Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cockroaches?

You will be amazed to know that cockroaches are also beneficial, and they are used as food for some animals but can bearded dragons eat cockroaches?

In this column, I will tell you about the use of cockroaches as pet food and which animals can eat cockroaches, so it is going to be an exciting article.

Not all cockroaches can be fed to pet animals, so I will also mention details about the type of cockroaches a bearded dragon can eat.

I have a great love for animals and use roaches to feed my animals, so here in this blog, I will provide you with all the facts you need to know before feeding your bearded pet dragon.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cockroaches?

Bearded dragons love to eat cockroaches as they are tasty and provide them with all the nutrients they need to grow healthy. Cockroaches don’t adversely affect bearded dragons unless they are not contaminated with harmful pathogens so that you can feed them daily. Adult bearded dragons can eat giant cockroaches that are more than 3 cm.

The diet of bearded dragons should be varied so you can give 5 cockroaches to your bearded pet dragon after a gap of 2 days. Moreover, cockroaches are more beneficial for baby dragons.

What are Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons are notable species of lizards. Some people also use bearded dragons as their pets. The reason is their calm behavior.

They enjoy interacting with humans and give responses that show they enjoy the company of their owners and other humans as well.

They show exciting and competing behavior. They compete for their place of living and for female partners as well. They possess fighting and violent behavior against their competitors.

They are included in reptile species, the young bearded dragons are more belligerent than adult ones, and their behavior tends to cool down with age.

They eat a wide variety of foods depending on their requirements. There are two sources of food for bearded dragons, one that comes from plants and the other that comes from animals.

Do Bearded Dragons Like Cockroaches?

Bearded dragons need a proper amount of nutrition, just like cockroaches and humans; they need protein for their growth and also require fat, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

This makes cockroaches the best choice for bearded dragons because they are full of nutrition and have fat, water, ash, carbohydrate, fiber, and protein in their composition.

Moreover, among all cockroach species, Dubia roaches are the best to feed because they are comparatively more nutritious. Moreover, they reproduce in a clean and clear environment.

So cockroaches are one of the favorite diets of bearded dragons. Not only bearded dragons but also other species of cockroaches eat them with great interest.

This can also help you to treat roach infestation; you can easily find any cockroach from your home and trap them so that you can feed them clean food, which in turn affects your pet.

This is better than buying expensive products for your bearded dragon that cannot be stored for as long as a cockroach.

Diet Chart for Bearded Dragons According to Age

The dietary requirement of bearded dragons varies with age. I have listed recommendations of animal and plant sources for bearded dragons of every age so you can check them out.

NOAgeDiet percentageFrequency
10-3 Months70% Animal source30% Plant source3-5 times per day
23-8 Months70% Animal source30% Plant source2 times per day
38-12 Months70% Animal source30% Plant source1 time per day
4Above 1 year30% Animal source70% Plant sourcePeriodic feeding

The Dietary Requirement of Bearded Dragons

As we know, bearded dragons are living animals, and all living organisms consume food to utilize nutrients and get energy for them.

This energy is used in various body processes and life-sustaining reactions. Bearded dragons consume almost all the nutrients, and their digestive system has the ability to process roaches.

Bearded dragons need some nutrients more than others according to their body functions, so let’s see. 

Bearded dragons’ essential requirement is protein, they need it for growth and carrying out reactions, so the requirement of protein surpasses fats.

Moreover, for proper bone development and mineralization of bones, cockroaches need calcium and phosphorus, which make the bones strong and healthy.

In addition, minerals and vitamins are required in small amounts but are used to carry out various reactions in the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

Among these vitamins, bearded dragons need cholecalciferol.

Nutritional Status of Cockroaches

So now, let’s check the nutritional status of cockroaches so that we can decide whether they need the nutritional requirements of bearded dragons or not.

Cockroaches are high in protein, and they have less amount of fat in their bodies which perfectly matches the requirements of bearded dragons.

Cockroaches have more protein because they have more meat, unlike other insects beneath the protective covering of the body. In other insects, the outer shell occupies a large composition.

Cockroaches also have essential minerals in the form of ash which are required by bearded dragons for proper bone development and utilization of macronutrients.

Cockroaches have more protein, more calcium, and less fat and shell mass than other insects.

All these properties make them best for Bearded dragons. 

Moreover, they are composed of more soft parts than hard ones; therefore, the digestive enzymes of the bearded dragon can quickly act on them.

Which is the Best Cockroach to Feed?

Dubia roaches are considered to be healthy for bearded dragons and other reptiles because they are safe to eat, don’t carry harmful pathogens, and can’t spread diseases.

NutrientsPercentage in cockroachPercentage in Dubia roach

As you can see from the above table, cockroaches are highly nutritious, and among cockroach species, Dubia roaches win the competition.

Advantages of Feeding Cockroaches to Bearded Dragons

I have mentioned above that cockroaches are high in nutrition; therefore, they are best for bearded dragons, but there are also some other benefits, so let’s take a look.

  • The taste buds of bearded dragons feel the taste of cockroaches and consider it delicious to eat, so if your bearded dragon is not eating anything, you can feed it roaches.
  • If you feed your pet a living roach, it will develop a habit of hunting and finding food for itself, increasing its efficiency.
  • Roaches are easy to find, present in dark and wet places, and mostly live in cracks because they like to hide.
  • Cockroaches are highly nutritious and reduce the need to feed nutrients in supplemental form to bearded dragons.
  • You can feed cockroaches according to the nutritional requirement of your pet.

