Does Cockroach eat Hair? Interesting Facts!

Cockroaches are survival experts and have many other alternatives when food is inaccessible. Because of this characteristic, most people often ask, Do cockroaches eat hair? 

If you are also one of those people who are curious to know the answer to this question, then you are at the right place.

In this column, I will provide you with all the details you need to know. For this, you need to read the entire article. 

Moreover, I have been researching cockroaches for a long time to satisfy you. Now let’s get started!

Do Cockroaches Eat Hair?

Cockroaches are believed to be attracted to fat, protein, and starch. Our hair contains keratin protein which is a source of seduction for roaches. Besides, human hair covered with lipids also contains fat in the oil produced by the glands in our skull. The notable point is that roaches use our hair as a last option when there is nothing to eat.

Moreover, roaches can only feed on human hair at night because they fear humans and don’t like interacting with them.

If you have caught a cockroach crawling in your hair, it means there is a large population of cockroaches in your house that are competing for food and shelter.

Is Hair a Preferable Food for Roaches?

A short answer to this question is no if you are afraid that roaches, like lice, will use your hair as shelter and consider spending their life cycle in it.

Then, let me tell you that there is no need to worry as roaches can eat human hair, but it is not added to the list of preferred foods.

As I have mentioned earlier, human hair is only an option but not a choice. Roaches belong to the group of omnivores.

This means that they can eat any food derived from plant and animal sources. Therefore, fats, protein, and other minerals in human hair can help roaches fulfill their body needs for a short amount of time. 

Preferable Food for Roaches Except Hair

As you have seen, hair is not a preferred food for roaches, so here a question arises: What is the preferred food of roaches? 

No need to worry as I have stated a complete and clear answer to this question, so let’s look! You will be surprised to know that cockroaches also have preferences related to food, just like humans. 

Like some of us are fond of eating junk food, some like spicy food, and some prefer to eat desserts; So same is the case with cockroaches. They also follow a like and dislike pattern.

The choice of food dramatically varies depending upon the species of cockroach. Although cockroaches can eat any food we humans eat, this is also why our home kitchens are one of their favorite places.

I have stated the nutrients and the sources through which roaches obtain them in the table below.

No                        Nutrients                        Sources
1Protein Hamburger, Chicken, Turkey, Meat
2Fats                Oil, greasy food
3Carbohydrates                      Cheese
4Nutrients from decaying foodRotten vegetables, bananas, oranges
5StarchSoaps,  paints
6SugarCarbonated drinks and sweets

What Roaches Feed on, Other than Food?

We have seen that roaches eat different foods depending on the availability of particular food and their liking but what if they don’t have food? 

So, yes, you are right; they start adapting mechanisms, but before that, there are also some alternatives that roaches use to feed themselves in the absence of food. 

  • As I have mentioned above, roaches also love protein. Protein is not only present in foods; our nails and hair are also made of a protein known as keratin, so roaches attract human hair. 
  • In addition, if there is a shortage of food for roaches, they can also eat the skeleton of an already dead roach or a relatively weaker roach.
  • Moreover, roaches can also eat cellulose which is found in plants and wood. 
  • Paper is also made of wood which contains cellulose; therefore, roaches can also use paper for food.

So it is bad news because if you think of blocking their food supply to get rid of them, it will not work as roaches have a backup plan.

Why Do Cockroaches Eat Hair?

Did the question come to your mind why do cockroaches eat hair? The composition of our hair made them do so. 

As I stated earlier, cockroaches like fatty foods and can eat items containing fats and lipids. Now you must be thinking that our hair is made of protein, so what is the role of fat in it? 

Yes, you are right, human hair is made of protein, but there is also a small amount of fat and oil in it. 

You have often noticed that it becomes frizzy when you don’t wash your hair for a long time. But have you ever wondered why it is so? 

Actually, there are some glands present in our hair known as sebaceous glands; the primary function of these glands is to produce oil which is also consumed by a type of bacteria present in our skull. 

This small amount of oil serves as an optional food for cockroaches when all the doors are closed.

In addition, roaches compete for their survival. Strong roaches can eat relatively weaker roaches as food. 

Hair can also serve as food for roaches that are small in size and young at an age that can’t protect themselves or fight for food.

Do Cockroaches Have Hair?

Yes, cockroaches have hair. These hairs are present on their outer skeleton. These insects have six legs, and the notable point about their legs is that they not only help them to crawl or move.

But each leg consists of thread-like structures; these threadlike structures are tiny hairs that help them to smell and produce a feeling of sensation. 

These hairs are also used to smell, so cockroaches do not have a nose but hairs that function as a nose. These hairs are called antennal flagella.

The word antenna indicates their sense of feeling, and flagella indicate the fragile and tiny structure of hairs.

Can Cockroaches Use Our Hair as a Home?

