Do Dogs Keep Cockroaches Away?

Do-Dogs-Keep-Cockroaches-AwayYour canine friends can effortlessly keep cockroaches away, but they aren’t effective against existing heavy cockroach infestations. Dogs can deter a small number of cockroaches. This makes them helpful in preventing future cockroach infestations in your home.

You can also train your dogs to hunt and kill cockroaches to prevent these little critters from forming various nests in your home. Throughout history, dogs have helped to hunt pests. Their presence can scare away the pests such as roaches.

But how do dogs hunt cockroaches, and why are they practical for preventing a roach infestation in your home? You can read this article to learn how dogs deter cockroaches.

Do Dogs Scare Cockroaches Away?

Dogs scare cockroaches away with their sharp senses. They hone their senses to survive in the wild and combat different situations. For example, their sharp smelling sense can effectively spot insects in their surroundings.

Dogs do not have to be in the wild to spot tiny insects. Your domestic dogs may be untrained for hunting insects, but they can still sense the presence of various pests, including cockroaches.

Dogs are rarely intimidated by roaches. A puppy may be hesitant to go near a cockroach as they are inexperienced and cautious when interacting with insects. But adult dogs effectively keep cockroaches away.

Since most dogs are not allergic to cockroaches, they immediately hunt down the roach in their surrounding area. But they aren’t effective at keeping away established roach populations and heavy infestation.

There are two ways dogs sense roaches and scare them away:

Sharp Sense of Smell

Do you know that a dog has a hundred million scent receptors on its nose? These receptors boost a dog’s sense of smell, enabling them to detect the slightest smell, even of roaches.

Enhanced Sense of Hearing

You would be surprised to know that a dog’s hearing ability is three times stronger than a human’s. This is why your dog can hear insects move around even when it does not see insects.

You may notice that your dog gets alert even in the dark. These two strong senses help the dog spot the little critters in the dark. This is because the roaches produce minimal sound when they move on the floors or the wall.

These minimal sounds are audible to your dog, which immediately gets alert and makes swift movements, deterring the roach.

How Do Dogs Scare Away Cockroaches?

Cockroaches may be a menace in your home, but these pests aren’t always mighty. They avoid predators, including dogs. So if you have a domestic dog, are cockroaches afraid of it?

A dog’s presence can scare away cockroaches because of their many instincts, traits, and specific breed advantages. Here are some reasons dogs are effective for scaring away cockroaches.

They Can Startle Roaches

Cockroaches are startled by sound, light, and movement. A dog’s sharp sense of hearing, smell, and quick movements often startle the roaches and keep them away.

Some cockroaches do not have any detectable smell, but dogs can still sense them in their environment. Here is how:

Therefore, they can immediately identify a cockroach by their sharp senses. This helps the dogs to locate the cockroach or nearby infestations.

You can also use your dog’s sense of smell and hunting to locate the nests and set up a cockroach trap to prevent heavy infestations.

Dogs React to Movements

Cockroaches are tiny insects that make quick movements. They may skip your eye, but your dog will always be on high alert when there is a roach in the surrounding zone. That’s because they are inquisitive animals and respond to small, fast movements.

Cockroaches make enough noise to catch a dog’s attention. Therefore, your canine friend is excellent at spotting a roach when their hunting instinct is triggered.

Ideal Insect Hunters

Besides their unique hunting instincts, dogs are excellent at scaring away cockroaches because of their continuous movements. Fortunately, roaches are not fond of sound and movement, and dogs are almost always on the go.

Besides this, some specific hunting breeds, such as terriers, effectively control pest infestations. These small dogs capture gophers, roaches, and rats as they have small bodies, quick bites, and nimble movements.

Signs of Dogs Sensing Cockroaches

Cockroaches are tiny creatures that do not make commotion while moving. Instead, their movements are fast and quick, allowing them to move swiftly in and out of small places.

However, your dog senses these movements and responds well to them. For example, you may notice that your dog will tilt the head to one side and raise the ears. When your dog raises its ears, it tries to listen to the sound created by these little critters.

If you want to learn about the various signs of your dog sensing the roaches, here are some:

  • Head tilting
  • Rapid ear movement
  • Attentive listening
  • Raised ears
  • Tail wagging
  • Wrinkles on the forehead
  • Fast reactivity

You can look for the dog’s ears as they move back and forth.

