Do Geckos Eat Cockroaches? Are They Safe?

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Although, Roaches wouldn’t be a lizard’s first choice of food they are very easy to catch. Geckos and other reptiles can eat a variety of live insects happily without a problem “but can” or do geckos eat cockroaches?

Yes, Geckos can eat cockroaches, however, if these roaches are the types found in your average house then this can be risky as some of these cockroaches can carry things like pesticides, germs, and harmful bacteria which could cause serious digestive problems.

Roaches bought from your local pet shop, on the other hand, that’s been raised in a clean environment actually have more nutrients than other more popular type insects.

Do Geckos Eat Cockroaches?

Pet geckos are one of the easiest reptiles to handle and care for, they will pretty much eat anything that’s easy for them to overpower and consume.

Feeding your pet gecko insects as waxworms and locusts helps towards giving them all the nutritional variety they need to stay healthy and the same can be said about cockroaches.

Geckos can eat small-type cockroaches without trouble however, you shouldn’t feed your gecko any large adult cockroaches as there is a small chance they could injure your pet lizard.

Small type cockroaches that are the width of the geckos head are perfect to overpower and consume.

However, if for some reason your gecko is having trouble catching or eating the cockroach then you should stop feeding these roaches.

Are Cockroaches Healthy For Geckos?

If the cockroaches have been raised in a controlled environment then yes they are healthy for geckos to eat. As before, cockroaches actually have more nutrients than some other insects geckos are known to eat.

However, Roaches found in a backyard or kitchen on the other hand are not healthy for geckos or any other pet reptile for that matter so you should steer away from these types of roaches.

The are plenty of places where you can buy healthy cockroaches, the first place you should try is your local pet store. If you don’t have any luck there, you can buy them from a pet shop online.

One online shop we recommend you check out is there you will find a large selection of premium quality reptile food that’s healthy for your gecko.

How Many Cockroaches Can Geckos Eat?

When you feed geckos they will eat like no tomorrow and the reason they do this is because of their natural instinct to eat more, so they can store fat reserves as geckos do in the wild.

However, the behavior of pet geckos is slightly different from those in the wild, and by feeding them too much could put their health at risk.

The average cockroach is quite large to a gecko so you should only feed them one at a time and three max “but” this really depends on the size of your pet lizard.

As before, Never feed them roaches that you find in a kitchen simply because these types of roaches will eat all kinds of disgusting things, and if your reptile then consumes them they can become very ill.

Another reason you should only feed them one roach at a time is if there are too many at one time then they could end up injuring your gecko to avoid being eaten.

“After all, geckos are a small fragile lizard that can still get hurt even from their prey”

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How To Feed Cockroaches To Geckos?

Feeding your gecko cockroaches is almost the same as feeding them live crickets, although there are some people that will feed them 5 or 6 crickets at once, with cockroaches you should feed them one at a time.

It’s also important to select insects and cockroaches that are no bigger than the width of the gecko’s head.

So, to get started simply place one cockroach in their enclosure and wait for the gecko to see it “which shouldn’t take long” soon as the lizard has eaten the cockroach you can then place another one inside the enclosure and repeat.

You should always make sure that the insects or in this case the cockroaches are healthy as possible this way the roaches will pack more nutrients which is good for the gecko.

When feeding the gecko you shouldn’t be relying too heavily on one type of insect (cockroaches) so you should change their flavor by adding different insects that provide different nutrients.

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Gecko?

So as mentioned, Geckos will naturally eat more in the wild mainly for their fat reserves “but” pet geckos can’t always handle high amounts of food and could end up being sick.

Now, the average gecko will stop eating when they’re full, but there are others that will still keep on eating even when they are full, so it is important not to overfeed them.

“If you always overfeeding your gecko then they will gain unnecessary weight”

When feeding adult geckos cockroaches you should limit their supply to 6 maybe 7 roaches three times a week.

If you have a Leopard Gecko these lizards are native to the desert areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and India and are strictly insect-eaters only.

Although their preferred meal is live crickets and mealworms that’s not to say if, given the chance that they wouldn’t eat a cockroach, “of course they would” “but” the amount you feed them really depends on the size and age of the gecko.

Juvenile Geckos

  • Baby geckos need to be feed daily and can require as many as 20 small crickets per day.

Adult Geckos

  • Fully grown adult geckos only require to be fed every other day and should eat 6 to 8 crickets.

What Do Geckos Usually Eat?

Geckos prefer to eat a variety of live invertebrates (insects), these types of insects and the amount of food that they can consume really depends on the gecko’s species, size, and age.

They typically eat insects like crickets, worms, waxworms, and small locusts that are no bigger than the width of the gecko’s head, this makes it easier for them to eat and digest their prey.


Crickets are the most common food source for geckos however, not all crickets contain the same level of nutrition for your gecko. This is where geckos will eat other insects to balance their diet.


Mealworms are considered to be the gecko’s second favorite food “but” with that said because they are high in fat these worms should only be fed as a treat, too many can lead to obesity.


Waxworms are usually eaten by baby geckos to help add mass as they grow however if your feeding them to an adult gecko like the mealworms too many can lead to obesity.

Other Insects They Can Eat

Now, if there is a food shortage of any insects listed above then of course geckos will eat other insects, and as mentioned they will pretty much eat anything that moves and even consume arthropods such as…


In the wild, geckos are known to eat any insect even spiders, However, in captivity, they don’t only eat the food provided by their owners.


Well, if they can catch them geckos will eat ants in the wild ” but” this can be risky business for the reptiles as ants in big numbers can overpower the predators.

Small scorpions

Although it can be a risky meal Leopard geckos are known to Eat Baby Scorpions in the desert and they do this by curling their tails and body to mimic scorpions as a defense mechanism.

Can Geckos Eat Fruit & Vegetables?

Geckos are insectivores which means they cannot eat fruit or vegetables. This is because their tiny bodies are not designed to digest fruit and veg.

Reptiles that eat plants and vegetation actually possess what’s called a functioning Cecum in their digestion system to break down Cellulose, a substance found in fruit and vegetables.

“But” unfortunately geckos do not don’t possess a functioning Cecum and as a result cannot eat this type of food. Any geckos that fed fruit and vegetables could end up with digestive issues.

It’s recommended just to feed your gecko live insects they can naturally digest and as mentioned making sure they are small enough for them to handle and eat.


So there you have it! now you know geckos can eat cockroaches but as before make sure that you feed them healthy roaches and that goes for all live insects.

If you feed them insects that are unhealthy this can have a negative effect on the digestive system which could lead to your reptile being sick or worse.

There are a number of pet stores that sell cockroaches and other insects for your reptile. Don’t forget to check out there you can view premium quality food for a variety of different reptiles.

Just remember not to feed them roaches that are too big as they could end up injuring your gecko which is the last thing you want.