Bed bug death match film from Paul Bello

by nobugsonme on May 27, 2015 · 8 comments

in bed bugs

People who are dealing with bed bugs sometimes find this stuff encouraging, and maybe you will too.

Bedbugger Forums participant and pest management professional Paul Bello (credited as P.J. Bello) and an accomplice (N.P. Bello) re-enact an ancient Roman-style Christian vs. Lion death match with the lion played by a jumping spider (Salticidae) on Wikipedia, specifically Phidippus audax, and a bed bug playing the Christian.

As in the original battles, it’s not a fair tournament and the bloodthirsty audience doesn’t care.

Phidippus audax, Jumping spider

Phidippus audax, Jumping spider

Phidippus audax is a rather interesting spider and you may, like me, have found these jumping spiders in your home. They have four pairs of eyes (!) and you can see two pairs of them in the image below, also showing their pretty faces and “iridescent chelicerae” (thanks to Wikipedia for the lingo). You can’t see the spider’s good looks very well in the video.

Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider

Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider

According to Wikipedia, they can jump 10-50 times their own body length. The species is also named for its personality: “audax” means bold/daring in Latin (“audac-” is the Latin root of the English “audacious”). I think if I could jump 50x my body length, I’d be pretty audacious too. Besides, those (muscular?) front legs look pretty impressive also.

Thanks for letting me wax a bit science geeky. I believe that this is the first time in my life I have ever referred to a spider as having a pretty face. I guess spending time virtually with entomologists is rubbing off? That said, it doesn’t make me any more keen to encounter a jumping spider in my daily existence.

Warning: as expected, this bed bug death match film contains depictions of violence and an insect death, and as such is not for everyone. People who object to violence (or who are scared of spiders or don’t want to see bed bugs) may not wish to watch.

(if embedded video is not visible, you can click here to view it)

If you are curious whether spiders can be put to good use killing bed bugs, read this article about how Athenians did just that with a species called Thanatus flavidus Simon, back in 1929.

But don’t get too excited; predators are not likely to be the best way (or even a good way) to eliminate your bed bugs today.

First image credit: Phidippus audax, by Kaldari, used under a Creative Commons Public Domain license

Second image credit: Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

1 nobugsonme May 28, 2015 at 12:07 am

Video link updated!

2 NotSoSnug May 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm

I don’t run out and capture spiders for this use, but I’ve long left any spiders in my home alone despite the messiness of proliferating webs.

In a recent residence, a rural cabin, I had no end of various spider species, often with several generations in webs here and there. But now I’m living urban in Metro Vancouver, a Cimex hotspot, and sadly not so many spiders. (But no Cimex cofar either, knock on wood.)

I should add that I discovered I had too many old webs at one point when I identified several casemaker moth larvae eating up old webs. Problem being web eating is not the most annoying thing about casemaker larvae- they eat clothing too.

Unintended consequences…

3 nobugsonme May 28, 2015 at 4:29 pm

So glad to hear you’re bed bug-free in Vancouver.
We have our fingers crossed that you remain so!

Thanks for mentioning the moths-eating-webs issue– I hadn’t been aware of that.

4 NotSoSnug May 28, 2015 at 9:15 pm

The case maker moth larvae are weird looking. The inhabit a case built of debris much like a stonefly larvae in streams and drag it around, poking their, umm, heads out to munch on the webs. If disturbed they just look like some dust stuck in the web, so you have to be pretty obsessive to notice them in the first place, but not too obsessive to have old webs cleaned up. Most people would probably notice them on clothing, again as maybe some dust or lint, not a nasty cloth eating larvae.

5 nobugsonme May 31, 2015 at 11:26 pm

You are a wealth of random entomological facts. I love it!

6 Winston O Buggy June 2, 2015 at 1:37 pm


7 Bugsy July 22, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Bed bug situation in Vancouver BC, Surrey to be precise. No bites but we found them hiding so that’s pretty much enough evidence. My first contact with these species and I already hate them and wonder why they exist. Landlord and strata have been informed but the landlord is reluctant to cough up the costs for treatment. Multi-unit apartment building so neighbors are currently at risk at well. Hopes this gets solved soon currently living on garbage bags.

8 nobugsonme July 23, 2015 at 11:53 am

Hey Bugsy,
Sorry to hear about your bed bugs.
I hope your landlord gets it together. If you desire further discussion/support, we have an active user forum with experts participating here:

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