Skip to Content

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

Have you ever had a feeling that something is crawling around in your bed at night? It’s no secret that little critters known as bed bugs can make themselves at home in your bedroom.

But can bed bugs fly? If you’ve heard rumors of flying bed bugs, then this blog post is for you. Read on to find out the truth behind whether bed bugs can actually fly?

bed bug crawling across human skin looking for blood

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that depend on the blood of humans and animals to survive.

When you observe them, you’ll notice that adult bed bugs have a flat, oval-shaped body, appearing more balloon-like after feeding.

Their size is roughly 4 to 5 millimeters in length—about the size of an apple seed.

You’ll find that their coloration is reddish-brown, although they appear more reddish after a blood meal.

Bed bugs have wingless bodies with a distinct, three-segmented beak, four-part antennae, short, gold-colored hairs, and small, stubby legs.

Nymphs (juveniles) are smaller and can appear translucent until they have their first meal. After feeding, you will see them become bright red.

Here is a quick, visual outline of their key features:

  • Size: About 4-5 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide

  • Shape: Flat, oval-shaped body; more elongated after feeding

  • Color: Reddish-brown; nymphs are translucent or bright red post-feeding

  • Texture: Wingless with short, golden-colored hairs

  • Other features: Three-segmented beak, four-part antennae, six stubby legs

up close image of a bed bug insect

Can Bed Bugs Be Anywhere Besides Bed?

Contrary to their name, bed bugs are not limited to living in beds. These proficient hitchhikers can inhabit various places within your environment.

Your vigilance is key in identifying them outside their typical haunt.

Beyond the Bedroom: Bed bugs can migrate to other furniture such as sofas, chairs, and curtains. They seek shelter in the seams and folds where they can hide effectively.

Electronics and Appliances: Surprisingly, bed bugs may also be found in the small crevices within electronics. Like clocks, televisions, and radios, as well as appliances. These items provide them with a secure place to live. Especially when located in a bedroom or living area.

Travel Territory: These pests are notorious for their travel savvy. They can cling onto clothing, luggage, and even personal items to spread to new locations.

Fabric Heavy Zones: Clothes and linens are not immune to bed bugs. Anything made of fabric can serve as a potential home for them.

bed bug infestation on the top of a mattress

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

Although these tiny pests do not have wings, a common misconception is that they can fly. This is false; bed bugs can’t fly as their bodies are not built for flight.

They don’t have any muscular organs to power themselves into the air, like other flying insects do. Instead, they use two pairs of legs to quickly move across surfaces. Where they find food sources and new hosts nearby.

Bed bugs will often travel through clothing or other accepted items without being noticed. This allows them to spread from place to place quickly and inhabit new areas without the need of flight.

To stay hidden during daylight hours, bedbugs will climb up furniture or walls until they reach a dark crevice where they can hide.

From there they will look for food during nighttime hours when people are sleeping most soundly.

Bed bugs cannot fly, but they can move quickly, making it hard for homeowners or business owners to get rid of them.

To get rid of these annoying creatures, it’s best to call a professional exterminator. They will know where they are and how to remove them.

can bed bugs fly?

If Bed Bugs Can’t Fly, How Do They Move From Person To Person?

Although they cannot fly, they can move quickly across surfaces such as walls, ceilings, floors and furniture searching for their next meal.

At night, they come out of dark hiding places like mattress seams or box springs. They feed on exposed skin while people sleep. 

On average, an adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed and has a lifespan of approximately six months. After which it will die if not able to feed further.

Since most people travel from place to place quite often traveling with items such as suitcases or other luggage.

This gives them the opportunity of moving along with a person who is unaware that he is carrying any types of insects. 

Bed bugs can also pass through cracks in walls or crevices in doors/windows leading from one room/home into another.

Bedbugs can easily spread from one person’s belongings to another when clothes are shared. This often happens between family members or friends who live close to each other.

Do Bed Bugs Have Wings?

No, bed bugs do not have wings. They are wingless and rely on crawling to travel from one place to another. 

Although they don’t have wings, bed bugs can still travel large distances—up to 100 feet or more in a single night.

They can move quickly because their legs are designed to climb walls and ceilings.

Their nymphs will shed their skins many times as they grow larger, while adults do not molt any further after reaching adulthood. 

These annoying pests can invade your home without you knowing, hiding in furniture or cracks until they feed.

These insects can hide in your bags while you travel by attaching themselves to jackets or luggage. They are very good at not being noticed.

bed bug crawling across a piece of clothing

What Looks Like a Bed Bug But Can Fly?

When you see small, winged insects in your home, you might wonder if bed bugs have taken to the air. Rest assured, bed bugs do not have wings and cannot fly.

But, some insects resemble bed bugs and do have the ability to fly. Understanding these look-alikes can help you identify the right pest and manage it effectively.

  • Bat Bugs (Cimex adjunctus): These are close relatives of bed bugs. They have a similar appearance but can be distinguished by longer hairs on their head. Unlike bed bugs, bat bugs feed primarily on bat blood, and while they do not fly, the bats they associate with can bring them into homes.

  • Swallow Bugs (Oeciacus vicarius): Swallow bugs, like bat bugs, look like bed bugs. But are associated with birds, especially swallows. They do not have the capability to fly but may be transported into homes through nesting birds.

  • Booklice (Liposcelis spp.): Though not true lice, these insects can sometimes be mistaken for bed bugs. They are capable of flying and often found in damp areas or around old books and papers.

  • Fleas (Siphonaptera spp.): Fleas are tiny, wingless insects with a strong ability to jump. They might be confused with bed bugs due to their small size and preference for living on mammals, including humans.

  • Carpet Beetles (Dermestidae spp.): These beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs. They have a rounded, variegated appearance and can fly. While bed bugs feed on blood, carpet beetles are attracted to fabrics, furs, and stored food products.

Summary

Bed bugs can be a nuisance but, they cannot fly. They have no wings and instead rely on their legs to access food sources and hide areas within your home. 

Yet, some winged insects do share similarities with bed bugs. Understanding the differences between them is important for proper pest identification and management.

Share To Keep This Post For Later!