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What Do Pests Eat?

What Do Pests Eat?

what do pests eat

Insects and pests get hungry, too! Have you ever wondered what they snack on and how it differs from what we like to eat? Some prefer human or animal blood, whereas others enjoy your leftovers just as much as you do. Either way, your local pest controlexperts at Palmetto Exterminators are here to help you better understand the bugs that may be living in your home and what pests eat.

Herbivorous Insects

Herbivorous insects survive off of stems, seeds, leaves, or flowers. Common herbivorous insects consist of caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies, and honeybees. For example, caterpillars must eat a large number of leaves in order to undergo metamorphosis. Sometimes, plants can even benefit from this relationship as well. You don’t have to worry about herbivorous insects stealing your leftovers, or worse, eating your blood!

Frugivorous Insects

Frugivorous insects eat fruits. Although beetles and butterflies are herbivorous insects, they can also be frugivorous. Some flies, hornets, and aphids also feed off ripe or decaying fruit. Since these insects can be found in gardens, they have often been considered pests and people tend to try and get rid of them. However, with the development of insecticides, there can be damage to the ecosystem when these bugs are gone.

Carnivorous Insects

Carnivorous insects have a diet that contains meat. This can include eating other insects or their blood. Dragonflies and praying mantises are two of the most common carnivorous insects. A dragonflie’s diet can include other dragonflies, butterflies, mosquitoes, and moths. Praying mantises typically eat frogs, fish, and lizards. Female praying mantises can also eat male praying mantises who are attempting to mate with them. 

Detritivorous Insects

Detritivorous insects feed off of decomposing plants, animals, and even feces. Common detritivorous insects include earthworms, millipedes, slugs, springtails, and woodlice. Most species of mosquitoes are also detritivores. These insects are essential for the food web, working as decomposers.

Some insects differ in what they prefer to eat. Let’s get down to specifics.


Ants will eat dead animals and other insects, but they also like to feast on crumbs in your kitchen, from meats to fats. They especially enjoy sweet foods.

Bees and Hornets

Bees and hornets also have a sweet tooth. They usually go for juice, soda, and fruit. Carpenter bees don’t actually eat wood, but they bore into wood before laying their eggs. They actually eat plant pollen and nectar.

Bed Bugs

You know the saying – don’t let the bedbugs bite! They will eat human and animal blood so it’s important to maintain proper bed bug control.


Wasps prey on other insects. They usually go for ants, spiders, bees, caterpillars, or flies. 

Brown Recluse Spiders 

Brown recluse spiders enjoy snacking on bugs such as cockroaches and crickets. 

Black Widow Spiders 

Black widow spiders typically eat other insects. Sometimes, they will eat mice, lizards, or even snakes.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugsare herbivorous insects, feeding off of weeds and grasses. This is why they are drawn to remote, grassy environments.


Termites eat wood. They also eat plastic, drywall, and paper. 


While there are many different types of cockroaches such as the albino cockroach, American cockroach,and many more, they are all very similar in nature. Cockroaches will eat just about anything from meat to decomposing plants and animals, to dried skin. They aren’t picky!

Although all pests are different, now it’s easy to see why you might see them around enjoying your food. In order to protect your food, it’s important to seal it up and store it properly. To protect your home from pests, you should make sure all possible entry points are secure and closed. If you think you have a problem with pests in your home, contact Palmetto Exterminatorstoday for a free pest inspection and other exterminator services.