Cockroaches are adapting and competing species. They fight for their food and hide in the daytime, usually in dark areas like corners of cupboards, tables, beds, and in holes or water pipes. 

They do this to avoid any predator that can attack them, and during the night, they come out of these tiny holes, pipes, and dark shelters so that they can collect food for themselves. 

If such combating cockroaches don’t find something to eat like starch, protein, sweet or decaying materials, they can likely take the route to your hair as their last hope.

If you wake up in the morning and find a roach in your hair, it is more likely that it will be an American roach that finds your hair as a last option after being tired.

Do Cockroaches Cause the Shedding of Hair?

Cockroaches cannot cause hair loss directly, but they can do it indirectly by causing diseases that lead to the shedding of hair. 

Cockroaches are known as parasites because they are known to spread diseases by carrying pathogens with them. Therefore, they are also considered dirty.

Cockroaches remain in a dirty environment like garbage and carry some harmful disease-causing bacteria, which they can transfer to the food by contaminating it. 

If someone comes in contact with contaminated food, he or she can develop several life-threatening diseases like dysentery.

Dysentery is a disease of the intestine that may be caused by a cockroach carrying specific bacteria. A patient with dysentery feels severe pain in the stomach; nausea, vomiting, and bloody feces are other symptoms. 

A person with dysentery cannot eat due to stomach pain and vomiting, which causes nutritional deficiency, which in turn leads to hair shedding. 

This is because our hair also needs specific nutrients to stay healthy.

How Can I Protect My Hair from Cockroaches?

Are you worried about your hair because cockroaches find your hair the only option and start feeding on them? 

If it is so, then the depression time is over, as I have listed some ways, and by following them, you can get rid of cockroaches and protect your hair so let’s find out!

1. Washing Your Hair Regularly

As I have mentioned earlier, the oil produced by your hair glands is why cockroaches eat your hair. So if you want to get rid of them, wipe out the reason. 

I mean, consider removing oil from your hair. You can remove the oil by washing your hair with any shampoo.

If you don’t wash your hair regularly, the sebaceous glands continue producing oil until your hair gets a full oily texture which in turn attracts cockroaches.

2. Cover Your Hair

The other protective measure you can take to protect your hair from cockroaches is to cover your hair before going to bed because cockroaches mainly attack at night in the dark. 

You can cover your hair with a plastic head covering or a small cloth. Covering your hair will block the access route of cockroaches to your hair.

3. Use Aroma that Cockroaches Hate 

There are some fragrances that can help you to deal with cockroaches. Just like some types of aroma attract cockroaches, there are also some that will keep them away. 

Take a spray bottle and fill it with peppermint oil or lemon juice. The menthol in peppermint oil is capable of playing the role of violin for cockroaches. 

You have to spray it on your hair, tie and cover them with any cloth or hair covering.

4. Clean Your Bed

You will be surprised to know that according to research, every human loses 50 to 100 hairs every day.

So during the night, while you are sleeping, you can shed your hair, and it can spread on your bedsheet and pillow.

Broken hair is more likely to attract cockroaches as compared to one on your head, so make sure to clean your bed before and after sleeping. 

In addition, cockroaches can also hide near your bed or on your mattress. High temperature is capable of killing cockroaches. 

So if you have any doubt or there are chances of the presence of cockroaches in your mattress, consider keeping it in sunlight and washing it. 

High temperatures can kill cockroaches. The centrifugal force provided in the washing machine can also kill eggs and cockroaches, so washing bed sheets or changing them can also help.

5. Block the Holes or Clean It

Holes in bathrooms, washbasins, and pipes serve as major shelters for cockroaches. Do you know why? If you don’t, worry not, I am here to tell you. 

Just like food, cockroaches also need water to survive and prevent dehydration because water has significant functions in their body, including reproduction processes, movement, etc. 

Therefore they are found in bathroom holes and water pipes. Moreover, these holes also contain hairs that can serve as a portion of food for cockroaches, so cleaning holes can help to get rid of them.

Ending Lines:

In this blog, we have discussed the question: Do cockroaches eat hair? So the answer is yes, but they don’t prefer it as it is only a survival option. 

If there is a shortage of food, cockroaches can attack your hair at night in the dark, and I have mentioned all the reasons for their attack and also the precautions. 

So follow them to avoid cockroaches and to protect your hair. I hope you will find this article helpful.


What Happens If a Cockroach Eats Your Hair?

While eating your hair, cockroaches can transfer life-threatening bacteria, which can cause severe disease, so follow the precautions and protective measures if you have this problem.

What are Cockroaches Afraid of?

Cockroaches are afraid of anything which is more in size as compared to them, such as humans. Moreover, they are also afraid of some chemicals and aromas, such as the smell of peppermint oil.

Does Light Keep Roaches Away?

Cockroaches hide only due to fear of predators. They can also come out during the day, but it is not expected as they are afraid of becoming victimized and hiding in dark places.

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