Can Bed Bugs Jump Like Fleas?

Bed bugs and fleas are pretty similar insects. They both are tiny and drink blood. But famously, fleas are incredible jumpers. So many people may wonder whether bed bugs also behave like fleas, especially when it comes to jumping. 

Can bed bugs jump like fleas?

No, fortunately! Bed bugs are excellent crawlers, but they don’t jump or fly. These secretive insects are hiders, and are able to crawl quickly to escape detection.

In this article, we’ll discuss bed bug movement and more!

Can Bed Bugs Jump Like Fleas?

We have already established that bed bugs have no wings, can’t jump, and are very fast. Even with those tiny legs, bugs can walk quite quickly. They can easily walk three to four feet in one minute.

That is quite fast, considering their small size (an adult is about the same size and shape as an apple seed).

Their agile mobility allows them to move to another room in your home or apartment quickly. This also explains how bed bugs can easily move from your neighbor’s apartment to yours when they feel threatened, or from one hotel room to another.

You will find that they are already hiding out of sight by the time you switch on the light to see what is biting you (though rarely, some people can feel bed bugs crawling on them).

How Do Bed Bugs Spread?

There are several ways bed bugs can spread to cause an infestation at a most unlikely place where you don’t expect it. Bed bugs don’t cling to people like head lice and fleas, but people can transfer them.

While they can’t really spread from person to person, here are the most likely ways bed bugs spread around from place to place.

1. Guests

House guests are a very easy way for bed bugs to be transferred from one place to another without that person’s knowledge. A visitor to your home can unintentionally and unknowingly bring a bed bug to your home via their clothing.

Bed bugs have been known to cling to someone’s clothing or even hide in their handbag and then jump out onto furniture. This is, of course, by no fault of the visitor who might have picked it up while using public transport, going to a movie, or even catching an infested uber.

2. Yourself

If you use public transport to get around, you can unknowingly pick up a bed bug that might jump off of any of the other passengers. When you have an appointment with the doctor or dentist, you can easily pick up a bed bug from a fellow patient in the waiting room. 

Any other public place you visit is a potential opportunity for a bed bug to move from someone’s clothing to yours. It is a good idea to inspect your clothing, handbag, and other accessories after visiting a public place.

3. School Children

This may also be part of the public place scenario, but children can easily bring bed bugs home from school. It can come from a fellow student sitting next to your child; the bug can easily get into your child’s backpack.

The problem with children is that they also share toys that can have a stray bed bug clinging to them. It’s also not uncommon for kids to throw their clothes in piles. Bed bugs love piles of smelly clothes.

4. Secondhand Stuff and Gifts

Hittiing up your local thrift store or Goodwill can be super fun, but sometimes you can get more than you bargain for! This can include anything, such as a used bed frame, a dresser, or a couch, that someone might bring to a second-hand store without knowing there are bugs present.

Children also swap out toys with friends that can have a stray bug on them, especially soft fabric toys.

5. From Your Neighbor

This type of problem can easily occur if you live in an apartment block with many units around you. Your neighbor might discover they have a problem and start using commercial bug spray or bed bug bomb, which could potentially trigger a bug migration within the building.

These bugs will start spreading to neighboring apartments, and before you know it, you also have a problem. It is a good idea to have an agreement with your neighbors that they inform you of any infestations and the actions they are taking to deal with the infestations.

This way, there can be at least some manner of control to prevent the easy spreading of bed bugs.


Bed bugs don’t fly or jump like fleas, they just crawl around. But they are extremely effective at crawling and hiding, making a bed bug infestation one of the hardest to deal with.

If you’re infested with bed bugs, we strongly suggest you call a pro for help. It’s a slog that can go on for a year, so you’ll need some guidance and support!