talk about how roaches react to cat food and what you should do if you think it may be attracting them to your home.
Does Cat Food Attract Roaches?
Yes, both wet and dry cat food can attract cockroaches to your home, and if you are leaving bowls of food down – especially overnight – it could easily be attracting these insects to it. Cockroaches won’t differentiate between human food and cat food; they are just interested in whether it will sustain them, and cat food certainly will.
Just because you have cat food doesn’t mean you have to live with roaches. Let’s take a look at what you can do to prevent roaches, as well as what to do if they have infested your home.
But first, you need to understand what these pests eat and why they are attracted to cat food.
What Do Cockroaches Eat?
Cockroaches will eat pretty much any food, whether it’s meat or vegetables. They aren’t fussy about whether the food has gone dry or crusty, and any food will appeal to them.
A bowl full of cat food left out within easy reach will be a very tempting target. While cockroaches can climb well and some can even fly, food at floor level is much less effort for them to get to, and they will happily crawl into your cat bowl and gorge themselves on the leftovers.
Additionally, most cats leave some food when they stop eating. This is partly a survival tactic because they then have some food to return to later, but it will work in favor of cockroaches. They don’t need a lot of food since they are so small and will readily eat anything they find in the bowl.
PestControlServices lists leaving pet food on the floor as one of the major causes that can attract pests like cockroaches because pet food is often left out overnight, which is when cockroaches are likely to come out of their hideaways and look for food.
What Should I Do?
Of course, you still have to feed your pets, and you might be wondering what to do. Unfortunately, there is little point in picking the food up and trying to place it on a higher surface, as most cockroaches can climb well, and some can even fly.
You may also find that covering food with something like plastic food wrap is not effective because cockroaches will probably be able to bite through it. However, there are a few tricks you can try to keep your cat’s food pest-free.
Feed Your Cat On A Regular Schedule
Start by setting a regular mealtime for your pets and not leaving food sitting around after this time. When your cat has finished eating, you should pick up the bowl, clean up any spillages, place any uneaten food in a sealed container (or dispose of it), and wash the bowls.
This is opposed to the strategy of leaving some food down at all times. Many people do this with their cats because most cats (unlike most dogs) will only eat when they need to and leave food in the bowl until they get hungry.
It may be tempting to leave a bowl of biscuits out overnight so that you don’t have to get up early to feed the cat, but you shouldn’t do this. Instead, meals should be cleared up promptly, especially before bed, because cockroaches tend to be active at night.
Do A Thorough Cleaning After Meal Time
You should follow any meal you give your pet by sweeping the floors and mopping them to remove any final bits of debris. This will stop any lingering scraps of scent from attracting cockroaches to the area.
You may find that you don’t have time to sweep and mop after every meal, so you might want to just prioritize this in the evenings before bed.
As long as there are no attractive food smells around overnight, a few scents and crumbs during the day should not be a problem in terms of cockroaches unless they are starving and venture out in the day to look for food.
Invest In A Special Food Bowl
Look into buying special bowls for your cat. You can purchase several different bowls that will make it harder for pests to steal your cat’s food. Designs to look out for include:
- A raised bowl – buying a bowl that stands on a platform (or standing the bowl on a platform yourself) can make it a little trickier for cockroaches to find and access it. As they climb well, it is only a slight deterrent, but it will help a bit.
- A bowl with a lip – buying a bowl with a rounded lip makes it more challenging for the cockroach to climb over the edge and into the food. Your pet should not mind this, although it does make cleaning the bowl a little trickier.
Keep Water Elsewhere
Your cat should always have access to clean, fresh drinking water, but cockroaches need water too, and if the water and the food are close to each other, they will be thrilled. So try to avoid keeping your cat’s water near its food bowl.
It’s a good idea to keep it in a tall container, full to the brim. A glass is good. It is harder for a cockroach to climb, and it won’t feel safe trying to get at the water because it’s at risk of drowning.
Your cat might also be happier for having its food and water separate, as they often do not like having them close together.
How Should I Store Cat Food?
Of course, cat food is also attractive to pests even when it isn’t in the bowl, and access to a whole bag of dried cat food will delight cockroaches.
Cockroaches will happily eat paper, so if you have a paper bag with cat biscuits in, they will undoubtedly eat their way into it.
Even a plastic bag of cat food could be attractive if it isn’t sealed correctly, and many bags don’t seal well. Cardboard boxes are vulnerable too.
To minimize the risks of cockroaches getting into the dried food you keep for your cat, pour it into an airtight plastic container and keep the lid on this at all times.
It’s also worth checking sachets and tins of food when you buy them to ensure no punctures or dents in the packaging that would cause meat to leak out while they are being stored.
Try to use food up by date order, even if it has long storage dates, to ensure your storage cupboard gets rotated regularly.
Should I Feed My Cat In A Different Room?
You might be wondering whether you should avoid feeding your cat in your kitchen. You could feed your cat in another room, but the food might attract the cockroaches in, especially if the area is hard to clean effectively.
It’s best to feed your cat somewhere with a hard floor that can be mopped or wiped easily so that you can clean up well after the cat has been fed.
What To Do If You Have A Roach Infestation
If your home is infested with roaches, you’ll have to take extra steps such as;
- Sticky Traps: These can be purchased at your local hardware store or online and can be used both indoors/outdoors. That said, they can be poisonous to your cat, especially if ingested, so you’ll want to make sure your cat doesn’t come into contact with them.
- Roach Bait: This entices the pests because they think it’s food. The poison disrupts their nervous system and causes death in 6-24 hours when consumed. Unfortunately, roach bait is poisonous if ingested by felines. Many companies use pest control options that are safe for furry friends.
Whenever looking for a way to get rid of roaches, it’s essential to use caution when it comes to your cat’s safety.
Even if you take all of the precautions, there is still a chance that your pet might get sick from eating a roach that has fed on poison bait. If this occurs, take your cat to the vet immediately. The vet will likely induce vomiting and give supportive care until your cat makes a full recovery.
Cat food can attract cockroaches, yes. However, after all, it is a viable source of food for them, and they will happily eat it.
Try not to leave cat food out for long, especially not overnight when the roaches are most likely to be active. Clean up after each meal to remove traces of cat food, and store cat food in sealed containers.
Following the steps above can help keep roaches away from your cat’s food and outside your home.
If you’re having trouble getting rid of roaches, it’s best to call in a professional. They will be able to assess your home and implement an extermination plan that is safe for your furry friend.