If there’s one thing in this world that I hate more than anything – it’s bugs. They’re creepy, they’re crawly, and they’re just downright gross. Sure, bugs serve their purpose in this universe, but they don’t serve any purpose in my house. Any bug that comes in is an unwanted visitor and is treated as such. But are there some situations that are more attractive to bugs than others? Of course. Most bugs are attracted to areas that are damp, moist, and have an abundant food source. But there’s a rumor going around on the internet that bugs could also be attracted to parrots. Is this true? Or more specifically, do parrots attract cockroaches?
The answer to this question is no, parrots do not attract cockroaches. The food that they drop however does attract cockroaches.
Anyone who owns a parrot knows that they are extremely messy eaters. Not only that but they are also very wasteful. Anything that a parrot doesn’t like inevitably ends up on the floor of their cage or, even worse, on your floor. This food is very attractive to cockroaches and is the reason that cockroaches are often found around parrots.
But what kinds of foods are cockroaches attracted to? Should you worry about cockroaches spreading disease to you or your parrot? What can you do to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home? And what can you do if they are already there? Today we will answer all of these questions and more – so let’s not waste another minute!
Why are Cockroaches Attracted to Parrots?
Again, cockroaches aren’t necessarily attracted to parrots – they’re attracted to the food that they eat. You know those pellets that you feed your parrot on a regular basis? Yes, the ones that your parrot throws all over the floor. Those pellets are like a gourmet meal to a cockroach – dinner and desert all in one.
What does a cockroaches diet consist of? Almost anything really. Cockroaches are scavengers. This means that they will eat anything that is available to them. While they prefer organic food sources, they will consume anything from hair, to dead skin, and other decaying matter. Cockroaches are also known to consume decaying wood and yes, sewage (I told you bugs were gross!).
This, however, is exactly why cockroaches are attracted to our parrots. Why would you eat sewage when you can eat leftover parrot pellets? Parrot pellets contain a wide range of foods from sweet fruits to nutritious vegetables and seeds – and to a cockroach, this is a pretty attractive meal. And if that’s not available? Well then they’ll just eat your parrots droppings – yum!
Should I worry about diseases?
The problem with cockroaches is that they can carry a wide range of diseases. The “foods” that they eat are not always sanitary, nor are the conditions that they live in. Cockroaches are often found hiding out in places like sewers, drains, and other moist, unsanitary areas. Ingested bacteria can then live in a cockroaches system for months, or sometimes even years. Eventually this bacteria will exit the cockroach via their droppings.
The problem with this? Like flies, cockroaches will vomit and leave droppings pretty much anywhere – including on our food. If we then eat this contaminated food, bacteria can be transferred to us (or in this case our parrots). Common strains of bacteria carried by cockroaches include salmonella, streptococcus, and staphylococcus. They have also been known to carry certain viruses like the polio virus.
How Can I Prevent Cockroaches in my Parrots Cage?
Once you have cockroaches, they can be very difficult to get rid of. For this reason, the key is prevention. Here are some tactics that you can use to keep cockroaches away from your home.
Keep your bird feeders as far away from your home as you can.
If it’s the case that you don’t actually own a parrot, you just enjoy feeding them from a bird feeder, keep this feeder as far from your home as possible. Even wild parrots are wasteful and messy eaters so they’re food will inevitably end up on your lawn. Unfortunately this food will attract cockroaches and other bugs, as well as mice and other rodents. It might be nice to bird watch up close but if you do, you could be inviting unwanted creepy crawlies into your home.
Keep your parrots cage clean.
If you do own your own parrot, keep their cage clean. The cleaner your parrots cage, the less likely you will be to attract pests. This may entail cleaning your parrots cage, as well as around the cage, after every meal. You should also do your best to keep the rest of your home clean, as dirty dishes, crumbs on the floor, and other messy conditions can all attract cockroaches.
Keep your compost away from your home.
If you have a compost bin, keep it as far away from your home as possible. Again, compost is like a gourmet meal for cockroaches and other creepy crawlies. The farther you can keep it from your home, the better. Also, always be sure that you put your parrots leftover foods in the compost as soon as possible. If you leave it in your garbage or your parrots cage, cockroaches will follow.
Store all parrot food in closed containers.
If at all possible, food should be kept in airtight containers within your cupboards. Anything that cannot be stored in an airtight container should be kept in your freezer. This includes any seeds, grains, rice, or other parrot foods.
Don’t keep clutter.
This goes for your parrot room or the rest of your home. Cockroaches love closed, dark spaces like cardboard boxes. The more clutter you have in your home, the more likely you are to see cockroaches roaming through.
Clean up parrot droppings regularly.
Just because there isn’t food in your parrots cage doesn’t mean the roaches won’t come. Remember, cockroaches feed on everything from organic food droppings to actual bird droppings. You should opt to clean your parrot cage at least once a day. Clean it more if you have time.
How to Rid Cockroaches from Your Parrot Cage (and Home)
Okay, so what if you already have cockroaches? Depending on the size of the cockroach problem, you may have to call in the professionals for help. With that being said, there are some things that you can do at home on your own if the problem is still small:
Keep your house clean.
Give it a thorough cleaning at least once a week. Each day, make sure you clean any dirty dishes out of the sink and wipe up any spilled food and water off the floor. Be sure to pay close attention to the kitchen or anywhere that you prepare food.
Always check for dripping water sources.
Cockroaches need water to live, so if you take the water source away, they will die out.
Avoid stacking your parrots newspapers.
Cockroaches will hide in stacks of paper.
You can use cockroach baits or physical traps to catch or kill cockroaches. With that being said, you want to make sure that any poisonous traps you use are kept out of reach of your parrot. If your parrot gets into one of these traps, they could ingest the poison and become very ill.
Can I hire professional pest control for my cockroach problem?
In most cases you can hire a professional pest control contractor to deal with cockroach problems. But when you have a parrot, the issue becomes a little more complicated. This is because most pest control contractors will use pesticides to kill roaches and other insects.
While pesticides can do a good job of ridding cockroaches, they can be very toxic to your parrot. Parrots are very sensitive to airborne particles, and ingesting pesticides could result in severe illness or even death.
Parrots have extremely sensitive lungs that work much differently than a set of human lungs. While our lungs can tolerate airborne particles, our parrots cannot. Any pesticides that become airborne are very dangerous for a parrot. Furthermore, these airborne particles can end up in your parrots’ food, leading to contamination of food and water sources. For this reason, using alternative methods of ridding cockroaches is always the better alternative.
If your cockroach problem is severe, speak to a professional pest control company and let them know that you have a parrot. They will be able to discuss ways of ridding your roaches without harming your bird.
If you have a parrot and are dealing with cockroaches, your parrot probably isn’t the problem. Take a look around your parrot’s environment. If there are food particles, bird droppings, or clutter, it may be time to do a good cleaning. Use alternative methods of pest control to get rid of the roaches and if you have to use a professional, make sure you let them know beforehand that you have a parrot.