What Do Pests Actually Eat?

Charleston pest control

Chances are you’ve had to deal with pests at some point – whether it was just a few of them or an infestation. While your biggest concern was probably getting rid of the intruders, did you ever stop to think about what they eat? Our Columbia and Charleston pest control company shares the diets of some of the most common pests in the area:


Cockroaches prefer meats, sweets, and starches, however they will eat virtually any organic food source that’s available. Because cockroaches can live so many places, they’ve adapted to be able to eat things like sewage, hair, decaying matter, wood, and more.


There are many different species of ants and among them, a very diverse diet. What ants eat depends on the type of ant, the season, and where they are. During the spring, many ants will eat dead insects and animals for protein. They also often seek out honeydew, a substance made by aphids when they feed on plants. Indoors, ants tend to gravitate towards crumbs, spills, open food containers, and even uncovered trash cans.


The diet of virtually all spiders consists of insects and other spiders (some larger spider species even prey on things like lizards, frogs, fish, or baby rodents). Unlike many other pests that will feed on dead insects, spiders will only feed on live ones or ones they’ve recently killed.


Most beetles are herbivores and eat the roots, stems, leaves, seeds, nectar, fruits and even the wood of a variety of plants. However, there are also some beetle species that are predators and eat things like maggots, snails, worms, grubs, and even other beetles. Interestingly, many species of beetles are formed simply from what they eat.


Flies largely eat organic decaying matter, which is why you always see flies around garbage. This matter includes fruit, vegetables, meat, animals, plant secretions, and even human feces. You can also find flies sucking the nectar from flowers as well.


The diet of both bees and hornets consists mainly of nectar and some pollen. However, they can also eat other sweet, sugary liquids like juice or soda, or sometimes, fallen fruit. Wasps, on the other hand, prey on other insects like spiders, ants, caterpillars, flies, and even bees.


There are thousands of species of moths and most of them don’t actually eat much when they’re adults. Instead, their diet comes from drinking. They have a long, narrow tubes in their mouth that are used like straws to drink things like nectar, tree sap, juice from decaying fruit, and substances that can dissolve in water. As larvae, however, moths forage on the natural fibers of fabrics, hair, paper dust, fur, and more.

Stink Bugs

Most stink bugs are plant feeders and in young stages, will eat things like weeds and grasses. As they mature, however, stink bugs are drawn to fields, orchards, and residential landscapes like apple trees, peach trees, cotton crops, berries, peppers, pecans, beans, and ornamental plants.

If you do find yourself with a pest problem, don’t hesitate to call our Columbia or Charleston pest control office. We’ll take care of the issue as quickly as possible.

Protect Your Home or Business with Preventative Pest Control Services

Pest Guide

Use our pest guide to learn about some of the most common household pests. Click on a pest to learn more.

Family Owned and Operated
Best of the Best 2022
Charleston's Choice Winner 2017
Termidor Certified Professional
2020 Mom’s Choice Award Best Exterminator