Bed bugs are commonly found in homes and commercial spaces.
They’re nearly impossible to remove without using pesticides, and many people wonder if they can even be eaten. However, you can kill these pests by providing your home with an Effective pest control program.
So, do ants eat bed bugs? Yes, ants eat bed bugs!
That is true if we’re talking about worker ants who are foraging for food outside their nest. Worker ants will feed on arthropods, including insects like bed bugs and spiders.
However, they won’t always hunt down and kill every insect they see. They will usually just feed on the dead bodies of insects they find outside their nest.
Worker ants will also feed on the bodies of dead fungi and fruiting bodies (spores) that grow on stumps and trees. Ant will also hunt down other small creatures, such as other ants and larval insects.
Let’s dive in now!
Do Ants Eat Bed Bugs?
- 1 Do Ants Eat Bed Bugs?
- 2 Various Ant Species that Kill Bed Bugs
- 3 Other Natural Bed Bug Killers
- 4 Conclusion
Bed bugs are a problem for homeowners and business owners in nearly every part of the world.
Most of the time they are harmless and their presence doesn’t warrant treatment.
Many species including fire ants feed exclusively on live insects and other arthropods.
Heat is the only effective method to eliminate bed bugs from your home or commercial space permanently.
Various Ant Species that Kill Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs vs. Asian Needle Ants
The sting of an Asian needle ant feels like being stabbed by a needle.
If they bite you, their venom can cause you severe pain and swelling for 30 minutes to several hours after being bitten.
If you’re unfortunate, it can even lead to death.
They have this reputation because they hunt down and kill other insects almost as quickly as they can sense them.
Termites are their number one enemy, but they also eat other insects such as stored product pests and cockroaches.
The ants will then return it to their colony to feed the rest of the colony and their larvae as well.
It’s unclear if Asian needle ants kill bed bugs, but it’s safe to say that they most likely do.
In theory, this should result in the ants capturing and killing bed bugs that are hiding in the crevices of your bed frame or mattress.
Asian needle ants are a strong indication that you’ve got a bed bug problem and you should definitely take action to eradicate them.
Bed Bugs vs. Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are a species of ant that weighs about 1/10th of an ounce and has a black body, legs, and head.
Their exact origins are unknown; however, they are thought to have originated in Africa.
They flourish in tropical and subtropical climates and are particularly attracted to urban environments.
They have now spread to every continent, including Antarctica and believed to have originated in Africa.
They are especially attracted to densely populated areas, like big cities or neighborhoods, and can find their way into even small cracks and crevices in your home, bringing.
They may dwell wherever humans do and will destroy our food supplies by consuming them or contaminate them with their waste.
They will eat practically anything and have even been seen gnawing on human flesh.
They will, however, switch to a vegetarian diet if they are unable to feed on meat or other insects.
Bed Bugs vs. European Fire Ant
Another notorious red ant found in the United States is the imported European fire ant.
These ants are European in origin and were first observed in the US in 1916 when they invaded Texas and Louisiana. They spread rapidly both before and after World War II and their numbers are now in the billions.
While they can carry out their strong and painful stings, they are actually blind and navigate by scent trails left behind by workers.
They will groom each other by licking their bodies and antennae, leaving a sticky secretion that promotes the growth of a colony of worker ants.
Honeydew is the primary food source for the imported fire ant and this sweet substance is produced and excreted by aphids feeding on plants in the genus.
They also fight and sting when the workers must defend the colony against predators and other fire ants.
Even small bed bugs are strong enough to kill a cockroach or an ant. They are a nuisance and cause severe itching when bitten; however, they are rarely harmful to humans.
When in large groups, they are known to kill small mammals and even birds. Bed bugs may also bite dogs or cats which can result in death if the bites are not treated immediately.
This ant is also found in Australia and South Africa where it is known by different names such as Lasius hybridus, Polyrhachis decemlineata or Synergus tenuipes.
Bed Bugs vs. Red Imported Fire Ants
RIFAs have long antennae, are dark in color and range in length from 5mm to 40 mm long.
