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Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? (& Pictures)

Cockroaches are usually a big pain, some people will try using a number of remedies to get rid of them, but can lizards help? This question intrigued me. On paper it makes sense, but let’s see if they do eat roaches and if they can be a viable help for this.

Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? Yes, they do eat cockroaches. However, not all lizards do. Only insectivores or carnivores will typically eat them. In addition to this, even if they are capable of eating cockroaches, it depends on the actual size of the cockroach. If the cockroach is too large they will not eat it.

Now that you know that some lizards will eat cockroaches, let’s investigate exactly which species will eat them if they are a viable solution to insect infestations, how the size of cockroaches will affect them being consumed and more.

What lizards actually eat Cockroaches?

There are a number of lizards that eat cockroaches. I will now give you a list of some of them.

Panther chameleons (and other Chameleons)

Panther chameleons eat cockroaches, along with other insects. However, there are a number of other chameleons that also he cockroaches.

It is advised that you seek out captive-bred cockroaches rather than feeding them random wild ones. This is because the wild ones are often filled with diseases. This can pass on to your lizard.

Bearded dragons

These lizards definitely eat Cockroaches. They are quite an expensive lizards to maintain, as a pet. So, feeding them cockroaches is a good economical way of keeping them fed.

Madagascar hissing and Dubia cockroaches are a couple of species that are regularly used for these lizards.

Leopard geckos

Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals and therefore cockroaches are ideal for them to go after. In particular, they love Dubia Cockroaches.

Cockroaches are also an ideal alternative to crickets. Crickets have a tendency to bite leopard geckos if they are not consumed within a certain time frame. Whereas cockroaches do not do this.

You can expect a juvenile leopard gecko to consume up to 10 cockroaches in a day. An adult, on the other hand, will be more like 20 in the day. Typically they will also be fed up to 4 times a week.

Monitor lizards?

Monitor lizards are typically quite large. For example, up to 3 ft in length. Therefore, many insects, such as crickets, will not interest them.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, stand a chance. But it depends on how big they are. Some cockroaches can be as big as 4 inches in length and those are the ones that will pique their interest.

The Emerald Tree Monitor lizard is a good example of a Monitor species that will devour these cockroaches and other large insects.

Can a lizard be used in a house for pest control?

Using lizards as a way to control a pest infestation is not always the best way to do things. Reason being the number of insects that one gecko can consume will not make much difference to a true pest problem. Are you with me?

In addition to this, you have to be careful about what food you feed to your lizard. There is a good chance that these pests carry salmonella or other bacterial infections that can seriously harm your lizard.

What about using wall geckos?

These lizards need a large amount of humidity to survive. Unfortunately, most houses in the US will not naturally provide this level of humidity.

The insects in the house may provide a certain level of moisture for them, but not nearly enough to sustain them. You may find within just one week they are dehydrated or just escape to find better surroundings.

Predators will attack the lizard before it deals with your insect problem

Another issue with using lizards as pest control is the predators of the lizards. Remember, lizards also get eaten by other predators. Animals such as a pet cat can put an end to your pest controller in a heartbeat.

There have been reports of people trying to use a Tokay Lizard as a way to get rid of their pest problems. Just to clarify the Tokay can be up to 1 foot in length. The assumption was made that a cat would be intimidated by this lizard. In reality, the cat attacked this lizard without hesitation.

Remember that a cat capable of grabbing a large rat in his mouth will have no hesitation to grab lizard. So, in summary, using a lizard as pest control is not always the best way forward.

What is the ideal diet for a lizard?

There are many different types of lizards available, this can range from a very small gecko right up to an enormous Komodo Dragon.

Therefore, to focus this I will concentrate on conventional pet lizards which is what most people are interested in.

Even with traditional pet lizards, there is still a variety of different diets. But, in general, most of these pet lizards are insectivores or maybe carnivores. For that reason, they will typically eat insects.

However many of them in captivity will each other things such as plants fruits and vegetables. To give you an example of these I will give you a brief summary of some of the common pet lizards and an example of what sort of food you can expect them to eat.

  • Bearded dragon: You can expect a bearded dragon to eat insects even greens and even frozen mice
  • Geckos: Typically these animals will eat sweet fruits and insects.
  • Iguanas: These lizards are slightly different. Typically you would feed them greens vegetables and even some fruits.

Related questions:

Do house lizards eat Cockroaches? Yes, they will eat roaches. However, it depends on the size of the actual house lizard. The problem is, cockroaches can actually be quite large and they may even be too big for a house lizard to consume.

As discussed earlier the Tokay lizard has been used in some cases to try and deal with these Cockroaches, it would typically wait for a cockroach to go past and lap It up. But you can’t always rely on the house lizards to deal with the infestation.

Do lizards change colour? Yes, Chameleons can change colour, for example, the Yemen Chameleon is well-known for this. However, the Chameleon does not change colour based on its environment or surroundings, as many people mistakenly believe. It actually changes based on its mood.

Why do lizards need UVB bulbs? Lizards need UVB bulbs because the UV rays are very important for lizards. It helps the lizard to metabolize the calcium that it consumes in its diet. It’s a critical part of its requirements to survive. If it does not have enough UV rays it can have health issues such as metabolic bone disease (MBD).

Will Lizards eat Plants? Yes, some lizards will eat plants. For example, Omnivores. They can consume animal and plants, such as the blue-tongued skink.

Will Lizards Attack a human? Yes, but this is more likely for a vicious species like the Komodo dragon (click to see which animals attack Komodos). Other lizards, such as a Chameleon will bite you if you provoke them.

It is quite rare for a full-on lizard attack. In most cases, generally speaking, lizards will only bite if you make them feel uncomfortable. An example of this is if, in captivity, you decide to reach into their enclosure to handle them and you haven’t spent time to get them to trust you.

Do lizards come out at night? Yes, some lizards are nocturnal, meaning that they are active at night time. Such as most geckos. However, most lizards are diurnal, meaning they are active in the day and rest at the night time.

Why do insects get sprinkled with supplements and fed to lizards? As discussed earlier in this article, lizards need calcium. However, in captivity, this is quite hard to provide naturally. Therefore they need supplementation.

A handy way to do this is to sprinkle the insects before feeding them to your lizard. It is a trick used by many lizard keepers to keep their lizard’s calcium levels correct. Along with other required vitamins.


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.