If you are wondering what eats bed bugs we can help you with an answer! There are a few insects that eat bed bugs. Bed bugs are in the class of insects called “true bugs”, Hemiptera. For reference, other insects in this group are cicadas, stink bugs, water bugs, as well as many more.
What sets true bugs apart from other insects is that they go through a type of metamorphosis. All true bugs hatch as a nymph from the egg. In fact, a nymph is a miniature version of the adult bug. Bed bugs do not have a larval stage.
Using a bed bug mattress protector can help you monitor for bed bugs while minimizing any hiding places around your mattress or box spring.
Finding a predator for bed bugs is not necessarily a good strategy for bed bug mitigation. Your home would then become overrun with the insect or animal that is eating the bed bug. Therefore biological control of bed bugs via predators is not a sound pest control method. If you want to see photos and videos of bed bugs in action check out Lou Sorkin’s website. He is an entomologist and has documented and studied bed bug for years.
Whether you want to find out what eats bed bugs or are just looking for something to trap and monitor bed bugs you have come to the right place. These black bed bug traps can help. According to research bed bugs gravitate towards the colors black and red, so I would buy the black ones instead of the white.
**Amazon disclosure: this site will earn a few pennies for our scholarship fund, if you purchase through the Amazon link**
If you are still curious as to what eats bed bugs: here is our list!
The larvae of the moth identified as Pyr’alis pictalis (Pyralidae: Lepidoptera), eats bed bug eggs. This moth larvae can infest stored food products such as tapioca and other starchy foods. In fact, a scientific investigation in India over 50 years ago showed that these larvae devoured the eggs of bed bugs readily. Although the larvae did not eat the bed bug nymphal stages. This study by Wattal, B. L.; Kalra, N. L. Titled Pyralis pictalis Curt. (Pyralidac: Lepidoptera) Larvae as Predators of Eggs of Bed Bug, Cimex hemipterus Fab. (Cimicidae: Hemiptera) found that bed bugs were increasing in numbers when pesticides killed off the moth larvae. This then led to scientific research which confirmed that the moth larvae are natural bed bug predators.
DO SPIDERS EAT BED BUGS?
Spiders will definitely eat bed bugs if given the opportunity. Additionally, not all species of spiders will catch and devour bed bugs. During my bed bug inspections, I often find a spider web underneath a client’s box spring. Over the past 8 years, I have seen about 7 bed bugs caught in a spider’s web. If there is an active bed bug infestation then a spider being a natural predator of bed bugs will catch a few bed bugs for a meal. Although spiders will never be able to catch enough bed bugs to reduce the population.
DO ANTS EAT BED BUGS?
Pharaoh ants are a hassle for any person dealing with them. The pharaoh ants are much smaller than an adult bed bug, they are only 2mm long. Since they build their nests in hard-to-reach places, like floorboards and wall voids, they may be difficult to eradicate. If disturbed, they will quickly split off from their colony and start new ones elsewhere. However, they actively consume bed bugs. A pharaoh ant is just one of many types of ants that feed on bed bugs. Bed bug natural predators are these ants.
Therefore, ants do eat bed bugs, here is a video showing fire ants eating a bed bug.
Fire Ants will actively hunt and kill a live bed bug. Adding fire ants to your home is definitely not a good bed bug solution. I found this video on YouTube of a bed bug released near a fire ant colony. As you can see the ants all come out to attack and kill the bed bug.
WHAT ARE THE NATURAL ENEMIES TO BED BUGS?
The Masked Bed Bug Hunter is nocturnal and will feed on any number of insects. A few of these include bed bugs, carpet beetles, and bat bugs. According to the PENN state entomology department, one unique behavior of these bugs is that they camouflage themselves with dirt and dust. They do this by placing the dirt and dust on their bodies with a glue-like substance. Unfortunately, the masked bed bug hunter can cause a painful bite on humans and pets. Keeping that in mind that what eats bed bugs might not be good for eradication.
DO ROACHES EAT BED BUGS?
The cockroaches are excellent at eating bed bugs. During high bed bug populations, cockroaches are not able to make a difference because the bed bugs reproduce too rapidly. Additionally, you don’t want your home infested with cockroaches. Roaches are naturally attracted to food crumbs and dirt. In addition, roaches spread disease. Cockroach feces and saliva contain a variety of allergens. Therefore, this is not a pest you want to bring into your home to control bed bugs. If you see a lot of cockroaches around your bed, you may want to get a bed bug inspection. Insects that eat bed bugs include roaches.
If you want to get really disturbed just watch this video of a cockroach eating a bed bug. What eats bed bugs? Roaches do, for sure!
DO CENTIPEDES EAT BED BUGS?
House Centipedes Many entomologists and pest control professionals say that you should never kill a house centipede. The reason being is that they travel all over your home devouring insects. House centipedes eat bed bugs, roaches, termites, moths, and many other unwanted pests.
You definitely do not want to release hundreds of house centipedes into your home in order for them to kill the bed bugs. On the other hand, if you see a few house centipedes every so often, I would just leave them alone. They are working behind the scenes to keep your house pest-free!
In conclusion, there are many insects that might make a meal out of a bed bug. On the other hand, there aren’t any known mammals that are natural predators of bed bugs. Throughout the years I have heard anecdotal stories about people’s cats and dogs hunting bed bugs. Clients have told me they saw their cat swatting at a bug that they later identified as a bed bug. There aren’t any scientific studies done that confirm this, so take this with a grain of salt. Insects found in your home can eat a few bed bugs here and there.
Alternatively, the use of bed bug predators is not a good way to eradicate bed bugs.