19th August 2010 - 02:30 PM
Natural enemies of bedbugs include the masked hunter (AKA "masked bedbug hunter"), cockroaches, ants, spiders, mites, and centipedes. The Pharaoh ant's (Monomorium pharaonis) venom is lethal to bedbugs. Biological control is not very practical for eliminating bedbugs from human dwellings.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedbug
I'll have to take issue with Wiki's last statement there. I find that biological control works very well on all prey, so I'm including bedbugs, which thankfully I've never had. Biological as in a couple of the critters mentioned. I keep a healthy number of various spiders and thousand leggers in the house. Thousand leggers especially are your friend. Poor buggers, they're so stereotyped. Predator bugs don't carry disease, don't wantonly bite humans, and eat the bugs that do pose multiple threats. I've yet to be tagged by a single wolf spider or thousand legger, having these sentinels patrolling around for the last 40 years. Those two excellent creatures alone are worth their weight in gold, or at least in chemicals and meds.
It's ironic that houses can be besieged by dangerous parasitic bugs that humans don't but should fear, whilst the predator bugs that wander in - bugs that are not
interested in you, only in the vermin that are
interested in you - are immediately dealt with out of learned fear. I'm not talking about the giant hornet that accidentally flies in and obviously needs to be outside, but the gentle predators that are comfortable inside. They don't have to look benign to be benign. Sometimes I have to gently help a thousand legger out of the kitchen sink. Never would it bite; they can't breach the skin anyway, but why
it's in the sink makes it worthwhile. They go down drains looking for silverfish. That's after the crickets, their favorite food, are dealt with. All I have around here are trees and boulders and shade - perfect conditions for a lot of life. These creatures are my DDT.
For the Cincinnati problem, if I was there, I'd have no issue with dumping about 3 dozen thousand leggers in my bedroom. They'll soon get hungry, and what do you think they'll do?
btw I've been reading for a while on the stinkbug from China that has exploded over eastern U.S. in spots over the last 10 years or so. One of the issues is that this creature is not at all recognized by our predators and so these stinkbugs are not being hunted, there is far less attrition, and the creatures are all living full length breeding lives. The result is an explosion of these things in many areas.
Well I have seen some hopeful news. I have seen 3 outside webs now that have the stinkbugs in them. I looked close to make sure that 1) it was indeed the Chinese variety, and 2) the spider was actively feeding on it, not abandoning it. I would extrapolate this out to say these species of spider (Theridiidae - the typical corner of the window cobweb spider) is having a go at them, which is a very good thing.