Bed bugs are the most notorious bugs humans have to handle. Though small in size, these bugs cause sleepless nights in many homes.
Bed bugs feed on human blood. Their bites are painful and can transmit bug-related infections. So how can you keep these blood-sucking bugs out of your house?
There are several natural ways of controlling bed bugs. The most popular is using other insects to feed on them as a control measure.
Do Roaches Eat Bed Bugs?
Cockroaches are just as invasive as bed bugs. These large disease-carrying insects are known to trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in people. However, roaches happen to be one of the most effective control measures against bugs.
Roaches are predator insects and feed on just about anything from kitchen waste to bugs. The small size of bed bugs makes them an ideal prey to the roaches. A cockroach infestation can almost guarantee bed bug eradication from your house.
Bed Bugs Vs. Roaches
Which one is worse?
Both bed bugs and roaches are undesirable intruders in any home. In their ways, these insects invade our spaces and bring discomfort and expose us to diseases.
Bed bugs are notorious for biting and sucking human blood while their host is asleep. Besides the pain and discomfort, they also cause itchy swelling that can easily turn into a wound.
On the other hand, roaches don’t feed on humans directly. They, however, act as carriers of harmful disease-causing germs. Their smell also causes asthma attacks and allergic reactions to people.
So between roaches and bed bugs, which is the lesser evil? The answer to this varies among individuals.
Which One Is Easier To Control?
Over the years, insecticides have proven to be the fastest and most effective solution for controlling pests.
However, some insects like bugs and roaches have developed a resistance to insecticides. Spraying insecticides on cockroaches is no longer a reliable remedy.
Food poisoning is the best chemical control measure for roaches. Glucose-based traps work well with cockroaches.
The substance is lethal, and it kills them in a matter of hours after ingesting. The remaining members of the colony will then feed on their contaminated carcasses and die.
Unfortunately, food poisoning does not work with bed bugs as they feed on blood. Bed bugs are therefore more difficult to control as compared to roaches.
You can, however, control them using heat treatment. The downside of heat treatment is resource-intensive, and it does not always solve the problem.
Other Insects That Feed On Bed Bugs
Dust mites are prone to dusty environments. They feed on dead skin and small bugs and hide in carpets and old furniture. The downside of dust mites is that they trigger allergic reactions.
Centipedes naturally reside underneath bushes in rotting vegetation. However, centipedes can stray into your house during winter as they seek warmth.
Centipedes feed on small insects and bugs. They are harmless to humans and can control the bug population in the house.
Why Are Roaches So Resilient?
Cockroaches have existed for millions of years. Archeological evidence shows that these resilient insects have been around for over 300 million years. For such a small insect, their ability to survive and adapt over so many years is admirable.
So what makes roaches so resilient? A keen study of the cockroach’s genetic makeup is vital for answering this question. Cockroaches have an advanced genome that adapts to almost any environment.
Roaches have more than 150 smell receptors which allow them to smell and track food. With over 500 taste receptors, these insects are well equipped to eat just about anything. These insects also excrete detoxification enzymes that help in breaking down harmful substances.
Roaches are also known to grow back some of their body parts. Most cockroaches can grow back previously lost body parts during their nymph stage. The process takes about 170 days in which the cockroach goes without consuming any food!
Cockroaches have an open circulatory system that supports low blood pressure. For this reason, a cockroach can last for weeks after being decapitated. When decapitated, the roach’s neck clots off to prevent it from bleeding out.
Cockroach Prevention Practices
Cockroach fesses contain a chemical that attracts other roaches to a particular area. Thoroughly cleaning cockroach-prone areas in your house can help in controlling an infestation.
Getting rid of cockroach food and water sources can also help prevent an infestation. Keep your kitchen tops and counters free of debris and repair leaking taps. Proper garbage disposal is also a good hygiene practice.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are arguably the toughest bugs to control. They are smart enough to keep out of daylight and hide in cracks and crevices. Their camouflaging prowess makes it hard to find and kill them.
Luckily, nature and science provide us with efficient ways of getting rid of bed bugs. So how can you manage a bed bug infestation?
Extreme heat is lethal to bed bugs and their eggs. There are several heat treatment solutions that you can try. Steaming is one of the common heat treatment solutions.
Releasing steam around your house can help in controlling bed bugs. The high temperature of the steam forces the bugs to get out of their hiding places. At high temperatures, steam can burn and kill adult bedbugs.
You can also target the bug eggs with a hairdryer. Find the eggs and set your hair dryer on high. The extreme heat from the dryer will bake the eggs, preventing them from hatching. Killing their eggs breaks their life cycle.
Alternatively, you can dry your fabric on high heat to kill the bugs. Bed bugs tend to hide in clothes. The best way of eliminating them is by washing and drying your clothes on high heat.
Baking soda is a popular cooking ingredient used for baking and cleaning purposes in many households.
It is a naturally occurring substance that comprises sodium and bicarbonate ions. Baking soda is one of the safest bed bug remedies you can use in your home.
Baking soda is harmful to bugs when they ingest it or contact it. The chemical composition of baking soda breaks down when it’s warmed up. This reaction releases large volumes of carbon dioxide.
When baking soda breaks down in the bug’s stomach, the resulting carbon dioxide bursts the lining of the bug’s intestine, killing it. Baking soda also causes exoskeleton damage when bugs come into contact with it.
The tiny grains of baking soda are sharp enough to cut the underside of the bug’s exoskeleton. It then dehydrates the insects through these cuts to the point of death.
Additionally, you can apply baking soda as a paste by mixing it with water. Using a brush, paint the paste on bedbug-prone areas.
Vacuum up the dried paste every few days and repeat the procedure until the infestation is under control.
Sprinkling the baking soda on infested fabric, cracks, and crevices also gets the job done. Vacuum up the powder after every three days and reapply.
Also, place piles of baking soda on furniture legs to prevent the bugs from crawling onto the furniture.
Silica jell can work well as a bed bug desiccant. Silica jell can help absorb lipids from the bug’s cuticle, eventually killing them from dehydration. Silica jell normally comes in small packets with new clothes and clothes.
Vinegar contains acetic acid, which destroys the insect’s nervous system, killing them. For optimal results, spray white vinegar directly on the bugs. Additionally, you can soak bug-infested fabric in vinegar to kill the bugs.
You can also make a bed bug trap using dry ice. Dry ice attracts bedbugs by releasing carbon dioxide.
To make your trap, fill an insulated jug with dry ice and surround its base with talc powder. The powder ensures that the bugs remain trapped in the jug.
Ginger, Cayenne, and Oregano spray
A mixture of Ginger, Cayenne, and Oregano spray forms an excellent bed bug spray. Add water to the mixture, filter it, and put it in a spray bottle. Cayenne’s spiciness coupled with Oregano’s strong scent acts as a bug repellant.
Using Plastic bags
Keeping your clothes in plastic bags helps prevent bedbugs from hiding in them. It’s a good practice to use sealed plastic bags when sending your clothes out of receiving them from laundry.
Bedbugs and roaches are the most common insects in our homes. Cockroaches feed on waste materials and transmit disease-causing germs. On the other hand, bed bugs directly feed on humans at night.
If left unchecked, these invasive creatures can be a great cause of discomfort in our lives. Luckily, roaches feed on bedbugs, therefore helping control their population.