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.
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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 can be a headache for any person dealing with them. These pharaoh ants are much smaller than an adult bed bug, the ants are only about 2mm long. Since they establish their nests in hard to reach areas, like floorboards and wall voids, they can be hard to eradicate. Another reason they are hard to get rid of is that they readily split off their colony and start a new one elsewhere if disturbed. On the other hand, they actively eat bed bugs. The pharaoh ants are just one of many types of ants that will eat bed bugs.
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?
Cockroaches are excellent at eating bed bugs. One downside is that once the bed bug population is large enough they reproduce too fast for cockroaches to make any difference. A second downside is that you do not want your home overrun with cockroaches. Food crumbs and dirt, are naturally attractive to roaches. Not to mention roaches spread disease. There are many allergens found in cockroach feces and saliva. Therefore this is not a pest you want to bring into your home for bed bug control. If you see a lot of cockroaches around your bed, that might be a sign that a bed bug inspection is in order. Roaches are definitely on the list of insects that eat bed bugs.
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.