Does having a dog attract roaches?

Quick Answer

There is no direct correlation between having a dog and attracting roaches. Roaches are attracted to food sources and moisture, so keeping a clean home is the best way to prevent roaches regardless of pet ownership. With proper precautions, dogs and roaches can coexist in a home without issue.

Does Dog Food Attract Roaches?

Dog food can attract roaches if left out and accessible. Roaches are opportunistic feeders and will eat both plant and animal based food sources. Some tips to keep dog food from attracting roaches include:

  • Store dry dog food in sealed containers, not the original bag
  • Clean up any spilled kibble immediately
  • Do not leave wet dog food out overnight
  • Clean food and water bowls regularly
  • Keep pet feeding areas clean and dry

As long as dog food is properly stored and dog feeding areas are kept clean, the dog food itself will not attract roaches. Access to food is one of the primary reasons roaches enter homes, so following these tips will help reduce the appeal.

Do Dogs’ Bacteria and Parasites Attract Roaches?

There is no scientific evidence that bacteria or parasites associated with dogs are a direct attractant for roaches. Roaches are not attracted to the fur, dander or waste of dogs specifically.

However, roaches are attracted to moisture, warmth and humidity. Areas where dogs spend a lot of time, like beds, kennels and baseboards where they rest, can provide beneficial environments for roaches due to the dogs’ presence. Keeping these areas clean and dry is important.

Additionally, roaches are omnivores and will feed on dog waste if accessible. Making sure all dog waste, both indoors and outdoors, is cleaned up promptly will remove this potential food source for roaches.

Does Dog Fur Attract Roaches?

Dog fur alone does not attract roaches. However, accumulations of pet fur can create favorable environments for roaches in the following ways:

  • Provide warmth – Roaches prefer temperatures around 85°F. Clumps of pet fur can retain heat and warmth.
  • Retain moisture – Fur can absorb and trap moisture from the air or waste.
  • Offer shelter – Roaches will hide in clumps of fur to stay safe from light and open spaces.
  • Attract other pests – Fur can attract fleas or mites, which can in turn attract roaches as another food source.

Regular vacuuming and proper grooming to minimize shedding can prevent excess fur buildup. Areas like corners, under furniture and inside closets should be checked for fur clumps during cleaning. Avoid providing roaches cozy spaces by discarding any accumulations.

Does Dog Urine & Feces Attract Roaches?

Yes, dog urine and feces can attract roaches. Roaches are attracted to the moisture, odor and bacteria associated with pet waste. Roach populations are especially likely to exploit uncleaned dog urine or feces in places like:

  • Carpets
  • Floors
  • Cracks and crevices
  • Yards and gardens
  • Litter boxes
  • Potty pads
  • Kennels
  • Baseboards
  • Behind appliances

Prompt removal of all dog waste, both inside the home and out in the yard, is key. Feces should be picked up immediately from the yard and indoor accident areas should be cleaned with an enzyme cleaner. Regular vacuuming, mopping and grooming will also help eliminate waste odors.

Tips to Prevent Roaches with Dogs

While simply owning a dog does not attract roaches, they can take advantage of situations that dogs create. Here are some tips to keep roaches away when you have dogs:

  • Store all food (human and pet) in airtight containers.
  • Clean up spills, crumbs and other food debris right away.
  • Take out garbage frequently.
  • Fix any leaky pipes, faucets or other sources of moisture.
  • Clean and dry dog bowls, toys, beds and living areas regularly.
  • Vacuum and mop tile, vinyl and wood floors often.
  • Groom dogs frequently to control loose fur.
  • Clean up dog urine and feces in the yard daily.
  • Clean indoor potty areas multiple times per week.
  • Use enzymatic cleaners to remove odors from accidents.
  • Look for signs of roaches like droppings and inspect kitchens/bathrooms.
  • Seal cracks, holes or openings throughout the home.

With diligent cleaning habits and pest monitoring, dogs and roaches do not have to coexist in the same environment. Removing food sources, moisture accumulation and clutter will discourage roaches from taking up residence in your home.

Will Roaches Harm My Dog?

Roaches themselves are not directly harmful to dogs. However, there are some secondary risks to having roach infestations with pets:

  • Disease transmission – Roaches can carry bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Dogs can ingest these bacteria by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces or dead roaches.
  • Allergies – Dogs can develop allergies to roach saliva, feces or decomposing bodies. Reactions include itchy skin, licking and chewing.
  • Pesticides – Chemical pesticides used to eliminate roaches can be toxic to dogs if applied improperly. Only use pet-safe products and remove pets during treatment.
  • Stress – Seeing or interacting with roaches may cause anxiety in some dogs due to the unpredictable movements.

Check with your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of illness after roach exposure. Keep pets away from chemicals and exterminators and use caution cleaning up dead roaches.

Will Roach Prevention Products Hurt My Dog?

When using products to repel or eliminate roaches, look for options specifically labeled as safe for pets. Avoid using the following roach prevention products around dogs:

  • Sprays containing pyrethroids like Allethrin, Tetramethrin, Cypermethrin or Permethrin
  • Boric acid powders or gels
  • Dusts containing Fipronil
  • Baits with Hydramethylnon, Dinotefuran or Imidacloprid
  • Fumigators or bombs with restricted use pesticides

These ingredients and products can be harmful to dogs if ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Always consult packaging and talk to your vet before using pest control products in a home with dogs.

