In this post, I’ve discussed this question – “do spiders eat bed bugs?”
The method you choose depend on its perceived effectiveness or its side effects. So, do spiders eat bed bugs?
Short answer, YES – Spiders are known to eat bed bugs and any insects they trap in their webs. However only some spiders’ species, including Philodromid and the Cobweb spider, are likely to trap and feed on bed bugs.
Details: Which spider species eat bed bugs? – Natural Predators
There are two different varieties of spiders that are known to eat bed bugs. I.e. cobweb spider and Philodromid.
1. Cobweb spider
Cobweb spiders in your house may not be as useless as you may imagine. They build webs in many corners of the house to trap and eat bed bugs and other small insects.
With exceptions of some poisonous cobweb spiders, other species are beneficial to man as natural pest control methods. But you will need the services of a professional to determine whether the cobweb spiders in house are dangerous or not.
2. Philodromid Crab Spiders
Philodromid crab spiders (running crab spiders) bear some similarities with a crab. This species of spiders is very wide spread, inhabiting almost every corner of the world.
They tend to live outdoors but can be seen inside our houses from time to time. When in your house these villains will hunt and feed on bed bugs and other small insects. But unlike cobweb spiders, phildromids never use webs to catch their prey.
Being swifter than bed bugs, phildromids track and run them down easily. They’ll paralyze the prey with their venom and drag them away to consume at their own pleasure.
Related: Get Rid of Bed Bug Bite Scars
Do Jumping Spiders Eat Bed Bugs?
Jumping spiders spread across the globe with more than 6000 species. Their diet includes mainly insects that crawl both indoors and outdoors. When these spiders live in your house, they will prey on any insect they find, not to mention bed bugs.
When outdoors, their diet will mainly include, grasshoppers, flies among others. They have a good sense of sight, which explains why they like hunting during the day.
You will find them in undisturbed corners of the house, where they cannot be noticed easily. They are naturally very slow. So, they hunt by locating a prey using their six eyes and leaping from a distance to seize it.
A mature Jumping spider can leap a distance which is 30 times the length of their body. Notably jumping spiders even feed on other spider.
Do Cellar Spiders Eat Bed Bugs?
Cellar spiders resemble daddy-long legs (harvestmen). But unlike harvestmen, cellar spiders produce webs and have venoms capable of paralyzing their prey.
If you have bed bugs in your house, you will likely see their carcasses trapped in their webs. They don’t chew prey.
Instead they inject venom into the body of the prey and consume it using their digestive juices. Once the spider is satisfied, it abandons the carcass.
Are spiders a sign of bed bugs?
Like many other creatures, spiders are attracted to food and shelter. Since spiders mainly feed on insects, you will have a host of them if your house is infested with insects, not mention bed bugs.
Spiders will eat anything from cockroaches, drain flies, crickets, cloth moths, mosquitos, bed bugs and fruit flies among others.
This means that the presence of spiders in your house may not necessarily mean that you have bed bugs, because spiders are attracted to many other insects that roam around.
Disadvantages of Using Spiders to Control Bed Bugs
1. While spiders feed on bed bugs, they will never go hunting for them as their main source of food. They feed on any bed bug or insect they find on their way. That means spiders will not have a significant effect on the number of bed bugs.
2. Then again you can’t imagine having enough spiders in your house to significantly act on the bed bugs. You’ll be creating more trouble having too many spiders around you. Once you are done with the bed bugs, you’ll need to eliminate the natural predators too.
3. Moreover, bed bugs have a tendency of hiding near the bed, sofa set or couches where the host is likely to sleep. You certainly can’t stomach seeing spiders anywhere near such places, for fear of spider bites.
4. Another disadvantage of having spiders in your house is that they leave unwanted cobwebs hanging all over, making the place very untidy. If you are tired of removing spider webs from your house, then wouldn’t think of using spiders to control bed bugs.
Do Bed Bugs Have Other Predators?
Bed bugs do have other predators apart from spiders. But you will realize that many of these predators happen to be the common house pests you will not want in your house.
Several cockroach species are known to feed on bed bugs. The commonest bed bug eating cockroaches are the American and the German cockroaches.
Others include brown-banded and the oriental cockroaches. Basically, these cockroach species will eat anything they find on their way.
Cockroaches are no better to have in your house. These creatures reproduce very rapidly and could escalate into a real problem if not properly checked.
So whenever you spot them, act quickly and do not rely on them to solve your bed bug problem. They are just as hard to get rid of as bed bugs.
2. Pharaoh Ants
Generally ants eat almost anything they pick on their path. In particular, the pharaoh ant has been documented to be fond of bed bugs compared to other ant species.
It is said that during the U.S. civil war, pharaoh ants cleared a camp of bed bugs in a single day. Pharaoh ants are common household pests that man has managed to exclude from the house.
And although they are good bed bug predators, having a colony of them in your house to keep bed bugs in check could create a disaster. If they get into your food, these creatures can spread bacteria such as salmonella.
Another known bed bug predator is lizard. They eat any insects they come across. Cute and harmless in nature, lizards are not as scary as roaches and ants.
However, having a hoard of lizards to keep bed bugs in check can make your house very unpleasant. In any case they can hardly eradicate a bed bug infestation.
Compared to ants and roaches, there is little worry when you find a few lizards in your house. This is because they are not known to spread any bacteria. They can rarely develop into a real disaster.
Although spiders are known bed bug predators, this method of eliminating bed bugs from your house proves to be very inefficient. In fact it is the least method to use to prevent reproduction or even the rapid raise in population exhibited in bed bugs.
In addition, bed bugs will not just expose themselves to potential predators. They hide in small crevices where predators cannot find or reach them.
You will also need to have a large number of spiders in house to feast on bed bugs. Actually this is one mistake you wouldn’t want to make.
So, the best thing to do if you have a bed bug infestation, is to use other feasible remedies or seek the services of professional exterminators.