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Do Bed Bugs Jump or Fly?

You might have heard about bed bugs’ habit of “hitchhiking” into people’s homes on their clothes or luggage. You might also have heard how easy it is to pick up bed bugs in any place where lots of people have been—movie theaters, laundries, taxi cabs, airplane seats, restaurant lounges, and the like.

But how do they “catch a ride.”

The good news is that bed bugs don’t have wings, so the things you see flying around aren’t bed bugs. They’re probably other worrisome pests, but they certainly aren’t bed bugs.

On the other hand, it would be nice if determining whether you have a bed bug infestation was as easy as spotting them flying.

Bed bugs make their nests in cracks, crevices, holes in mattresses, and other places far removed from human sight. There are signs to look for—such as blood spots on your sheets, bites on your body in rows of three, and discarded bed bug exoskeletons —but bed bugs are notoriously difficult to locate. In fact, professional pest control specialists often use specially trained bed bug sniffing dogs to locate them.

bed bug

The answer to “do bed bugs jump?” is no. Unlike fleas, bed bugs aren’t capable of propelling themselves from one place to another by leaping.

Do bed bugs fly? Again, the answer is no. They have no wings.

So How Do Bed Bugs Get Around?

Bed bugs are crawlers. They can crawl up the sides of beds. The can crawl up walls. They crawl from their hiding places to feed on the blood of humans and pets at night.

And they can easily crawl from a chair or sofa into your clothes—or from a hiding place in a hotel room into your luggage.

How to Keep From Crawling Onto You

Do Bed Bugs Fly or Jump?

There’s really no way to protect yourself against inadvertently picking up bed bugs in public places, except to avoid places that are known to have a problem and to keep an eye out for obvious signs of infestation. So if you want to be safe, anytime you’re out and about, immediately change clothes when you return home and either wash the clothes in hot water right away or bag them up in sealable plastic bags until you do wash them.

(Temperatures above approximately 120 degrees will kill bed bugs.) This is burdensome, but it’ll protect you from bed bug infestations, which almost always require professional extermination.

When you’re traveling, you can search the Web for reports of bed bugs in hotels so you don’t check into a place with a history of bed bug problems. And before accepting a hotel room, thoroughly inspect it. When you return home, wash all your clothes in hot water, keeping them bagged until you drop them in the washing machine. You also should treat you luggage with heat, ideally in a PackTite portable heating unit, which is designed for that purpose.

Key Thought

Do bed bugs jump? No. Do they fly? No. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get around. If you’re not careful, they can crawl right into your life, and that’s not something anyone wants! Bed bugs don’t fly on their own, so don’t worry that the insects flying around your home are bed bugs. But be vigilant as you fly. And if you have other reasons to suspect you have bed bugs, call a pest control specialist to search for the possible infestation and determine if your problem is actually bed bugs.


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