Do cockroaches Eat paint?

Being one of the commonest household pests, roaches are known to eat just about anything. When hungry roaches are good at finding anything edible to eat just to survive. You would wonder do cockroaches eat paint. Why do cockroaches eat paint? Roaches aren’t picky when it comes to food, they may eat including the paint that drips onto the floor, paint peeling on your walls or even the paint used for decoration. Read more to understand the details in this post.

The fact is that roaches will eat oil-based pain and emulsion paint. Also, the paint that has oils, animal fat, starch and vegetable will attract roaches. Note that, the paint that has chemical such as those used on cars and home appliances doesn’t attract cockroaches.

Cockroaches are able to digest paint without harm, although the paint may be toxic. This can be attributed to their adaptive genes. Did you know you can repel roaches with paints infused with essential oils?

Remember, roaches aren’t attracted to paint as their primary food source. This means that they will never choose to consume paint when they have other source of food with carb-rich human food or even trash available. But should roaches feel the need to paint to survive, then they will do so. This usually depends on the level of infestation and how hungry they are.

Are Cockroaches Attracted to Paint?

As mentioned earlier, paint doesn’t form cockroaches primary food source. Roaches can only be attracted to paint when there is competition for food. This is usually the case when the population of cockroaches grows and food becomes scarce. Smaller roaches may be forced to find alternative food sources such as paint in order to survive.

Naturally, cockroaches are omnivorous, so they prefer animal and plant-based matter for their diet. They also prefer decaying foods with animal fats, sugar and starch.

Do Roaches Like Paint?

Some paints are made of animal-based ingredients. This means roaches will go for such paints rather eating the purely chemical-based paint such as those use on cars, bicycle or motorbike. In reality, most paints are manufactured with chemicals although animal and food products are used to produce the binder. This is where the roaches will strive to source the nutrients from by eating the paints.

Why Do Roaches Eat Paint Binder?

Why do roaches eat paint binder? Paint binder is one that holds the paint pigment together. The colors and tones in paint are achieved through the mixture of animal based ingredients. Such common binder and pigments ingredients include; ox gall, eggs, starch, honey, animal fats, milk, vegetable oil, etc. All these ingredients are food-based that will roaches to eat paint binder.

Although the paints are made with chemicals, roaches can easily tell the presence of nutrients in the paint binder. This is why roaches will eat the binder. Cockroaches are able to detect paints made without any animal-based ingredients also known as vegan paints.

Roaches are most likely attracted to paints that have animal fat. Cockroaches eat the paint but only utilize the nutrients substance within. A cockroach can also store fat better than other substances, this is why when a cockroach eat paint with animal fats, the fats tend to be stored for longer period.

Is Paint Harmful, Dangerous for Cockroaches to Eat?

Is paint dangerous or harmful for roaches to eat? When cockroaches eat paint, it doesn’t harm them. Why is paint not harmful to cockroaches when they consume? Roaches are known to have a genome suited for eating toxic material. Of all the insects, roaches are known to have the second-largest genome- this is according to North Carolina State University.

A genome is defined as a complete set of genetic information any organism can have. This is to say, that genome has all the information one needs to function and cockroaches have that too. That is why roaches can always feed on decaying matter including animal and plant. Other than human, roaches were known to eat plants that contain toxic substances. As the roaches continually associated with these plants, through evolution their genes would also evolved and the roaches have in time able to eat harmful matter.

Simple biology explains that genes are hereditary which means that roaches that developed this ability were able to pass this to their generation of modern day roaches. This can be shown in the way today cockroaches feed on toxic if nor more harmful materials probably more than their ancestors.

The food found in trash is in most cases has chemicals that would otherwise considered harmful to other animals. This is also to say, the metabolism of a cockroach understands how to process all the toxic chemicals in human food found in trash. This possibly explains why even insecticide don’t outright kill roaches. The genome is that strong.

To say the least, paint is nothing compared to insecticides. This is the reason why roaches can feed on paints despite the fact that it is nowhere close to food substance. The paints that attract roaches are: oil, watercolor, acrylic and tempera.

This kind of paints are used in painting and mural. Also in the list includes the emulsion paint which the roaches will still feed on without being harmed. But roaches are least attracted to the enamel paint; this is an air dryer paint used basically for concrete, engines, nails and refrigerators.

Can You Use Paint Repel Cockroaches?

Does paint repel roaches? Remember, roaches don’t prioritize paint as their number top list of food. In fact, if the paint doesn’t have anything nutritious, roaches will avoid the paint. Although, some paints have repellents ingredients like insecticide. But you can infuse the food and animal paints with essential oils to repel the cockroaches.

Most of the paints used do not have fumigation effect meaning they cannot be used as repellents. Such paints are considered safe to be used in human surroundings. You can use them in areas where cockroaches love in live such as kitchen cabinets, basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms or ceiling.

 How To Use Paint to Repel Cockroaches?

There are quite a number of ways you can use paint to repel cockroaches. You can use either of the following including herbs, oils or spices as cockroach natural repellents. The mixture will make sure the roaches don’t come near the paints or items in your household.

To repel roaches using paints, mix it with essential oils such tea tree, lavender, cypress, peppermint, oregano, citronella, rosemary, cedar, catnip, lemongrass and yarrow essential oil.

The use of herbs and spices is also another effective way to deter and repel roaches from eating paints. Some of the effective herbs and spices include: catnip, peppermint, apple mint, bay leaves, ginger mint, basil, or garlic.


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