Do Bed Bugs Fly, Jump And Itch?

Unfortunately, bed bugs are not a thing of the past for many people. Are you wondering if bed bugs can fly, jump, and itch? Bed bugs do not fly and are not able to jump long distances, but they do bite and their bites can itch.

Whether you are unlucky enough to be dealing with bed bugs at the moment or you would simply like to know more about this particular pest, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will go over what bed bugs can and cannot do and, perhaps most importantly, how to get rid of them.

How Do Bed Bugs Move Around and Why?

Let us begin with by talking about bed bugs move around.

Because they do not have wings, bed bugs are unable to fly. But, unlike other insects that do not have wings (like flies), bed bugs cannot jump, and definitely not long distances. They simply do not have the equipment for that.

So, how do bed bugs move around? Mostly, they move around, from host to host, crawling.

It is not a bargain if it has bedbugs. – Lara Spencer

And that is important because they always need a host. Why? Because they feed on the host’s blood so they need a host in order to survive. Typically, they just move from one host to another. Unlike other creatures that we call “bugs”, bed bugs are actually bugs. They are scientifically known as Hemiptera.

The favorite hosts for bed bugs are human beings. They much prefer human beings over pets (cats and dogs) or any furry animals.

They feed on human blood by piercing through your skin and sucking on your blood. But, bed bugs go through several metamorphoses through their lifetimes. They start off as eggs, then they become nymphs, and, finally, they become adults. But, there is no much difference between nymphs and adult bed bugs. They look incredibly different. The only important difference between nymphs and adult bed bugs is that adult bed bugs are able to reproduce. And they do reproduce at a rate of laying a few eggs every single day.

Image source: Wikipedia

These pests can reproduce up to three or even more generations in a single year. An adult female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs, which are so small as to be practically invisible to the naked eye.

Another key difference between nymphs and adult bed bugs is that nymphs shed their skin as many as five times before they become adult. And this is important because before each time they shed their skin they need to feed on blood.

Like adult bed bugs, when a nymph feeds on blood, they grow inside (their bodies swell) and they change their color to something close to red.

More often than not, bed bugs just go from one host to the next, with minimum crawling to get between them. Most hosts are not even aware that they are carrying around bed bugs. How do people carry bed bugs around? Typically, bed bugs “travel” around on anything that you might keep close to your bed (or any other sleeping area, such as an armchair or a couch). We are talking about any kind of bag from gym bags, purses, luggage, or backpacks.

Despite their popular name, bed bugs can also move around over ceilings, walls, and floors, and not just on beds or other places where you sleep.

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

The good news is that this pest cannot transmit diseases so getting bitten by them is not dangerous.

For some people, however, getting bitten by bed bugs can be a bit more than just a nuisance. Beg bugs’ bites can cause skin irritation. So, you might need some ointment to deal with any redness and itchiness. And, whatever you do, resist the temptation to scratch the affected area.

Because bed bugs are so tiny and have flat bodies, they can easily hide even in the tiniest creases. They can move around in all kinds of objects, as we already saw, but they normally hide in bedrooms, usually in bed frames, mattresses, headboards, or box springs. If you live in an apartment or in a small place, bed bugs may spread to other nearby areas outside the bedroom.

They usually bite at night when their hosts are asleep. They pierce the skin with their elongated beaks, with which then they proceed to withdraw blood. The whole feeding process can take anything between three to 10 minutes at the time. Once they have taken their meal, they just crawl away. Because, unlike mosquitoes and other pests, they do not make noise and they just crawl around when you are asleep, they are incredibly hard to notice.

Image source: Wikipedia

How Do You Recognize Bed Bugs?

Most people just notice bed bugs when they observe blood stains on pillow cases or bed sheets. You might also notice spots of their excrement on your bedsheets (or other bedclothes), mattresses, and even on your walls. Another sign of their presence is a musty odor caused from their scent glands.

If you get bitten at night or develop skin irritation, you might be affected by this pest. Or not. There is always a chance that you might have been bitten by a mosquito, instead.

So, how can you be sure that you are being affected by bed bugs? Short for seeing the bed bugs yourself, the best way to identify bed bugs is by getting professionals involved. Only experts will be able to detect infestations and deal with them. Because bed bugs reproduce at a fast rate, what starts with the odd bed bug at home could develop into a full-on infestation. And only experts could identify what life cycle the bed bugs are at and break it because it gets any worse.

Experts will first assess the situation, then implement a course of action, and, finally, monitor the situation until they have ensured that the bed bugs population is fully eradicated.

But, the first thing you need to know about dealing with bed bugs is that you should check around your bedroom if you notice any signs of their presence. And if you see plenty of evidence, contact the professionals.

Juan Ramos

When people ask me why I write, I tell them that I do it so I can learn. The main reason I became a writer is my insatiable curiosity. My favorite part of writing is researching and learning about new topics.

I hold a BA in English Studies from the University of La Laguna and an MA in English literature from the Open University.

Cite this article as:
Juan Ramos. Do Bed Bugs Fly, Jump And Itch?, Science Trends, 2018.
DOI: 10.31988/SciTrends.25108
*Note, DOIs are registered Friday weekly and therefore may not work until then.

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