Fire ants have short antennae, are a light red color and range from 5 mm to 15mm in length.
If one finds a bedbug on his or her body, the dead insect can be crushed and placed in a container with soapy water and detergent to kill off any remaining bedbugs.
On the other hand, RIFAs are not likely to go for such bait and instead are likely to sting if threatened or disturbed whereas the bed bug is very unlikely to sting unless its legs are crushed accidentally.
Bed Bugs vs. Argentine Ants
Notorious for invading new areas, Argentine ants are aggressive to other species and are known for their ability to shut down entire areas where they infest.
Whenever a colony forms, they do not appear to form structured nests but instead have numerous mini colonies that are smaller in size as compared to a nest formed by a colony of bees or wasps.
As a colony of ants invades new areas, they target the abundance of food sources available and if an area is successful in attracting them, this attracts more bed bugs to the area.
They prefer to kill insects for protein but they can also feed on plants including fruits and veggies.
Unlike wasps and bees, which are equipped with stingers on their abdomens, ants do not have stingers on their bodies and therefore do not sting unless their abdomens are crushed accidentally.
Bed Bugs vs. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are large black ants that inhabit in wet and damp areas where termites are commonly found.
Carpenter ants consume plant and tree juices in addition to dead insects for nutrition and can be taken as a serious threat when they infest your home in large numbers.
Often these ants eat leftover food from your kitchen or pantry and can also spoil stored food by leaving it infested with bacteria and mold.
Carpenter ants do not destroy bed bugs, but with their large size, they are likely to prey on bed bugs that are present in your house.
Carpenter ants have a sting and are considered as dangerous pests as they bite when they invade your home in large numbers.
Other Natural Bed Bug Killers
Geckos in the House
When warm temperatures return in the spring, house geckos are known to migrate in numbers in search of new breeding grounds.
House geckos and other lizards like eating bugs, and their appetite is so strong that they are known to be very effective at eliminating bed bugs and other pests that enter their home.
When accessible, a variety spider species will also prey on bed bugs and prevent them from multiplying in your home.
Spiders are excellent predators because they often weave their webs in dark corners where bed bugs normally hide during the day.
Centipedes feed on tiny insects such as bed mites and bedbugs, and are highly effective against these pests when they are present in great number.
However, it is unlikely that you will ever be overrun in numbers by centipedes.
Cone Nosed Insects
Assassin bugs are cone-nosed insects that have sharp venom and kill their prey using injection, which means that they are much more effective at eliminating bed bugs than other insects.
Unfortunately, their bites are much more painful than bed bug bites and result in bites similar to a bee sting; hence they are rarely preferred by homeowners when eliminating bed bugs.
Vampire bugs and loving bugs are also cone nosed insects that feed on blood, and are known to prey on bed bugs and other pests.
Roaches will devour nearly everything, including termite eggs, roaches and mosquitoes.
These are likewise terrible pests, but in an infested home, roaches can feed on bed bugs and prevent them from multiplying in numbers.
Masked Bed Bug Hunter
Masked bed bug hunters have a glossy carapace that helps them blend in with their surroundings while hunting.
Their diet consists of only arthropods, such as bed bugs, hence bed bugs are simply another prey for them.
This insect derives its name from the fact that it has overlapping dorsal thoracic segments and resembles that of a bee.
Masked hunter bites are very similar to those of a wasp and can cause temporary pain which disappears after a few minutes.
Also See: Why Do Ants Show Up After Rain?
In conclusion, ants are different than other insects.
They can eat a wide variety of foods, including termites and bed bugs! So, the next time you see an ant in your home, don’t panic!
It probably won’t be searching out food. It’s probably just looking for a warm place to stay warm during the winter!
Additionally, if you see a lot of ants in your home, often shortly after you spot a bed bug, it’s likely that there’s a nest nearby.
You can usually buy over-the-counter sprays to get rid of ants in the home, just be careful to check for pets (some sprays can be toxic to animals) before spraying your home with chemicals!