What Kind of Bug Eats Bed Bugs?
As the old adage goes, the enemy of your enemy is your friend. However, this ancient proverb suggesting that two conflicting parties should or can work together is not applicable to you and bed bugs.
You see, the natural enemies of bed bugs are not really your friends per se. These are also creepy crawlies, some of which are much worse compared to bed bugs, depending on how tolerant you are with bugs.
There are many known enemies of bed bugs including masked bed bug hunters, pharaoh ants, cockroaches, spiders, and a whole lot more. These bugs will and can eat bed bugs but it doesn’t mean you should allow them inside your home to declare war against bed bugs.
Even though they are natural predators that eat and consume bed bugs, the last thing you want is to introduce other insects inside your home. Bed bugs and humans both suffer from the introduction of these natural predators most of the time.
So, what are these bugs that consider bed bugs as their food sources?
Masked Bed Bug Hunters
Don’t be fooled by their name because a masked hunter is not a superhero. Instead, a masked bed bug hunter is a kind of insect that eats bed bugs. Masked bed bug hunters or also called masked hunters have a length of 17 to 22 millimetres.
Masked hunters are black or dark brown in colour with glossy carapaces. They have elongated bodies and they can also fly because they got wings. Masked bed bug hunters are found in many parts of the US, specifically in the central and eastern regions.
They also love to live in dry and warm places and in colder regions. They thrive in barns and houses. Masked hunters are attracted to areas where bats and pigeons live since these species attract bugs that masked hunters consider as prey. Masked hunters exclusively feed on arthropods that infest homes.
However, they note that masked hunters are not the best solution for a bed bug infestation since they bite. Their bites can be quite painful, almost comparable to snake bites.
Many ants consume different types of food such as other insects. This is why not only pharaoh ants eat bed bugs. However, these ants, in particular, are distinguished since these have been documented to eat bed bugs more frequently compared to other species.
These small ants are considered indoor pests. They have a light yellow-brown colour. Just like bed bugs, these ants also reproduce quickly. Using the wrong extermination methods can split off these ants into several colonies with various locations near or in your home, making the whole job more difficult.
You probably think that ants are much better than bed bugs. Sadly, these ants can get into food and spread diseases like dysentery and salmonella.
If you spot a cockroach scurrying across your kitchen, it means you’ve got some problem there. Cockroaches are unwelcome guests in homes. A cockroach’s menu is not about what they eat and instead, it is about what they don’t eat. Cockroaches are omnivores and they can eat pretty much anything around them including animals and plants. So, you can expect them to devour bed bugs.
Most house spiders are too tiny to consume bed bugs. The size of a bed bug is like that of an apple seed, a size almost as big as average house spiders.
Now, everyone can eat a bit too much yet you will never eat a meal as large as you are. This is why there is a limited number of spider species that eat bed bugs.
But, there are some species big enough and more than willing to hunt, catch, and eat bed bugs. Wolf spiders, yellow sac spiders, jumping spiders, and running crab spiders eat bed bugs. What do these spider species have in common? They never spin webs and instead, they hunt for prey, either by jumping or by sneaking up on it from a distance.
Cone Nosed Bugs
Coned nosed bugs are also called assassin bugs, vampire bugs, and kissing bugs. For sure, you would rather deal with bed bugs instead of these bed bug predators.
Coned nosed bugs usually bite your face at night and transmit deadly diseases and parasites. Aside from coned nosed bugs, other assassin bug species also eat bed bugs, all of which are insects that other bugs and humans would never want to mess with.
Can Ladybugs Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Considered as good luck, most ladybugs are predators that feed on other insects. A ladybug’s menu includes mites, flies, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects.
Ladybugs cannot eat adult bed bugs with the same size as ladybugs. But, it is safe to assume that ladybugs will devour nymphs and baby bed bugs.
Do Centipedes and Mites Also Eat Bed Bugs?
House centipedes are intriguing in their very own right. Centipedes feed on large selections of invertebrates such as those blood-sucking bed bugs. Scutigera coleoptrata is the primary centipede species that feed on bed bugs.
Mites, or also called Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, are famous for feasting on bed bugs. As these critters commonly live near bedding areas, it gives them more chances to grab a bed bug meal.
Is There Something That Kills Bed Bugs Without Eating Them?
There is no such thing as an animal that kills bed bugs without even wanting to feast on them. The primary reason why something might kill bed bugs is for the purpose of turning them into a meal. The only other reason why others may kill off bed bugs is to outcompete them to take away or for their food source.
However, there are still other things that can kill bed bugs. There is a type of bed bug spray made with a certain form of fungus that exclusively kills insects.
The spores spray once they come into contact with the bed bugs, slowly leeching the bug of nutrients and energy until it dies. This dead bed bug that could have possibly returned to its home is going to spread the fungus to other bed bugs present there.
Apart from this, there is just one other animal that will kill bed bugs but will never eat them. That is you, of course. Human beings are animals after all.
Pets such as dogs and cats, although they have been domesticated for a long time, still got some ancient instincts in them. This is why cats that spend time outdoors may end up bringing dead birds home. It is also the reason why dogs and cats alike love to go on chase, whether after toys or insects, including bed bugs.
Even though it is never practical or recommended to use the above predators as a means of pest control, there are other reasonable measures you can take to ensure that you don’t get exposed to bed bugs and suffer from itchy bed bug bites. It is best to get rid of bed bugs naturally without having to rely on predators that may only cause worse problems than when you started.