Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches?

  • By: Kavi Ranjan
  • Date: November 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Lizards have varied eating habits. They’re found in jungles, deserts, plains, and even in houses! So their eating habits differ as far and wide as the terrain they reside in. 

There are lizards like Iguanas which eat leaves and flowers and are herbivores. There are those like the Komodo Dragon which will even eat their own young if it comes down to it. 

These, of course, are the carnivores. Most lizards, however, fall into the category of omnivores. They eat leaves and plant matter but also eat the occasional egg, insects, and other small creatures. Some lizards even eat cockroaches!

Which lizards eat cockroaches?

Not all lizards eat cockroaches. Only those who are omnivorous or carnivorous will do so. Cockroaches can form a nutrient-rich addition to your lizard’s diet but first, it is important to know which species eat cockroaches.

Monitor Lizards

Monitor lizards fall amongst the larger species of lizards. For this reason, it is often hard to feed them. These lizards, due to their size, avoid small insects like mosquitoes and even moths.

Cockroaches sometimes grow up to 4 inches or longer and hence these might capture the attention of your monitor lizard. Certain types of monitors like the Emerald Tree Monitors eat a lot of roaches, even in the wild.

Bearded Dragons

These lizards are popular pets but they are known to be expensive pets because they eat so much! Cockroaches are good options for these lizards. Since they need to eat a lot of roaches, you may want to set up your own cockroach breeding system.

Though it will require some extra work and maintenance on your part, it will ensure a steady food supply for your bearded dragon. You should feed these lizards roaches which are about the size of the distance between their eyes. 

Leopard Geckos

Since both Leopard Geckos and cockroaches are nocturnal, the roaches are naturally hunted by leopard geckos. The advantage of feeding your pet roaches over crickets is that cockroaches are less likely to bite the sensitive skin of the geckos in the cage. Dubia roaches are recommended and you can feed an adult leopard gecko around 20 roaches, 3-4 times a week. 

Panther Chameleons

Cockroaches form a healthy component in a panther chameleon’s diet. Madagascar Hissing cockroaches, though not very popular, are what panther chameleons eat in the wild. Hence, these are a good option if you need to feed your lizard.

What else do lizards eat?

Lizards eat everything from insects and small animals to leafy greens. Basically, it can be said that lizards eat whatever is available to them in their territory.

Smaller lizard species like geckos tend to eat small insects that are available to them including mosquitoes, crickets, ants, etc.

Middle-sized lizards like iguanas eat the leaves of trees, vines, and even some flowers and fruits.

The largest lizard species like komodo dragons and monitor lizards are carnivorous. They can eat everything from bird eggs to small animals like reptiles, birds, frogs, crabs, snails, etc.

Do house lizards eat cockroaches?

Yes. Since house lizards are mostly omnivores, they eat insects like crickets, mosquitoes, and cockroaches too.

Should I leave lizards in my house to eat cockroaches?

While lizards do eat cockroaches, buying and leaving them open in your house for pest control may not be the best idea. There are three reasons for this.

  • The first is that even though lizards do eat cockroaches, most species can’t hunt down and eat all the cockroaches in your house. This makes them slightly ineffective in solving the issue at hand. 
  • The second reason is that these lizards may become prey for your pet cat or dog. Cats and dogs like to chase smaller animals and so there is a high chance that your pet will attack the lizard and injure/kill it. Your pet may even eat or half eat the lizard, which is a mess you’ll have to clean up. 
  • Third, lizards reproduce surprisingly fast and you may find yourself in the difficult position of having lots of lizards running loose in your house. 


Carnivorous and omnivorous lizards do eat cockroaches because they are easily available in large quantities in the wild. Cockroaches make a nutrient-rich part of the lizard’s diet but it is important to know which cockroach species are best for your pet lizard before feeding it. 

Additionally, though some people do keep lizards in their homes for pest control, it is not a very effective solution and you will find that an exterminator will work better and more efficiently.