Do Bed Bugs Jump?

The simple answer is no, they can’t jump!

Although a lot of people think bedbugs must be leapers because they are so good at getting from bed to bed. People have come with plenty of ideas about these regular household visitors over the years.

You hear all sorts of theories. So, to begin, it might comfort you to know a small reddish bug flying around, is definitely not a bedbug.

So How Do Bed Bugs Move?

Bedbugs don’t have wings so, like pigs, you’ll never see them fly. Like jumping bed bugs, flying bed bugs are a myth. With flying and jumping out, you could be wondering how this tiny bug does get about and with such legendary bedbug efficiency. 

Back in the day, people could see fleas hopping about on their clothing, on their bodies and in their beds, and so many wrongly thought bed bugs and fleas were the same kind of bug. We’ve managed a closer look since.

The differences between fleas and bedbugs are very clear under lens. Bed bugs don’t have a jumping bug’s anatomy. Definitely no sprung hind legs, like on a flea. Instead, bedbugs are wide, flat and stay low to the ground on six short legs.

There are other myths too. Like that bed bugs are nocturnal and only bite at night. Logical thinking for the 17th century and the 21st too. Although they respond to body heat and carbon dioxide and both just happen to increase when you’re sleeping. But when it comes to movement, bed bugs are willing to travel quite long distances for something significantly smaller than a grain of rice and they do it all by crawling.

This will surprise you. Not only can these intrepid explorers go a long way, they are known to crawl at speeds of up to 4ft per minute. Even faster on a good surface. You can easily compare them to an ant. While they can’t jump or hop, bedbugs can change direction fast, which is why it is not easy to squash them when notice one in your bed.

Fact: Many people don’t know that bed bugs cannot travel directly on a human. We are too warm. They can’t take the heat and prefer to travel as luggage.

How Do they Hide in Your Room?

Crawling fast certainly helps, and being able to make quick turns is an added survival advantage, but bed bugs really make life miserable for us by being climbers, which is where they really excel.

Bed bugs can easily shimmy up most cloths, wood, plastics, paper and even some metals. They make it happen using tiny hooks on their feet, like velcro. But these hooks make it harder to climb slick, smooth surfaces, such as glass or porcelain.

They are terrible at navigating through busy terrain such as fur, hair or thick shag rugs. Their legs lack the power they need to push these materials aside.

They get stuck because they are under equipped without claws or jaws to grip. Instead they look for the easy route and crawl up the legs of your bed frame or up the wall next to it. They will even opt to climb anything left hanging between the bed and the floor, for instance, your sheet or bathrobe. 

Conclusion

Bed Bugs don’t need to fly, jump or hop. Forwards, backwards, up or down, they’ve got the art of being a creepy crawly covered. For centuries, perhaps even millennia, this way of scuttling around to get from A to B has worked perfectly well which is why as a bug, they have always been successful.

Andrew Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham
Hello, Andrew is the co-founder and lead editor for DailyPest.

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