The dog may occasionally droop down the ear and position the body differently. This gives the animal a better sense of movement in its surroundings. The roaches come out when there is less light and movement.

If cockroaches are present in your home, they will likely come out at night when you’re asleep. Your dog will be on high alert as there is less activity in the surroundings.

Note: A dog’s ear movements do not always indicate the presence of an insect in the surroundings. Your canine friend can independently move its ears, sometimes when trying to guess what humans are doing.

Can Dogs Permanently Keep Away Cockroaches?

A dog can deter the cockroaches but cannot permanently keep them away. This is because cockroaches find tiny spaces to form their nests. The infestations in small spaces are difficult to eradicate.

If your home has plenty of small spaces with moisture and food, the chances are that roaches will form a colony in these spots. While your dog can effectively deter roaches, it won’t be able to remove the pests.

A dog can only discourage the new cockroaches from entering your home but cannot eliminate an established infestation.

At best, you can get your dog to locate the infestations in your home and use traps and repellents to get rid of cockroaches.

Is It Safe for a Dog to Eat Cockroaches?

It is natural and safe for a dog to hunt down prey and consume it. However, you shouldn’t let your domestic dogs eat cockroaches. It may not poison your pet, but it’s still not entirely safe for them because:

Roaches Have an Indigestible Exoskeleton

Dogs can naturally hunt cockroaches and consume them as a protein source, but the hard exoskeleton of a roach makes it difficult for them to chew and swallow the roach.

Even if the dog’s canine teeth grip and break the exoskeleton, the digestive system cannot digest and process the exoskeleton. The cockroach’s exoskeleton is indigestible as it is too dense.

But if your dog consumes a roach, it can easily pass the insect as a whole. The cockroaches are small enough to pass through a big dog’s intestinal tract.

However, for smaller breeds, passing a cockroach through the intestinal tract might result in laceration or blockage.

Therefore, if your home has a cockroach infestation, you must use repellants to get rid of it before your small canine friend starts praying on these harmful critters.

Roaches Can Upset Your Dog’s Stomach

Cockroaches are not poisonous, but humans use chemical repellents to keep the critters away. Sometimes, the roaches’ bodies may contain a toxic chemical.

A minimal dosage of cockroach poison does not harm your dog if your dog consumes its prey. The active ingredients in the poison are present in a small amount which cannot harm your pet. However, it may cause stomach problems.

Some Dogs Are Allergic to Roaches

Many dogs are allergic to cockroaches. Although it isn’t a common allergy, your dog may experience discomfort after consuming a roach.

Therefore, look for the signs of illness whenever your dog consumes roaches.

Do Dogs Attract Cockroaches?

Dogs do not attract cockroaches directly, but their droppings and food morsels may be responsible for attracting roaches. Unless your dog cleans its food bowl, the chances are that the leftover food attracts the roaches.

Cockroaches are more likely to form an infestation in your kitchen if you stack up unwashed dishes at night. Similarly, these scavengers are attracted by the leftover pet food or crumbs.

When cockroaches cannot find a carbohydrate-rich food source, they consume dog droppings. Therefore, if your dog’s food and droppings attract cockroaches, you must scoop the litter every night to keep the roaches away.

Cockroaches require moisture for their survival. Unfortunately, your dog’s water dish can potentially attract these critters. Thus, you must take the following measures to keep the insects away:

  • Scoop up your dog’s litter frequently and dispose of it properly.
  • Dispose of any uneaten dog food or keep it properly sealed in an air-tight container.
  • Invest in a pest-proof water bowl for your dog.
  • Use insect repellents in your home.

Do Cockroaches Scare Away Dogs?

Dogs may stay cautious around the roach, but cockroaches cannot scare them away. However, you must have heard the saying, ‘once bitten, twice shy.’

If your dog has been bitten by a roach before, the chances are that it won’t go near another cockroach soon. Thus, the only factor which keeps the dog away from roaches is a potential cockroach bite.

If your dog doesn’t have trauma from a roach bite, these tiny critters cannot scare away your dog.

Some cockroach species, such as the Madagascan hissing cockroach, can make audible hissing noises that can startle your dog. This cockroach species forces the air through its spiracles, producing a loud noise that catches your dog’s attention.

