If you face a bed bug infestation within your property, you will always look for a way to control them. But are lizards the perfect approach?
Lizards, especially geckos, eat bed bugs. However, not all lizard species will feed on bed bugs. In addition, the bed bug feeder lizards may not offer a feasible pest control approach since they feed on a few highly multiplying bed bugs. Reef, Texas banded, and leaf-toed geckos all feed on bed bugs.
Since we know that lizards will eat bed bugs, let’s dive deeper! What lizards eat bed bugs? Can you use lizards to control bed bugs? Are bed bugs good for your lizards? What eats bed bugs? The following sections will answer all these questions and other helpful information you may need. Read on!
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small-sized insects that suck human blood during the night. As the name suggests, bed bugs hide in individuals’ mattresses and trigger irritation at night by biting.
These bites can cause health problems such as blisters, rashes, and other skin complications. There are two main species of bed bugs: Cimex hemipterus and Cimex lectularious (common bug).
Typically, bed bugs are tiny creatures that are hard to detect. Their length varies between 1 and 7mm. This makes them hard to see with the naked eye.
Bed bugs keep moving around your pets, clothes, and other household items, spreading them by laying eggs and increasing. These pests are not generally a sign of poor hygiene but live within densely populated urban areas.
What Lizards Eat Bed Bugs?
While fewer lizards eat bed bugs, only a minority enjoy them. Small-sized nocturnal lizards are the most common species that feed on these pests. There are also gecko species that feed on these pests. Here are three main types of geckos found in North America that naturally eat bed bugs:
1. Reef Gecko
Also known as Sphaerodactylus Notatus, reef geckos are commonly found in the Florida Keys and Southern Florida. They are among the smallest gecko species and tiniest lizards globally.
These geckos grow between 44.45mm to 63.5mm when fully mature and are a well-known species that feed on tiny bed bugs.
2. Texas Banded Gecko
Also known as Coleonyx Brevis, Texas Banded Geckos are recognized for their unique warning chirps and twitching tails like cats while searching for food.
These average-sized geckos are commonly found in southern New Mexico within southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico. They grow between 100 and 124mm when fully mature and are known for feeding on bed bugs.
3. Leaf-Toed Gecko
Leaf-Toed Geckos are also referred to as Phyllodactylus Xanti and are an indigenous species of geckos found within southern California and some parts of Mexico. Adults grow at a length of 101.6mm to 127mm and feed on bigger insects. However, younger leaf toes are more likely to feed on bed bugs.
Further, these geckos live naturally in crevices and cracks; hence they are more likely to find bed bugs in the wild.
Can Lizards Be Used to Control Bed Bugs?
Although some lizards and geckos will feed on bed bugs, they aren’t a practical approach for controlling bed bugs. Lizards will search for the right size of insects that will provide them with natural nutritional needs.
Similarly, lizards and adult geckos feed on bed bugs when other small-sized predator insects have eaten them.
In addition, mature bed bugs lay up to seven eggs per day, making them multiply quickly, which can cause severe problems in your home. This makes lizards an unsuitable approach for controlling these pests.
Also, using multiple loose lizards to get rid of pests in your home is unhygienic since lizards will litter anywhere, and it may require many lizards to control pests within your property.
Are Bed Bugs Good for Lizards?
Bed bugs aren’t good for pet lizards. If you are aiming to leave your lizard in the house primarily for pest control, there are relatively few problems. However, leaving your pet lizard to feed on bed bugs can pose a significant concern. This is because bed bugs carry microorganisms that can lead to bacterial infection in your pet lizard.
Therefore, it would be best to use a lizard that is not your pet in controlling bed bugs.
What Other Pests Are Eaten by Lizards?
In addition to your house lizards feeding on bed bugs, they can also feed on other disturbing pests in your home, that may include:
Lizards commonly reside in dark and damp areas where cockroaches live. This makes them ideal for controlling cockroaches since they like feeding on cockroaches.
2. Rats and Mice
Lizards are capable of feeding on newborns or baby rats and mice. They tend to spend time in dark and misty areas where rats and mice tend to rear their young ones. This gives them an opportunity to snack on pinkies (young mice) which are a suitable size for them.
3. Termite Swarmers
Swarmers are adult termites with wings. You commonly identify them as flying in colonies, hence the name ‘swarmers.’ Lizards grab these insects and find them a perfect treat.
House lizards feed on centipedes. These pests have a wriggly movement that commonly attracts lizards. You can easily find them within wooden fixtures of old and worn-out wood. Lizards will navigate across the wall to eat them.
Mosquitoes are a favorite food for lizards. They are known for sticking out their tongues and eating them.
Can You Use Lizards to Control Pests?
Lizards are a perfect approach for minimizing the insect population within your home. Keeping lizards in your home can enhance the health of your family members since they feed on tiny disease-carrying insects. However, having plenty of lizards on your property has multiple drawbacks, which include the following:
1. They Can Transmit Disease
Although lizards appear to be healthy, they are known to carry salmonella. These germs are found within their skin and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fever in humans.
2. Lizards Can Trigger Major Damage
Large-sized lizards such as Nile Monitors and Green Iguanas have sharp teeth and bad tempers. Iguanas can harm your garden, yard, and shrubbery.
On the other hand, the Nile Monitor is a carnivorous lizard that attacks your small house pets and livestock. These giant lizards are also known to bite humans.
What Eats Bed Bugs?
Multiple natural creatures will feed on bed bugs. Here are the most common animals that feed on bed bugs:
Cockroaches breed and reside in dirty areas in your home where bed bugs live. These insects feed on bed bugs but aren’t fast enough to control them in your home. This is because bed bugs lay eggs and reproduce quickly, and cockroaches cannot feed on them all.
Thanatus flavidus is the most common spider species that feed on bed bugs. Most spiders that feed on bed bugs cannot spread disease to humans. Thus, spiders can be a feasible choice for controlling bed bugs on your property.
Multiple ant species feed on bed bugs. However, pharaoh ants are the most common species for controlling bed bugs. Although a feasible approach to managing bugs, ants will multiply quickly and may quickly fill your home. Thus, eliminating ants in your home can be more severe than getting rid of bed bugs.
4. What about Your Domesticated Pets?
Cats and dogs are the most common pets you may think about for controlling pests in your home. However, cats feed on specific insects, but bed bugs aren’t their favorite dish. They appear small-sized, seeming unattractive to cats.
On the other hand, dogs are a suitable solution for situating bed bugs. However, they will help you locate these pests if they are in high numbers within your house.
After reading this post, you may think of the most natural approach to getting rid of bed bugs on your property. However, each natural predator comes with its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, although a feasible approach, lizards can transmit diseases and cause massive damage to your property.
On the other hand, ants can multiply quickly, making them difficult to eliminate on your property. Therefore, always consider the best approach for controlling bed bug infestation before they increase rapidly. Get rid of bed bugs in your home now!