Some dog-safe options include diatomaceous earth, insect growth regulators, boric acid baits in tamper-proof boxes, silica gel, and baits with Borax. Only apply these minimally and in areas dogs cannot access. Never use any product around dogs without closely following label instructions.

Signs of a Roach Infestation

Some indicators that roaches may be in your home include:

  • Seeing live roaches, especially nymphs or egg casings
  • Droppings that look like coffee grounds in cupboards or drawers
  • An odor similar to wet cardboard
  • Molted exoskeletons
  • Roach allergens present – Look for symptoms like red, itchy skin in pets
  • Bites on pets, especially around the face, neck and ears
  • Re-infestation within 2 weeks after seeing previous roaches

Act quickly at the first sign of roaches and contact an exterminator if necessary. Early intervention is key to effective elimination. If roaches are allowed to reproduce and establish nesting areas, they can be difficult to eradicate.

How to Get Rid of Roaches When You Have Pets

To safely eliminate roaches when you have pets:

  1. Inspect your entire home and identify problem areas. Look especially in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, attics and around appliances.
  2. Clean, vacuum and declutter to remove food sources, fur accumulations and other attractants.
  3. Seal cracks, crevices and holes where roaches can enter with caulk.
  4. Use roach traps and baits listed as pet friendly in closets, under large appliances and other difficult to reach areas.
  5. Diatomaceous earth can be applied in wall voids, under appliances and in cracks. Avoid inhaling it.
  6. If needed, hire a professional exterminator to treat with pet safe products while keeping your dog away.
  7. Continue vacuuming, cleaning and deodorizing problem areas.
  8. Monitor for recurrence and address immediately. Focus on prevention.

Always keep dogs away from chemicals and cleaned up dead roaches during treatment. Consult your vet with any concerns about the health effects of roaches or pesticides on your pet.

Are Roaches Harmful to Human Health?

Roaches can pose health risks to humans, especially through transmitting disease or triggering allergies. Some key dangers include:

  • Salmonella, E. coli and Cholera bacteria exposure – Roaches walk through sewers and garbage collecting pathogens.
  • Allergic reactions in sensitive individuals – Roach saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies contain strong allergens.
  • Asthma attacks – Allergens circulating in the air from roaches can trigger asthma episodes.
  • Ectoparasites – Fleas, mites and other pests living on roaches may bite humans.
  • Household chemical contamination – Roaches bring pesticide residues indoors on their bodies.

These health risks demonstrate the importance of preventing roach infestations, especially in homes with vulnerable populations like children, pregnant women and the elderly. Do not hesitate to contact an exterminator if signs of roaches are spotted.

Can You Train Dogs to Kill Roaches?

You cannot reliably train dogs to actively hunt and kill roaches. Dogs can be curious about the quick movements of roaches, and some dogs enjoy “playing” with them by pouncing on or batting at roaches. However, intentionally using your dog for roach extermination is not recommended.

There are a few reasons dogs should not intentionally be used as roach killers:

  • Dogs can get sick from eating roaches or ingesting toxic pesticides on their bodies.
  • Roach allergens and droppings may cling to the dog’s fur and paws.
  • Dogs are not very effective at fully eliminating roach populations.
  • Dogs can cause safety issues by spreading roaches deeper into hiding spots while “playing”.
  • Chasing roaches can become an obsessive and anxious behavior for some dogs.

While a dog might eat a few roaches, professional pest control is the only reliable way to fully exterminate an infestation. Keeping roach attractants away from your home is safer than using dogs as roach catchers.

Steps for Roach Prevention When Owning Dogs

Preventing roaches comes down to denying them food, water and shelter. With dogs in the home, focus on these key steps:

  1. Clean food debris immediately and store all food in sealed containers.
  2. Fix any leaky pipes, faucets or other moisture sources.
  3. Pick up dog food and water bowls overnight.
  4. Take out trash and recycling regularly.
  5. Clean up dog urine or feces accidents immediately with an enzyme cleaner.
  6. Clean dog bowls, beds and indoor potty areas frequently.
  7. Vacuum and mop all floors, especially around eating areas.
  8. Groom dogs regularly to control shedding and waste clinging to fur.
  9. Eliminate clutter throughout the home to reduce hiding spots.
  10. Inspect the home monthly and look for signs of roaches.
  11. Seal cracks and crevices where roaches enter.
  12. Use monitoring traps to help detect infestations sooner.

Stopping roaches before they invade by removing attractants is more effective than trying to eliminate existing infestations. Stay vigilant with prevention steps.


Owning dogs does not inherently attract roaches into the home. Roaches look for food, moisture and shelter no matter the inhabitants of a home. While dogs can create situations roaches try to exploit, the key is effective prevention and pest management.

Monitor for signs of roaches, deny them access to food sources, and keep the home clean and dry. Store all food properly, eliminate clutter, and fix conditions like leaks that allow moisture buildup. Act immediately at the first sign of roaches and use pet safe treatments only when necessary.

With some diligence, awareness and swift action, it is certainly possible for dogs and humans to reside roach-free. Do not allow roaches that enter a home with dogs to stay and multiply. Address infestations quickly to keep everyone in the household comfortable, healthy and pest-free.

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