How Does Bed Bugs Jump

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.

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

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Bed bugs do not have wings and are not capable of flight. Unlike other wingless insects such as fleas, bed bugs also are not equipped to jump long distances. Bed bugs may move from host to host, although this is typically accomplished by crawling.

Bed bugs are insects that belong to the order Hemiptera, or true bugs. They are blood-feeding insects that have piercing sucking mouth parts. Bed bugs undergo gradual metamorphosis which includes eggs, nymphs and adults. Nymphs look very similar to the adults with the main difference being the adults can reproduce. Female bed bugs typically lay only a few eggs per day.

The common bed bug prefers to feed on human hosts and does not prefer pets or other furry animals. They are transported by people, most often in personal belongings like luggage, purses, gym bags or other items which are kept close to sleep areas. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans. However, their bites can cause skin irritation which can be severe in certain individuals.

If you think you think you have bed bugs, it is best to contact a pest control professional. Homeowners are not likely to resolve a bed bug infestation on their own, due to the bug resistance to many over-the-counter products and the bugs’ ability to hide.

Bed Bug Control

Cimex lectularius L.

Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.

Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

ANSWERING COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW BED BUGS MOVE

One of the most common places humans interact with bed bugs is, no surprise, in the bed.

Because mattresses are often raised two to three feet above the floor, people often have a similar question. Do bed bugs jump onto the bed? How do they get up there?

Do bed bugs jump?

Bed bugs are insects with six legs, and they can get around quickly. Bed bugs cannot jump or fly though.

If bed bugs can’t jump or fly, how do they move from place to place?

Bed bugs primarily crawl and are often transported by humans and their belongings.

How fast are bed bugs able to move?

These irritating pests can crawl three to four feet per minute on most surfaces.

That may not seem fast, but when scaled to human terms, the speed would equal that of an average adult sprinting. It is comparable to many ant species, and it is certainly fast enough for them to find a crack or crevice to hide in on the bed or bed frame.

How do bed bugs get onto beds?

Bed bugs make their way to mattresses by crawling up the legs of bed frames and nearby items that touch the bed.

Bedding and linens that hang down far enough to touch the floor can also provide a means of access. When headboards or other parts of the bed touch the wall, bed bugs can make their way onto the bed.

Bed bugs prefer natural and textured surfaces to travel on because their feet don’t provide traction on slick surfaces.

What should I do if I see a bed bug?

If you see or suspect bed bugs crawling on your mattress or anywhere else, call the professionals at Terminix® to assist.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From – How Do You Get Bed Bugs

How do you get bed bugs in your house? Anyone who has ever woken up with a chain of red blisters from the bites of night parasites would wonder where bed bugs come from. In most cases, bed bugs are not transferred to the apartments. The thing is that they live there for decades, not revealing their presence at once. Mostly these insects spread from one apartment to another, but where do bed bugs come from?

It is impossible to answer this question because they just spread through the building being attracted by the presence of humans. How do bed bugs get in bed? After penetration into the premises, insects hide under the beds, in the wardrobes, under the carpets, behind the baseboards, in the cracks of furniture and in mattresses. These insects prefer to settle in places where they can bite people during night time.

In suburban areas bed bugs find human dwelling using their sense of smell. Then insects move to the buildings from chicken coops and rabbitries, where they parasitize on the skin of medium-sized animals. However, bed bugs parasitism on other mammals and birds is more like an exception, because these insects usually feed on human blood.

Bed bugs are not very mobile insects. They cannot fly and run much slower than cockroaches, but they can survive without food for quite a long time. Thus, bed bugs can travel for long distances. How do bed bugs spread? Despite the fact that these parasites cannot run fast, they spread through the apartment considerably quickly. They move freely through ventilation holes, electrical wiring channels and cracks in doors. Due to flat shape of their bodies these insects are able to crawl even where no cracks or holes are visible. It is impossible to isolate an apartment from bed bugs because they come through the outlets and by the outer walls through the windows. It is especially true for the apartments in old high-rise buildings and the houses built in the countryside.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs in Your House

First, people get bed bugs by bringing them home from journeys. For example, bed bugs can be in the luggage and the things brought from the trips, to the warm countries in particular. Tropical Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia and India seem to be a paradise for thermophilic bed bugs. Thus, travelers have to remember that the last place they traveled to before the bugs appearance is the most likely to be a historic homeland of the blood-sucking parasites. In this case, you can bring a single adult female that may lay eggs and give rise to a new population. You should be cautious because these insects can hide or accidentally fall into the pleats of the clothes, into the suitcases, bags and footwear, and travel through several time zones. This way of getting bed bugs is particularly relevant for backpackers, who often change hotels.

One more common method of how bed bugs come to the new house is hiding in the furniture, especially in the new one. In furniture factories or stores bugs have nothing to eat; thus, new products are not infested. Pieces of furniture from infested houses and apartments are, on the contrary, the main breeding ground for these parasites.

People can also get bed bugs on clothes. Although these insects prefer to bite open skin areas, they often hide in the clothes left in the apartment or taken off before going to bed. Thus, you can bring bugs into your house by visiting the infested house or taking guests from such a place. Moreover, there are known cases when bed bugs were found in expensive clothing shops in unworn clothes. The insects got there from people who lived in the infested apartments or from neighboring premises.

Furthermore, bed bugs can get into the house with new appliances. These insects prefer to spend the daytime in warm places. Thus, they can stay in laptops, tablets, scanners, microwave ovens, and any other appliances, and be transferred to a new place from the store.

Moreover, bed bugs can get into the apartment being carried by animals. It is a very rare way of transferring these insects, but it may happen too. Despite the fact that bed bugs do not feed on cats and dogs because they cannot bite their skin tissue, these pets can transfer the parasites. Moreover, bats and birds can be transmitters of these parasites as well.

Thus, once appeared in the house, bed bugs can spread through the entire apartment. They can inhabit all the places where they can be caught only by the professional desinfectants. Moreover, bed bugs can fall into anabiosis because of the absence of food. Thus, the bugs can stay in uninhabited apartments for more than a few months. A flat can be perfectly clean at first glance, but insects and their larvae will crawl out of the cracks as soon as they smell a human body.

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