Do Bed Bugs Jump or Fly?

In this article, we seek to answer some of the most commonly asked bed bugs related questions – Do bed bugs jump or fly? Do they even have wings? How do they move around?

As the saying goes… “ Knowing your enemy is half the battle ”

Although bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases, their bites can cause rashes and even severe skin irritation for some.

Bed Bugs prefer to move at night (in the dark) and feed on human hosts. As such, one of the most common places bed bugs get to humans is, not surprisingly, on the bed.

Let’s get right into the questions that this article seeks to answer: understanding bed bug’s movement and behavior and how to use it against them.

>> Related article: Best Bed Bug Mattress Encasement



Can bed bugs fly? Do they even have wings?

Here’s the good news – Bed bugs cannot fly!

They DO have wings though.

Lucky for us, these wing pads do not have the capability to take flight once the bedbug has fully matured. These small wing pads are part of a bed bug’s anatomy, grown just above the abdomen and below the head.

Scientists think that bed bug’s ancestors used to be able to fly, but the front wings on today’s bed bugs are reduced to small jointed pads that can only do slight wiggles while the bed bugs move or feed (similar to the muscles in our ears that allow some people to wiggle them slightly).

Side Note: It is not a good way to identifying bed bugs by looking for wings, as Nymphs (baby bed bugs) don’t have wing pads on their body.

[May: If you’ve ever encountered bed bugs that fly, chances are high that it’s actually some other type of bug.]


Can Bed Bugs Jump?

If you have ever encountered bed bugs “jumping” off the walls or from the ceiling, it is more likely they’ve lost grip fell.

Unlike other insects that are incapable of flight (like fleas), bed bugs can’t jump either.

With their wide body so low and close to the ground, their short legs are already having a hard time keeping them up and moving around.



How Do Bed Bugs Move Around?

Bed bugs crawl at an even pace around the speed of an ant (also depending on the surface they are on) due to their 6 short legs and wide body.

So, if bed bugs can’t jump or fly, how do they spread so quickly and easily from place to place?

The answer is, they simply crawl or hitch hike.

They are often transported by humans and their belongings where they crawl onto either someone or someone’s clothes (or other items like backpacks) and then onto their next host.

Luggage left on the bed or floor (i.e. lobby or hotels) is also one of the most common ways they migrates. Second-hand and rented furniture is another common target for bed bugs to spread.

Tip: Never unpack language on the bed or on the carpet floor when you arrive at a hotel (to prevent any bed bugs from crawling to your stuff).

Tip2: Do unpacking on solid table where you have better visibility on any possible bugs sneaking around.

[May: It is also a good practice NOT to do unpacking in the room or worse still, on the bed.]


How Fast Can Bed Bugs Move?

An adult bed bug can crawl about 1 metre per minute (3 to 4 feet) on most surfaces. That’s comparable to most of the ant species and is certainly fast enough to find a crack or crevice to hide.

Side Note: Scale bed bugs to human size, the speed is equivalent to that of an average adult sprinting.


How Do Bed Bugs Get Onto The Bed?

As bed bugs do not have the ability to jump or fly, they rely on their fairly good climbing ability to crawl their way up the bed (usually at night).

Their feet has small hooks that allows them to grab onto small pores and cracks in textured surfaces, bed bugs gains access to the bed by one of these many possible access points; such as crawling up the legs of bed frames and nearby items that touch the bed.

Bedding and bed linens that hangs low enough to come into contact with the floor are also a means of access for them to get up the bed. Any parts of the bed in contact with the wall (i.e Headboards) can also result in access to bed bugs.


Applying These Informations

With this information in mind, here are some of the things to do at home along other bed bug killing methods and natural remedies:

  • Move bed away from the wall and from other furniture (i.e nightstands, dressers)
  • Ensure no hanging skirts or bed sheets touching the floor
  • Remove any storages under the bed
  • Place Interceptors (i.e ClimbUp) under each leg of the bed to trap bed bugs on it’s track.
  • Consider using encasement to protect mattresses from beg bugs

Conclusion

Bed bugs have wings but can fly or jump. They move around from place to place by crawling and hitch hiking from host to host to travel longer distances to their desired destination.

Minimising contact points to the bed can minimise the chances of getting bed bugs onto the bed. The only way to stop bed bugs from moving is to get rid of them completely using different remedies and treatments.

Here are a few articles that might be helpful:


Aren’t you glad to know that bed bugs aren’t able to jump or take flight? With these information on hand, what do you intend to do at home to reduce the chances that bed bugs can get to you?

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