The bed bug is one pest you do not want to find anywhere in your home as a sense of disgust and irritation envelopes you when you find them festered around your chairs, curtains, or even your bed. You often wonder how they got into your home. They are house pests and if you come in contact with them, their bite can lead to skin reactions, allergies as they feed on human and animal blood.
Having bed bugs as guests in your home can have you troubled with questions popping up in your head like – How do I get rid of these bed bugs? You sometimes wish there was something that could become the enemy of your current enemy.
Now take a second to visualize this. Imagine knowing that there exist natural enemies of these pests. It would be such a heart-warming revelation, right?
Some animals and insects feed on bed bugs. Birds and household pets like your dog can eat them. Though they may get to eat these insects only when they have access to them or see them by accident. Which leaves us with other bed bug eaters.
It is not advisable to have any of these pests invading your homes, and there is a 100% possibility you would not want to find such insects where you live. But being aware that they can indeed get rid of bed bugs might give you some type of closure. This brings us to answer the question;
What eats bed bugs? There are a couple of bed bug predators in existence. Most insects that eat bed bugs include cockroaches, masked bed bug hunters, spiders, and centipedes. Others include some ant types like the fire ant, Argentine ant, pharaoh ant. While the most common natural enemy of the bed bug is the gecko from the lizard family.
Natural Bed bugs predators.
Cockroaches are known to be attracted to dirty environments. If you find them in your home, in their numbers, know it is time to do a thorough clean-up.
You can find them in your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, around pipes, sinks, and trash can area. Cockroaches are also known to feed on human hair, dead skin cells, leftover foods, starch, and crumbs.
Bed bugs excitingly are also part of the menu. In fact, they have been known to eat bed bugs since the early twentieth century. Cockroaches are fast creatures. They are about one to two inches long, possess wings, and are brown.
Bed bugs on the other hand breed faster in terms of population than cockroaches and cannot be outnumbered easily. This means cockroaches will have to be in large numbers to get rid of bed bug infestation.
Also, bed bugs are found in areas like the bedroom and sometimes the living room while cockroaches are found mostly in kitchens where they eat just about anything that is carelessly kept, dumps, bathrooms, etc.
They are dirty, irritating, and can contaminate your food. Cockroaches can be harmful and can spread diseases. They are not a reliable means for getting rid of bed bugs and you wouldn’t want them to invade your home.
2) Masked bed bug hunters.
Masked bed bug hunters are known for their hunting skills and ability to hide in the dust. They like to inhabit warm or dry places which makes the home a comfortable location to reside. Most masked hunters are about 17 to 22mm in size and are often greyish or brownish in color. They hunt all kinds of bugs and bed bugs are one of their favorite prey.
Having masked bed bug hunters in your home is not advisable. These predators can transmit diseases to humans and are capable of biting humans if and when they feel threatened. Their bites are painful and are often compared to a snake bite. Masked bed bug hunters are a no-no method of ridding bed bugs from your homes.
Geckos are natural enemies of bed bugs. They have a special attraction to bed bugs and they feast on them. These animals are of the lizard species. They can pose as a good method for exterminating bed bugs but they also have special living conditions. Unlike other predators, the gecko cannot be tossed around and does not survive in just any habitat. Also, most people do not fancy having this creature around as their sight can be somewhat upsetting.
Ants are known to feed on other insects, vertebrates, and invertebrates, dead or alive. Bed bugs are one of those lucky insects to be eaten by this household pest. As you may be well aware, they feed on sugary substances, carbohydrates, sweetened foods, and honeydew secretion from aphids. Not all ant types are bed bug predators. The species of ants capable of eating bed bugs are pharaoh ants, argentine ants, etc.
Though ants feed on bed bugs, it is hardly possible for them to feed on these insects in your home. Bed bugs are well hidden in places like your bed frames, the seam of an old mattress. With the realization that bed bugs are fast-breeding, it will require a huge amount of ants to get rid of them.
Preferably a couple of ant nests well placed beside your bed or around your room. A sight you wouldn’t want to behold. Ants are regular household pests you can’t wait to exterminate when they invade your home. Having them around to hunt and prey on bed bugs is doubt-ably the best option for you. Don’t even consider it.
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Centipedes are arthropods with a length of about 15 centimeters. They hunt and eat bed bugs, cockroaches amongst other things. Unlike other bed bug predators, these species aren’t insects.
They have quite a number of legs and do not leave behind trails when they invade your home. Instances, where you can see them, are when they are in search of what to eat or in sinks.
Their bite can be compared to that of a bee, it is very painful. Centipedes are capable of attacking humans. For house centipedes to kill bed bugs, they have to be in their numbers – preferably a community of them.
Have you ever seen a centipede? Centipedes are big and creepy. Would you like to have such in your home? The answer from a wild guess would be a boldly written “NO”
Some of your house pets that can be considered natural predators of bed bugs include dogs. Yes! Dogs eat bed bugs. If they find them around, they hunt them and kill them. Bed bugs are not so fast so it isn’t a hard kill for your dog. Dogs are good bed bug searchers. However, not all house dogs are good at sniffing out bed bugs in your room except for special dogs like bed bug-sniffing dogs.
Spiders are known to fight all kinds of pests. However, not all species are known to battle bed bugs. The majority of the spiders found in your homes are too small to feed on the bed bug that is typically the size of an apple seed. Most house spiders are smaller in size. Only a few spider types are big enough to eat the bed bug. Some of these spiders include; the yellow sac spider, the running crab spider, wolf spider, and Thanatus flavidus.
Of the many bed bug predators, you should know that the spider is one that is somewhat a better choice bed bug eater compared to the other predators. Well, besides your dog. They can live in your bedroom, and do not spread diseases with their bite. Most of you are either allergic to or have a phobia for creeping insects so you may not want this.
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From what we have deduced, these bed bug predators can really get rid of bed bugs for you but the consequences of having them in your home could be great. Most of them are household insects that you on a normal day put effort to get rid of. Would you rather have an ant, a cockroach, or spiders in place of bed bugs?
Except you are experimenting, a home is nowhere to try these bed bug killing methods as they can cause great inconvenience for you. There are other ways to get rid of bed bugs that may have infested your home. The housing method is as follows;
- Dry or steamer old mattresses, sofas, chairs, duvets, curtains
- wash beddings and clothes with hot water for say 30 minutes
- take out other infested items in the hot sun to dry
- clean environment properly
- air room
Once you are done airing your mattress, get a clean bed cover preferably a bedbug-proof one for your mattress, and zip it up tightly. You can also use insecticides if you feel some bed bugs are still lurking around. There are better ways to kill bed bugs than using bed bug predators.