These days, everyone knows that spiders, while creepy as heck, are supremely beneficial to us, and without them, the world would be overrun with unpleasant critters. But exactly what do they eat? And by what, we mean bedbugs, specifically. Bedbugs. The word sends shivers up the spine of anyone who loves their nightly nest. They are bugs, and spiders eat bugs. But do spiders eat bedbugs? Are they even on the menu?
What are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are a nasty little concoction by mother nature that prey specifically on humans. The reason for this is because we're easy. Once they infest a bed, they quickly learn that we get into that bed every night and lay there motionless for hours at a time. Even if there are other animals in the house, they've been shown to actively pursue us over them. How could they resist when we lay still and don't move? This makes us ample prey for these annoying little vampires. You won't feel the bites while you're sleeping, but you'll most definitely notice the little red, itchy welts when you awaken.
Spiders and Bedbugs
Plenty of people suffer from arachnophobia, but these days, there's really not much call for it. Spiders are typically harmless to people, and they do their best to skitter around without being seen. The smart spider will go about its business without us ever knowing it's even there. They're the scariest allies we have in the animal kingdom, but the work they do for us is indispensable. These guys are happy to just sit on the wall and think their deep little spider thoughts while ignoring you completely.
And they eat an enormous variety of foods; flies, wasps, yellow jackets, moths, etc. And you're probably wondering do spiders eat bedbugs. The short of it is that yes; if it's a bug, it's on the menu for your hungry little roommate. If they can catch it, they'll nosh on it, and quite happily so.
What About Cockroaches?
Well, we now know that spiders are our friends, but what else can we rely on? Surprisingly enough, cockroaches. It's not really a question of asking what these things eat so much as what they won't eat. If it's sedentary, they'll eat it. If it's rotten, they'll eat it. If it moves and wants to bite people, they'll eat it. The most unfussy eaters in the animal kingdom, as well as the pests you certainly don't want around, are actually allies here. If you see a few in your kitchen, you've likely got bigger problems, though. So make sure to keep your living area clean regardless. Cockroaches are usually a sign of a much bigger underlying sanitation issue.
Yes, I'm afraid to say; those freaky little centipedes with the way too long legs that move at like Mach 2 across your ceiling are also your ally. As viscerally disturbing and disconcertingly fast as they are, they're a major help to you. Much like spiders, they'll eat pretty much whatever they can catch. And given their speed, they can catch a lot of different stuff. If they catch sight of a bedbug, they'll hone in like comic fans at a convention. You might be tempted to feel bad for the poor bedbugs if you weren't so busy itching like a madman.
This weird little beetle is called the masked hunter and they're handy to know about, but also tricky. They LOVE bedbugs. They actually seem to prefer them and will generally choose them over other types of prey. So if you see a masked hunter while you have a bedbug problem, you can heave a tiny sigh of relief. But keep it tiny. The masked hunter is a problem in and of itself. They're actually just as dangerous to you as the bedbug is. Their bite hurts and they will bite you if given the chance.
What Else Will Eat Bedbugs?
Do spiders eat bedbugs? Yes. Do cockroaches eat bedbugs? Yes. Do centipedes eat bedbugs? Yes. Do...Ladybugs?! Well, believe it or not, yes, actually they can. But not adults. Ladybugs and adult bedbugs are about the same size, so they're a little too large for an average Lady to attack and eat. But when it comes to baby beddies and the adolescent nymphs, well the Ladies just can't resist. If they can get to those little buggers, then chomp-chomp, bye-bye baby bedbug, and hello to a slightly more peaceful night for you.
Your Best Options
In the event of a bedbug outbreak in your home, you realistically can't rely on household predators to handle the infestation. Spiders are great, but they can only do so much and the chances of any of the bug's other natural predators showing up is slim. And honestly, any bug you see in your home should be immediately caught and tossed out regardless. The spider stupid enough to let itself be seen deserves whatever it's got coming to it. It should just hope you're a merciful overlord who will catch it over killing it. In the event of an outbreak, your best hope is to honestly just call an exterminator to come to your home. After a few days of treatment, your home will be safe once again, your nights peaceful and restful.
Bedbugs are no laughing matter and anything that can help you sort out whatever sort of infestation you might have is a help. Spiders are your best natural shot because you're always guaranteed to have at least four in your vicinity at any given time. Do spiders eat bedbugs? Yes. But they can't be relied on as your sole means of defense. Cleanliness is a severe factor and double-checking any bags you take along also helps. Be vigilant and in the event of a crisis, be prepared to call for professional help. But in the meantime, the next spider you see, try to leave it alone. It may look scary, but it's genuinely and normally a buggy buddy.