Drawbacks of Feeding Cockroaches to Bearded Dragons

Everything has its two sides, the thing which seems advantageous also has some adverse effects, and vice versa, so let’s see what the drawbacks of feeding roaches are.

  • Cockroaches have the ability to run fast; they can run faster than the fastest animals, so it is difficult to handle them.
  • You need specific roaches to feed your pet which is raised by yourself in a clean environment.
  • If you feed outdoor roaches to your bearded dragon, it can become ill and have stomach problems due to the harmful pathogen carried by outdoor roaches.
  • Buying a cockroach is a costly process.
  • Cockroaches are not common in shops containing pet-feeding products, so you have to find them yourself  and breed them in a clean environment.

The Capacity of Bearded Dragons to Eat Cockroaches

One of the frequently asked questions is what is the safe amount of cockroaches for bearded dragons. So, this varies according to the age and size of your pet and the roach you are feeding.

Just like humans need more nutrients during their growth period, the same as in the case of bearded dragons. Tiny babies have more requirements for nutrients than adult ones.

You can feed them up to 50 roaches per day to fulfill their protein requirements. Similarly, the size of cockroaches also matters.

Small bearded dragons can’t eat roaches that are more in length because it is difficult for them to process a giant roach, but an adult bearded dragon can eat a roach up to 3″.

Types of Cockroaches that You Can Feed to Bearded Dragons

There are different types of cockroaches that I have studied and experimented on, mostly common roaches that use our houses as their place to live.

I have mentioned some details of these types below so let’s explore these types and add something to our knowledge.

1. German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are one of those cockroaches that are found in our houses, apartments, hostels, and hotels. They are not too big in size and have a simple structure.

These cockroaches have wings by birth, but these wings don’t have enough ability to carry their weight nicely or control them during flying, so they use their fast-moving legs to move.

These cockroaches were first discovered in European countries. They are brown to black with some strips present on their body.

2. Australian Cockroaches

As just the name implies, Australian cockroaches are found in different places in Australia. In addition, these cockroaches are unique in some characteristics.

The unique ability of cockroaches is flying; as I have stated that flying is not the main property of a roach, so most cockroaches can’t fly properly, but Australian roaches can.

The ability to fly is due to the presence of solid wings that can manage the weight of cockroaches.

3. Brown-banded Cockroaches

The appearance of these roaches is hidden in their name. These cockroaches look brown due to the presence of wide bands on their body that are light brown.

These cockroaches are also small and have a simple structure. Besides, these roaches are present in different countries, so it is a widely spread species of roaches.

But due to their large population in the United States, they are considered the main habitants of this country.

4. American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are a species of roaches mainly found in the United States, as the name implies. These roaches have wings that can glide from a small height.

Moreover, they possess a cylinder structure and are mainly black. These roaches are also small but not as small as German ones; therefore, you can feed them to bearded dragons.

5. Dubia Roaches

Dubia roaches belong to a specific species of cockroaches. The region with the higher population of these insects is South America. 

One distinct feature of this species is the production of new generations with different characteristics.

Two Dubia roaches (male and female), even belonging to the same group or species, can reproduce a new roach with distinct attributes. 

You can identify the gender of these roaches by just examining the physical appearance of a particular roach.

The significant difference I have seen in male and female Dubia roaches is the appearance and size of their wings. 

They are bred in a clean environment and, therefore, perfectly healthy for reptiles.

Males have large wings as compared to females. Just like the gender, you can also detect their age by just visual examination.

One with dark brown or black color belongs to the adult group. The appearance and colors of Dubia roaches also depend on the colony to which a Dubia roach belongs.

I have also observed some Dubia roaches with orange bodies. Dubia roaches are the best source of nutrition among all the roaches for bearded dragons.

Method to Feed Cockroaches to Bearded Dragons

The first step in feeding a bearded dragon is the selection of cockroaches. The cockroaches must be living because dead roaches can cause health problems in bearded dragons.

The cockroach you want to feed must be bred in a clean environment, don’t take it from outside. Next, feed your cockroach before 2 to 3 days of feeding them bearded dragons.

This will improve their nutritional value and benefit your bearded dragon. The size of the cockroach must be smaller than the distance between the eyes of the bearded dragon.

Small roaches are easy to eat and process. Take a live roach, place it in front of the bearded dragon, and wait for it to eat it completely.

Keep a check on the behavior of the bearded dragon; if it shows an interest in further eating, then place the next roach; otherwise, stop the feeding process.

Concluding Lines:

If you have a bearded pet dragon just like me, you must have a question related to their diet: Can bearded dragons eat cockroaches?

Bearded dragons love to eat cockroaches because of their taste and nutritional value. Among all cockroaches, dubia roaches are best to feed your pet because of their high nutritional value.

If you don’t want your pet to get ill, feed them household roaches and follow the above-mentioned methods to feed your pet. I hope you have found this blog helpful.


Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cockroaches from Outside?

Roaches from outside are dirty and not safe for bearded dragons as various bacteria, and harmful pathogens are stuck to their bodies that can cause stomach problems in your pet.

Can I Feed Dead Cockroaches to Bearded Dragons?

Dead cockroaches are harmful to bearded dragons as dead bodies of roaches have the highest number of bacteria. Moreover, bearded dragons need nutrients from living roaches.

Do Bearded Dragons Prefer Cricket or Dubia Roaches?

Dubia roaches have lots of benefits over crickets; they are healthier due to their nutritional value. Besides, they are safer than crickets.

Can bearded dragons eat hissing cockroaches?

Also See:

Leave a Comment