Do Bed Bugs Fly?

Written by Lex Basu
Updated: October 4, 2022
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Key Points:

  • Bed bugs are hard to get rid of and probably one of the most hated pests on the planet.
  • There are around 90 different species of bed bugs, out of which only three are responsible for invading our homes and making life difficult.
  • Although bed bugs don’t spread diseases, they can cause skin rashes, sleep issues and discomfort.

What do you know about bed bugs? Well, you probably know bed bugs are tiny creatures that can reproduce very quickly causing an infestation. Furthermore, they are experts at gaining entry into a house without anyone knowing until it’s too late! But do you know the answer to this question: Do bed bugs fly? The answer is no.

Continue reading to check out some more facts on this insect including common signs they are in a house and how they get into a house in the first place. Also, learn about a bed bug lookalike with a few basic differences.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

One of the main facts to keep in mind about bed bugs is there’s a difference between adult bugs and young ones. Knowing the differences can help with identification. The body of an adult bed bug is brown, flat, and about a quarter-inch long. They have six legs and antennae. Adult bed bugs look a lot like apple seeds. Alternatively, a young bed bug, or a nymph, is even smaller and white or translucent in color.

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Can You See Them?

It depends. It’s possible to see adult bed bugs because of their dark color. However, young bed bugs with their translucent or sometimes white bodies are less visible. If a young bed bug is on a white sheet or pillowcase, it’s very difficult to see unless you know what you’re looking for.

Bed bugs may not fly but they can be found in multiple places in a home.

© Lanciano

Where Are They Found?

Of course, bed bugs are found in beds. But they can occupy various other places as well. They can be found in couches, chairs, and seat cushions. One of the most amazing facts about this insect is it can be found in electrical receptacles. So, if you removed an electrical outlet cover, you may see bed bugs in the area behind it.

Other places these bugs occupy include the area between the ceiling and the walls in a home. They can live behind an area of loose wallpaper or in a hole behind a screw. They can get into many places you don’t expect them to be!

How Do You Know You Have Bed Bugs?

One of the ways you know you have bed bugs is by seeing adult bugs. They may crawl around on a seat cushion, sofa, pillowcase, etc.

Another way you know you have bed bugs is by seeing small rust-colored spots on the fabric. These spots are residue from bed bugs that have been crushed. Other red or black spots of color on fabric can be waste or feces left behind by these insects.

Seeing the eggs of bed bugs is another way to know you have them in your house. Their eggs are yellowish-white and the size of a pinpoint. You may see them simply because they are laid in large amounts or clusters.

Do They Have Wings?

No, bed bugs don’t have wings. Furthermore, because they don’t have wings, they aren’t able to fly. But, they do have wing pads. These are two plate-like structures found just behind the insect’s head. So, if they have wing pads wouldn’t it be logical to think they have wings? Good question!

The truth is these bugs used to have wings and at one time they were able to fly. Their wing pads are sometimes called vestigial wings. Over time, these insects had less and less need for wings, so they eventually just stopped developing them. Today, they no longer have wings because they don’t need them to survive.

How Do Bed Bugs Move Around?

If bed bugs had wings it would be even easier for them to end up almost anywhere in a house. Though they can crawl, their main way of traveling is inside items carried around by people. So, you could say that people are this bug’s preferred mode of transportation!

As an example, a person who goes on a vacation and stays at a hotel may unknowingly bring home bed bugs in a suitcase. Bed bugs can hide in mattresses, carpets, and furniture in hotel rooms. These bugs are so tiny they can stow away in bags and cases easily making their way into homes.

How Do You Prevent Bed Bugs in Your Home?

After returning home from a trip, you want to make sure you don’t have bed bug stowaways in your bags and suitcases. So, unpack your suitcases in the garage and check each item before taking it into the house. Also, wash all of the clothing in hot water before putting them into your dresser. Wipe down your suitcases and bags before putting them into storage.

Washing your bedding and blankets in hot water once a week is another way to prevent an infestation of bed bugs. The hot water and laundry detergent can kill both adult bed bugs and their eggs.

Clutter in a home is attractive to bed bugs. So, clear away any stacks of boxes, paper, and clothing, so these insects don’t have any appealing places to hide.

Bed bugs were once able to fly but they became less necessary over time.

© Lanciano

What Flying Insect Looks Like a Bed Bug?

Drugstore beetles or biscuit beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs. Both drugstore beetles and bed bugs are brown and oval-shaped. Plus, they have six legs and antennae. But when it comes to identification, one of the main differences is that drugstore beetles can fly.

Another difference is drugstore beetles are attracted to light whereas bed bugs are not. This makes drugstore beetles more visible than bed bugs. The area where they are found can also help with identification. The most common areas to see drugstore beetles are bathrooms, kitchens, and offices.

Are They Harmful to Humans?

Though these insects can bite, they are not poisonous. Being bitten by one of these bugs can cause an itchy rash. The skin should be washed and treated with ointment. If the rash becomes worse, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor.

Does a Bed Bug Infestation Indicate a Messy, Dirty Enviroment?

It may seem logical to think a home with a bed bug infestation is messier than a home without bed bugs. However, this isn’t necessarily true. The presence of just two bed bugs can eventually cause an infestation in almost any home no matter how clean it’s kept. Of course, cleaning the carpets and washing bed sheets, sofa covers, and curtains in hot water regularly can make a home less appealing to bed bugs. After all, these insects want to hide without being disturbed. So, there are certainly advantages to keeping a home clean even if there has never been a bed bug on the premises.

How Do You Get Rid of Them?

Though there are some DIY methods of getting rid of bed bugs, it’s best to call in bed bug removal professionals. It’s necessary to get rid of the adults, the young, and the eggs of this insect to prevent a recurrence. Bed bug removal professionals know where these insects hide and can do a thorough job of getting rid of them. In addition, professionals can perform a follow-up check to ensure no eggs were left behind.

If you do in fact have bed bugs, we recommend the following products for effective bed bug remediation.

  1. Bed Bug Killer by Ecovenger 16 oz
    • USDA BioBased formula is child and pet friendly
    • 100% effective per recent study
    • Kills bed bugs at all stages - adults, nymphs, and eggs
    Check Amazon
  2. SureGuard Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
    • Effective encasement against bed bugs
    • Waterproof - doubles as a mattress protector
    • Invisi-Zip and SureSeal enclosure ensures no bed bug entry
    • 100% Cotton top - free from phthalates and other unhealthy chemicals
    Check Amazon
  3. HARRIS Bed Bug Traps - (20-Pack)
    • No chemical option to confirm bed bug presence
    • Catches other bugs and pests as well
    • Easy detection coverage for 2-3 rooms.
    Check Amazon
  4. EcoPest Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack
    • No chemical solution to block bed bugs
    • Easy application
    • Effective blockers for other pests like spiders
    Check Amazon
  5. Queen Mattress, Novilla 10 inch Gel Memory Foam Mattress
    • 10 inch gel mattress is very comfortable
    • Easy to apply encasement compared to wood frame mattresses
    • Fast shipment and easy to install vs traditional optionss
    Check Amazon
  6. Housmile Bed Vacuum Cleaner, UV Handheld
    • Powerful 10Kpa suction sucks up dust mites
    • Specialized design for cleaning mattresses
    • UV lamp eliminates moisture and kills bacteria

    Check Amazon

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Photos

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About the Author

Lex is a green-living, tree-hugging, animal-lover, who at one time was the mother to twenty one felines and one doggo. Now she helps pet owners around the globe be the best caretakers for their most trusting companions by sharing her experience and spreading love.

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