How Can Bed Bugs Fly

Department of Health

Bed Bugs – What They Are and How to Control Them

Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years. They feed on blood, but are not known to spread any diseases to humans. Some people can be allergic to their bites. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is not easy, but there are steps you can take to control the problem. There are also steps you can take to avoid bringing bed bugs home.

What are bed bugs?

How can bed bugs get into my home?

  • They can come from other infested areas or from used furniture. They can hitch a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks, or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces.
  • They can travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes and hotels.

How can I avoid bringing bed bugs into my home?

  • When staying in a hotel, place your bag on a suitcase stand rather than on the bed or floor. Keep the rack away from walls or furniture. When returning home, wash the clothes from your trip and put them in a hot dryer.
  • Inspect new and used furniture before bringing it inside. Look in seams, tufts and under cushions.

How do I know if I have a bed bug problem?

  • You can see the bed bugs themselves, their shed skins, or their droppings in mattress seams and other items in the bedroom.
  • There may also be blood stains on sheets.

How do I control a bed bug problem in my home?

It can be done, but it usually requires what is called an "integrated pest management" (IPM) approach. This combines techniques that pose the lowest risk to your health and the environment. Try these strategies:

  • Clean and get rid of clutter, especially in your bedroom.
  • Move your bed away from walls or furniture.
  • Vacuum molding, windows and floors every day. Vacuum sides and seams of mattresses, box springs and furniture. Empty the vacuum or the bag immediately and dispose of outside in a sealed container or bag.
  • Wash sheets, pillow cases, blankets and bed skirts and put them in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes. Consider using mattress and box spring covers –the kind used for dust mite control–and put duct tape over the zippers.
  • Seal cracks and crevices and any openings where pipes or wires come into the home.

Should I also try pesticides?

Pesticides may not be effective and can be dangerous if used improperly. If you decide to use pesticides, follow these rules:

  • Only use pesticides that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (look for the U.S. EPA Registration Number on the label) and make sure they are labeled to control bed bugs.
  • Do not apply pesticides directly to your body (there are no repellents registered to control bed bugs that can be used on the human body).
  • Do not use outdoor pesticides indoors.
  • If you decide to hire a pest control company, make sure they have experience with bed bugs. They should follow the steps of IPM, along with any pesticide application. Use a company that is registered and employs licensed applicators. The Department of Environmental Conservation has a list of registered companies.

It takes time and persistence to get rid of bed bugs, and in some cases, the cooperation of landlords, neighbors and others. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It can also be expensive when pest control companies are called in. Just remember – bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a health concern and, with vigilance, you can avoid or deal with infestations.

See the following for more information on bed bug biology and control measures:

Photo courtesy of Dr. Harold Harlan, Armed Forces Pest Management Board Image Library

FAQ: Can bed bugs jump or fly? All about bed bug movement

A common question people have when determining if they have bed bugs is “can bed bugs jump or fly?” This stems not just from general comparisons to other pests, like fleas or roaches, but also from some common misconceptions about bed bugs. Let’s go over the basics of bed bug movement to better understand how they behave, and how we can use that to fight them:

First off, bed bugs are not equipped to fly. They do have front wings, but they are vestigial, meaning they have lost their function over time. The front wings on today’s bed bugs are reduced to small jointed pads, which aren’t capable of anything more than a slight wiggle while the bed bugs move or feed.

This is a common occurrence in evolution. Even humans have a few vestigial characteristics: we have muscles in our ears that allow some people to wiggle their ears slightly. These muscles are left over from when our ancestors had extended ears that could turn to the direction of a sound.

Unlike other insects that are incapable of flight, bed bugs can’t jump either. Their body is too wide and low to the ground, making it hard enough for their short legs to just keep them up and moving. While some people report bed bugs “jumping” from their walls or ceiling, this is more likely just a bug losing its grip and falling.

How do they move?

There really isn’t anything exciting about bed bug movement: they crawl. Due to their short legs and wide body, they crawl rather low to the ground at an even pace, about as quickly as an ant. While they can turn fairly quickly while moving, they’re not very good at picking up speed beyond their normal pace.

One thing bed bugs are fairly good at is climbing. They can make their way up most wood, cloths, paper, plastics, and even some metals. This is due to the small hooks in their feet, which grab onto small cracks and pores in textured surfaces. That reliance on hooks means that bed bugs have trouble climbing slick, smooth surfaces like porcelain or glass.

Due to their rather unathletic anatomy, bed bugs don’t do well in busy terrain, like hair or thick rugs. Their legs aren’t strong enough to push most materials aside, like most insects and other animals would when traversing through thick grass, brush, or hair. They also don’t burrow into skin or other materials, as they lack any sort of claws or other tools that would enable this.

How do they reach you in your bed?

Since bed bugs can’t jump or fly, they have to use their gifted crawling ability to reach you in your bed at night. They can do this by climbing up one of many possible access points, such as your bedroom’s walls, the legs of your bed frame, and any furniture or loose bedding that connects your bed to the floor.

