It’s an intriguing question! All most of us know about bed bugs is that they feed on us, and sometimes on our pets. What we don’t consider, is what eats bed bugs? Surely there must be some insects, or animals that like to feast on bed bugs! In this post, we are going to take a look at whether or not there is a natural predator of bed bugs. Spoiler alert… bed bugs do have natural predators, and this post will give you 8 of them!
What you will learn in this post:
- What is a natural predator of bed bugs?
The 8 Most Common Natural Predators Of a Bed Bug
There is at least 1 natural predator of bed bugs. Let’s face it, there must be! We all have a part to play in the food chain, and usually, it is the smaller creatures who are preyed on most of all.
Bed bugs vary in size. The babies can be eaten by some predators, but not the fully grown adults.
That means the adult bed bugs are left to give birth to hundreds more baby bed bugs.
Lets take a look at the 8 most common:
Spiders are your number 1 living tool in your fight against bed bugs. The only problem is, they take a while to eat them! Plus, it is no good if you have a fear of spiders!
A spider will wrap a bed bug up in its web before sucking all of the goodness out and leaving the carcass on your bed.
When you think about spiders killing bed bugs, it does send a shudder of fear through a lot of folks. Consider this: bed bugs are in your bead (the clue is in the name), which means for a spider to eat the bed bugs… you guessed it, the spider needs to be in your bed.
Here is another pest that you would rather not have in your home! There are tons of things that entice a roach to your house, and bed bugs might be one of those.
A dirty house will attract all kinds of creatures, including bed bugs and cockroaches. You may or may not see it as good news, but cockroaches will happily feast on bed bugs.
Having said that, it does mean you will also have cockroaches in your bed.
3. Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants will happily munch away at a group of bed bugs!
These ants can be found all over the world but prefer to live in a tropical climate. If your climate is not tropical, you may still get them. They will be attracted to your home because of the central heating system.
A ladybug, or to give it the correct title, a Coccinellidae is a tiny beetle-like creature that will only feast on small beg bugs.
Fully size bedbugs are too big for a ladybug to eat, so it will concentrate its efforts on only the smaller bugs.
Again, if you are planning of using a predator to kill all the bed bugs, there is no point using a ladybug… you would need a lot of them, and they would leave the bigger ones to give birth to more baby bed bugs!
5. Masked Hunters
The masked hunter, or reduvius resonatus as it is also known, is a relatively rare insect that hunts bed bugs.
The reason why they are called the ‘masked’ hunter is that they cover themselves in some dust to lower the chances of being spotted. Dust acts as their mask!
If you do come across these creatures, be careful! Whilst they do not feed on human blood, the bite of a masked hunter can be extremely painful.
6. Fire Ants
Fire ants get their name because they are able to sting humans, and the pain feels a little like fire on your body. These tiny ants will devour bed bugs!
As with all of the bed bug predators on this page, they will need to go into your bed to eat the bed bugs, so I am not sure what is worse!
Another natural predator of bed bugs is a centipede. These insects are very quick and can move in all kinds of directions to catch their prey, or to avoid capture.
The size of a centipede can range from less than 1 inch to over 10 inches! Thankfully, the bigger centipedes live in the Amazonian region.
Most centipedes are under 1 inch long, and these will usually only consume smaller bed bugs, leaving the larger bed bugs to give birth to hundreds of new ones!
8. Wind Scorpion
A wind scorpion is another natural predator of bed bugs, but it is one that you are unlikely to see around your home!
This scorpion is also known as a sun, or camel spider, and is found in many parts of the world, including the US, Africa, and Canada.
So, to recap, what is a natural predator of bed bugs? They are Ants (pharaoh and fire), masked hunters, spiders, cockroaches, ladybugs, centipedes, and wind scorpions. That is creatures that will hunt, kill, and eat bed bugs.
Whilst it is interesting to know what the natural predators are for bed bugs, I don’t think you will want to be using any of those in your fight to get rid of them!
For a start, you will not want to add any of the predators into your bed to combat the bed bug infestation. Secondly, these predators will take far too long to feast on the whole infestation of bed bugs!
There are much better ways of getting rid of bedbugs, such as:
You can also use a steam cleaner or iron for instance… anything that gets hot enough to kill the bed bugs but doesn’t cause a fire!
Getting rid of bed bugs on your carpet can be a challenge, but not impossible. Also, if you have them in your mattress, there are some other ways to get rid of them.
Ultimately, you should always ensure that you live in a clean home, especially your bedroom. This is limit the chances of getting bed bugs in your home.