What purpose do bedbugs have?
Bedbugs are an enormous nuisance. A lot of frustrated people battling infestations find themselves wondering why do bedbugs exist?
- Bed bugs don’t pollinate flowers
- Bed bugs are not a significant part of the food chain. While bed bugs are a food source for spiders, they are a pretty uncommon one. Most species of cockroaches, lizards, and birds would eat a bedbug given the chance, but the former two usually don’t even have access to them.
- Unlike spiders, bed bugs do not eat any other insects that could be considered pests
Overall, our conclusion is that bedbugs don’t serve much of a point except to be pests. Bed bugs are a parasite and we believe that the ecosystem would probably recover fully without them if they were somehow eradicated.
Why don’t we just get rid of bedbugs?
So if there isn’t any compelling reason for bedbugs to exist, can’t we just exterminate them completely until they are extinct? This is a question commonly asked about mosquitos, which often transmit serious diseases (luckily, bed bugs do not). Mosquitoes, however, do serve some important biological purposes, including pollinating plants. But since bedbugs don’t seem to, can we kill them all?
The answer is, we almost did in the 1900s. Unfortunately, bed bugs developed resistances to the insecticides that were used, and they are now experiencing a resurgence. So while you can get bedbugs out of your own house, we’re not likely to make them extinct any time soon.