To combat this, move your bed away from the wall and from other furniture, like nightstands and dressers. Also make sure that there are no hanging skirts or sheets that could be touching the floor, and that there’s no storage under the bed. Finally, place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of your bed. These have talcum-lined pitfalls that bed bugs can’t climb out of, preventing them from using your bed frame to reach you.

FAQ: Can bed bugs jump or fly? All about bed bug movement

A common question people have when determining if they have bed bugs is “can bed bugs jump or fly?” This stems not just from general comparisons to other pests, like fleas or roaches, but also from some common misconceptions about bed bugs. Let’s go over the basics of bed bug movement to better understand how they behave, and how we can use that to fight them:

First off, bed bugs are not equipped to fly. They do have front wings, but they are vestigial, meaning they have lost their function over time. The front wings on today’s bed bugs are reduced to small jointed pads, which aren’t capable of anything more than a slight wiggle while the bed bugs move or feed.

This is a common occurrence in evolution. Even humans have a few vestigial characteristics: we have muscles in our ears that allow some people to wiggle their ears slightly. These muscles are left over from when our ancestors had extended ears that could turn to the direction of a sound.

Unlike other insects that are incapable of flight, bed bugs can’t jump either. Their body is too wide and low to the ground, making it hard enough for their short legs to just keep them up and moving. While some people report bed bugs “jumping” from their walls or ceiling, this is more likely just a bug losing its grip and falling.

How do they move?

There really isn’t anything exciting about bed bug movement: they crawl. Due to their short legs and wide body, they crawl rather low to the ground at an even pace, about as quickly as an ant. While they can turn fairly quickly while moving, they’re not very good at picking up speed beyond their normal pace.

One thing bed bugs are fairly good at is climbing. They can make their way up most wood, cloths, paper, plastics, and even some metals. This is due to the small hooks in their feet, which grab onto small cracks and pores in textured surfaces. That reliance on hooks means that bed bugs have trouble climbing slick, smooth surfaces like porcelain or glass.

Due to their rather unathletic anatomy, bed bugs don’t do well in busy terrain, like hair or thick rugs. Their legs aren’t strong enough to push most materials aside, like most insects and other animals would when traversing through thick grass, brush, or hair. They also don’t burrow into skin or other materials, as they lack any sort of claws or other tools that would enable this.

How do they reach you in your bed?

Since bed bugs can’t jump or fly, they have to use their gifted crawling ability to reach you in your bed at night. They can do this by climbing up one of many possible access points, such as your bedroom’s walls, the legs of your bed frame, and any furniture or loose bedding that connects your bed to the floor.

To combat this, move your bed away from the wall and from other furniture, like nightstands and dressers. Also make sure that there are no hanging skirts or sheets that could be touching the floor, and that there’s no storage under the bed. Finally, place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of your bed. These have talcum-lined pitfalls that bed bugs can’t climb out of, preventing them from using your bed frame to reach you.

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, onthe 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.

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).

[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 do not have the capability to jump or fly, how are these tiny pests able to spread so quickly and easily from place to place?

The answer is, they simply crawl or hitch hike.

Often, these sneaky pest hitch on humans and their belongings to move around, crawling 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.

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.

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?

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

The pests can turn up anywhere—homes, dorms, hospitals, hotels—but can bed bugs fly? Here’s how they get around.

jareynolds/Shutterstock

Can bed bugs fly?

Can bed bugs fly? Nope. At least not today’s bed bugs. Eons ago their ancestors could fly, but over time bed bugs evolved and they no longer need wings. Why fly (and risk getting seen) when you can live in secret near a human host and crawl out at night to suck blood?

How bed bugs travel

“Bed bugs travel with us humans, so however we may travel, they will travel,” says Jody Green, PhD, an urban entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They might not have wings, but they don’t need them because they hitchhike onto our belongings, like coats, backpacks, books, blankets, and even things like wheelchairs and prosthetics, Green says. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking or in a car, taxi, or plane. They can be transported by any means of travel humans use. Now that you know the answer to the question “can bed bugs fly,” learn what really causes bed bugs in the first place.

How do bed bugs get around?

Bed bugs have six legs that are adapted for crawling but not jumping. If you leave a bed bug–containing item in your bedroom, a bed bug doesn’t have to travel far to find you. They’ll settle in a place near you—like in the seams of a mattress, a headboard, a nightstand, or any nearby crack or crevice. Their new home is called a harborage and will be close by. To identify them, take a look at our guide to what bed bugs look like.

Do bed bugs fly?

Question:Do bed bugs fly? I recently saw something that looked like a bed bug but had wings and flew on the wall.

ANSWER:They do not fly. You may have seen another small insect, but unless we have a sample we will not be able to help you identify it.

If you need some help, call us, and ask for an inspection of your premises. Your highly trained Orkin Pest Specialist will gladly inspect, assess the situation, and come up with a plan to battle these pests.

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