There is an ongoing need for safe and effective anti-bedbug compounds. Here, we tested the toxicity of three antimicrobial agents against bedbugs when administered orally. We reveal that doxycycline has direct insecticidal activity at 250 μg/ml (0.025%) that is particularly strong against immature bedbugs and appears to be independent of antimicrobial activity. Future studies to determine the mechanisms behind this property could be useful for the development of orally active insecticides or anti-bedbug therapeutics. Copyright © 2020 American Society for Microbiology.