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Do Tarantulas Eat Cockroaches?

Due to a number of social media accounts based around keeping pet tarantulas having content go viral recently, there has been a surge in the number of people looking to add a pet tarantula to their family.

Although tarantulas can be a great pet to keep, we have seen many people asking about what you should feed your pet tarantula with a number of people asking if tarantulas eat cockroaches or not so we wanted to release this article to help our readers.

The majority of tarantulas will happily eat cockroaches without issue and cockroaches can make a great addition to a well balanced diet of most tarantulas due to their excellent nutritional values.

Tarantulas will eat live or freeze-dried cockroaches but most will prefer a live cockroach, especially a freshly mounted live cockroach.

There are a number of different ways that you are able to set up your pet tarantulas diet to ensure that it gets plenty of vitamins and minerals with gut-loaded insects often being one of the better options.

Other great food options include mealworms, crickets, and various invertebrates with dubia roaches often being the most common type of cockroach fed to tarantulas but turkestan and madagascar hissing roaches can work well as a food source too.

Do Tarantulas Eat Cockroaches?

The predatory instinct of tarantulas is very strong so they will often try to eat anything you put into their habitat with most tarantulas eating any cockroaches that they get access to.

The younger you start to feed your tarantula cockroaches the better as they can become habitual with what they will and won’t eat so getting your tarantula onto a varied diet as early as possible is always a good idea.

If your pet tarantula is not used to eating live food and then you drop a live cockroach into its habitat there is a small chance that it may actually be scared of the cockroach.

This is very rare but it can happen, especially with younger female tarantulas but in time, they often work out that the cockroach is food and not a threat to them with a tarantula easily being able to make short work of a cockroach if it decides to eat it.

Many people don’t like the idea of having live cockroaches in their homes so freeze-dried cockroaches can be an excellent alternative.

Not only does it eliminate the need to keep live cockroaches in your home but it also removes the chance of your pet tarantula not wanting to eat live cockroaches due to it moving where as tarantulas usually eat a freeze-dried cockroach instantly.

Are Cockroaches Good For Tarantulas?

Cockroaches are more nutritionally dense than many other common tarantula food options making them an excellent food for most pet tarantulas.

Not only do they contain a good level of vitamins and minerals but their macronutrient ratio is also ideal for a standard tarantula diet too.

Even though cockroaches are an excellent food source for most tarantulas, they are not a nutritionally complete food source so you should try to keep your pet tarantula on a varied diet of different foods if possible though.

In our opinion, various types of gut loaded insects are the best option when it comes to packing as much nutrition into your tarantulas diet as possible with cockroaches coming in second place to gut loaded insects followed by mealworms and then cricket with the various other insects trailing.

Many people believe that live cockroaches are the more nutritionally dense option for their pet tarantula but this is not correct unless you gut load them prior to feeding due to the nutrition being used up by the cockroach when being shipped to you and prior to feeding them to your tarantula.

Not only are freeze-dried cockroaches cheaper but they also contain more nutrients due to the cockroaches being freeze-dried at an optimal time to preserve as much of their nutrients as possible making it a better option for many people over live cockroaches when looking for tarantula food.

Should You Give Your Tarantula Cockroaches?

You can give your tarantula cockroaches as a part of a well balanced diet made up of a number of different insect type without much risk to your tarantula provided you use cockroaches bred for use as food for pets.

Wild cockroaches may have been in areas where pesticides or herbicides are used and although they may not cause any problems with the cockroach, they may cause problems with your tarantula if injected.

This is a common issue that we see reported on social media on a regular basis as people try to go out and get wild insects for their pet tarantula only to accidentally feed their pet an insect with chemicals on it.

It can be difficult to be one hundred percent sure that any wild insects you find are safe for use as food so we would always recommend you just order your insects online or get them from your local pet store as they are from a controlled supply chain that keeps them safe.

In very rare situations, cockroaches can have some problems with fungal infections that can cause problems with a tarantula if the cockroach is injected.

Thankfully though, the fungal infections are obvious to see with the white or cream fungus contrasting very well with the dark body of a cockroach making it easy to identify any potential problems and prevent it from getting into your tarantula’s food chain but like we said, this is a very rare situation to look out for.


That brings our article going over if tarantulas eat cockroaches or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand that cockroaches can be an excellent addition to the majority of tarantula diets but there are some things that you should factor in prior to giving them to your tarantula. In the majority of situations though, you should easily be able to start giving your tarantula cockroaches to eat and not have a problem with your tarantula being thankful for a new addition to its diet.