But the Madagascan cockroach cannot survive in different climates and therefore is explicitly found in the US. Besides this, a roach’s quick, fast movements may startle your dog.

Does Your Dog Need Training to Kill Cockroaches?

Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by man, as they were the easiest to train for all types of tricks, including hunting and killing cockroaches. With proper training, your dogs can hunt down cockroaches and keep them away from your home.

First, however, you must ensure that the dog only kills cockroaches. Otherwise, dogs become aggressive towards every other creature.

Besides this, you must teach the dog not to consume what it kills as cockroaches have poisons and bacterial growth on their outer body.

Dogs can naturally sense cockroaches and deter them. However, many dogs are not inclined to hunt the roaches even if they detect their presence. Nevertheless, you can use various tricks if you find the motivation to cockroach-train your dogs.

When you find a cockroach nest in your home, it’s time to start training your dog as it will prevent future roach infestations. First, however, you must use repellants to eliminate the current infestations.

Here is how you can train your dog:

  1. First, put a sample of a live cockroach in a container.
  2. Then, seal the container with a mesh. This will help to scatter the roach’s scent in your home.
  3. Next, put some dog food in the roach container and let your dog sniff it. You must treat your dog every time it sniffs the roach container.
  4. Now, start placing samples of roach and food separately.

Only treat your dog for spotting the container with the roach. This will help your dog locate cockroaches when they are in the surroundings. Also, it helps the dog learn not to consume the roaches.


Can Dogs Kill Cockroaches?

A dog may hunt down the roach for its instincts, but most dogs cannot kill cockroaches. Cockroaches are tiny creatures that are difficult to catch as they hide in smaller spaces.

Moreover, these bugs have a tough exoskeleton which is extremely difficult to grip or crack. Sometimes, a cockroach’s exoskeleton is tainted with bacteria and poison, which might stop your dog from killing the roach at sight.

Are Dogs Allergic to Cockroaches?

Sometimes dogs are allergic to cockroaches. Allergic reactions include the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling in the area
  • Pain
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Due to these adverse allergic reactions, you must keep the roaches away to protect your canine friends. The best way to get rid of cockroaches is by thoroughly cleaning your home.

How Can I Prevent Cockroaches From Harming My Dog?

If you spot roaches in your home, it’s best to take pest preventive measures to ensure they do not harm your dog. For example, you can use cockroach repellent sprays and traps to keep them away from your pets.

But you must ensure that you keep the repellents away from your dog as the toxic chemicals present in insecticides can cause allergies. Moreover, replace your dog’s water bowl with a pest-repellant bowl to keep the roaches from feasting on your pet’s food and water.

What Animals Keep Roaches Away?

Dogs are excellent at detecting cockroaches, but you should not depend on them to keep the little critters away. Here are some of the natural predators of cockroaches.

  • Parasitoid wasp
  • Large beetles
  • Frogs
  • Toads
  • Lizards such as bearded dragons, geckos, and iguanas.
  • Entomopathogenic fungi

Will Cockroaches Go Near Dogs?

Cockroaches do not go near a dog for the majority of the time. Animals larger than roaches potentially threaten these bugs as they may prey on them. Therefore, cockroaches tend to hide in small spaces if they encounter a pet, such as a dog. Most roaches also stay away from cats due to the same reason.

Why Do Dogs Play With Cockroaches?

It is only instinctual behavior if you see your dog chase a roach and roll on its body. Dogs usually roll over the insects’ bodies to mask the scent, which helps them sneak up on similar prey. This ancestral behavior makes your dog roll over the roach.


Cockroaches are unhygienic critters in human settlements. It is vital for you to get rid of roach infestations to maintain your home’s hygiene levels.

Dogs have successfully controlled pests from entering homes for several decades. You can also train your dog to hunt down these little scavengers, keeping your home free of a heavy roach infestation.

But should dogs be your first line of defense against cockroaches? Here is a summary:

  • Dogs have an exceptional ability to deter cockroaches which is helpful to many dog owners.
  • Dog food, droppings, and their water bowl can potentially attract the roaches.
  • You can train your dog to hunt cockroaches to prevent future infestations.
  • You can keep the roaches away by thoroughly cleaning your home.
  • You must get your dog checked for cockroach allergies and look out for signs and symptoms of an adverse allergic reaction.