If you’ve discovered you have bed bugs in your home and you’re looking to get rid of them, not to worry because there are many different ways to do this, not the least of which is hiring a professional exterminator.
If you’ve ever wondered, do spiders eat bed bugs? The answer is “yes” – but this doesn’t include all types of spiders. Common household spiders are usually too small to eat bed bugs, even though bed bugs are only 3 to 7 mm in size themselves. Other types of spiders, however, do in fact eat these annoying pests.
The Right Insects Can Help
Even though regular household spiders will not eat bed bugs, other types of spiders will. These include:
- Running crab spiders (Philodromidae)
As you can see, there are only a handful of spiders that are able to eat bed bugs, and they all have one thing in common – because they do not spin webs, they have to hunt for their prey. They do this by sneaking up on their prey from a distance or by jumping on it as soon as they see it. This makes bed bugs a great “meal” for these types of spiders.
Of course, spiders aren’t the only insects that like to eat bed bugs. Others include:
- Cockroaches. Cockroaches are omnivores and therefore will eat almost anything. This includes all types of animals and plants, which includes bed bugs.
- Cone-nosed bugs. These bugs are also called assassin bugs, kissing bugs, or vampire bugs. They are very unpleasant and will even bite your face in the middle of the night. In short, although they do eat bed bugs, it is often preferable to put up with the bed bugs than with cone-nosed bugs.
- Ladybugs (but they only eat nymphs, which are baby bed bugs).
- Masked bed bug hunters, or simply masked hunters. These bugs are roughly 17 to 22 mm long and are dark brown or black in color. With elongated bodies and wings that enable them to fly, these are pests you don’t necessarily want in your house, especially because their bite has been compared to the pain of a snake bite.
- Pharaoh ants. These ants are yellow or light brown in color and reproduce quickly, just like bed bugs. They are mostly indoor ants, and if your exterminator doesn’t know what he or she is doing, they could make the problem worse. Make sure your exterminator is notified if you find these ants in your home.
- Some centipedes, including the Scutigera coleoptrata.
- Some mites, such as the Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.
It is important to note that simply because these insects eat bed bugs doesn’t necessarily mean that they are preferable to the bed bugs themselves. Naturally, you don’t want to rely on other insects to get rid of your problems with those insects called bed bugs. Your best bet is to have a professional exterminator come by and get rid of them, then do your best to make sure they don’t come back again. Quite often, the pests that are eating your bed bugs are more damaging than the bed bugs themselves.
Of course, if you do have spiders in your home, remember that most of them are virtually harmless. In fact, most spiders will ignore humans most of the time, so there’s very little chance of a spider hurting you. Still, getting rid of all pests should be your goal, and for this you’re likely to need an expert at pest control and management.
Animals That Kill Bed Bugs
The few spiders that kill bed bugs fall into two main categories: the Philodromid crab spider and the cobweb spider. Not only do they devour bed bugs, but they eat lots of other insects as well. Some homeowners think that, by adding a few spiders and other insects into their homes, they can get rid of bed bugs. While this may or may not be true, the fact is that this is by no means the best solution to your bed bug problems.
Another animal that eats bed bugs, although not an insect, is the lizard, including geckos. If you keep a lizard as a pet, they can benefit you by eating your bed bugs. Even better, they do not spread harmful bacteria like ants and cockroaches do. Still, it is unlikely that a lizard is going to eat enough bed bugs to make a difference, especially if you’re keeping one as a pet because it will likely remain in its cage most of the time.
In fact, this is the case with all animals or insects that eat bed bugs. Most are either more harmful than the bed bugs or they are simply not going to eat enough bed bugs to make a difference – remember that bed bugs reproduce very quickly and therefore, there is usually a large quantity of them in your home. So, while insects and other animals do eat and get rid of bed bugs, this is never the number-one option when it comes to getting rid of these pests.
Bed bugs are never pleasant to have around and in fact, once you notice them, you’ll likely want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. You can start by getting rid of them yourself, using methods such as vacuuming them up, cleaning all of your bedding and drying it on high heat, placing bowls of water on the floor by your bed to catch them and cause them to drown, and even diffusing essential oils in a diffuser to keep them away.
The best action, of course, is to hire a professional exterminator. In recent years, most exterminators across the country have reported an increase in the cases of bed bugs they’ve treated not just in hotels and other public facilities, but also in homes. This means that having bed bugs in your home is not necessarily uncommon anymore, especially because you can pick them up from almost anywhere and bring them home with you, where they will reproduce and multiply quickly.
Because of these things, time is of the essence whenever you notice there are bed bugs in your home.