Bed bugs and bed bug infestations have seen a massive resurgence over the last 50 years. They are incredibly mobile and are difficult to eradicate, which makes infestation a nightmare. How can bed bugs travel so quickly, it seems they infest an entire city in no time!
Do bed bugs fly or have wings?
No, bed bugs do not fly, nor do they have wings. They are hitchhikers, and extremely successful at establishing their colonies in new areas.
- Bed bugs travel passively, thus traveling everywhere as people move around
- Their parasitic nature creates grounds for movements
- They have six legs, which enable them to crawl swiftly
We’ll go over how bed bugs spread, even if they don’t have wings!
Do Bed Bugs Fly or Have Wings?
As the image above shows, bed bugs do not have wings, but they have six legs they can crawl around on. However, their body shape sometimes looks like it has wings folded up. This is not the case, bed bugs have small stripes across their backs, but no wings.
Bed Bug Evolution
Interestingly, the ancestors of bed bugs were small insects that had wings and could fly. As such, they became easy prey to bats, dragonflies, and other creatures that feed on small insects.
In turn, they took to living in the caves where the bats roosted (even now, bed bugs are not found outside). Here, they were safe from the elements and had hosts they could consistently feed on.
While in this state, bats kept consuming the bed bugs. A bat would devour one of these bugs when crawling or feeding. To be safer, they had to change. They mastered hiding in the caves’ crevices and flattening their bodies to achieve. But their wings continued to obstruct the path.
Since the bugs didn’t need to fly anywhere, their wings kept getting scratched off.
Bugs without wings from birth gained an edge over time. They would be safe crawling inside because they could squeeze through small openings. These same bugs began feeding on men when people began inhabiting caves.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Bed bugs are the insect world’s hitchhikers, attaching themselves to luggage, fabric, wood, second-hand goods, and whatever they can find. They travel along with these objects and move from place to place.
When the sun goes down, they come out of their hiding spots like mini-vampires and suck the blood of anyone nearby.
The distinction between adult and immature bed bugs is one of the most important things to remember. A mature bed bug has antennae, six legs, and a brown and flat body about 0.6cm long. An adult bed bug resembles an apple seed in appearance.
On the other hand, a bed bug nymph is small and translucent or white in hue, because it has not yet fed on blood. After feeding, it will turn brown and molt multiple times before it reaches adulthood.
An adult bed bug resembles an apple seed in appearance.
1. Why Do Bed Bugs Look Like They Have Wings?
Bed bugs have wing-like pads (vestigial wings) that are commonly mistaken for wings. These two plate-like protrusions can be seen right behind the bed bug’s head. So, wouldn’t it make sense to assume they have wings if they have wing pads?
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs formerly had wings and could fly. They stopped producing wings when their need for them diminished over time.
They can thrive without them today.
2. Where Can You Find Bed Bugs?
Generally, a bed is the natural habitat of bed bugs. But they can also occupy many other locations like seat cushions, curtains, floorboards, chairs, dirty laundry, and other furniture.
One of its most surprising characteristics is that this insect may reside in electrical outlets. Therefore, if you open an electrical outlet cover, bed bugs might be hiding beneath it. Note: do not stick anything in the outlet to find out!
One of its most surprising characteristics is that this insect may reside in electrical outlets. Therefore, if you open an electrical outlet cover, bed bugs might be hiding beneath it.
The space between a home’s walls and the ceiling is another location where you can find bed bugs.
They can enter and live in many spots you wouldn’t anticipate them to be based on the name “bed” bug.
3. Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Examine your things thoroughly if you believe you have come into contact with bed bugs, and act right once because they can grow and spread. Here are apparent warning signs:
- You notice bugs. You might identify the bugs which are the size of an apple seed
- Spots on your skin. The shoulders and arms are typically where bed bugs bite. These bites appear as lines (sometimes zig-zag) and are red, itchy, and painful
- Strong odor. When present in significant populations, bed bugs emit pheromones. They smell like damp towels and have a musty odor
- You can see evidence of their presence. That includes; blood stains on your bedding and droppings on the floor or your bed. You might also observe shells because they molt up to five times before becoming adults.
How to Eliminate Bed Bugs
You must take immediate action if you detect signs of a bed bug infestation. It is a nightmare, and will consume your life. You’ll be terrified of spreading the infestation to friends, and you won’t know where to sleep. You feel vulnerable. It’s terrible.
If you can possibly do it, call a professional for help. You’ll need the support, this will be a slog!
If you can’t afford a pro, here are a few recommendations for ways to manage your infestation
1. A Bed Bug Mattress Encasement by SureGuard
- It is an effective bed bug encasement
- It is waterproof and also serves as a mattress cover
- 100% Cotton top free of phthalates and other harmful chemicals, It has an Invisi-Zip and SureSeal enclosure to prevent bed insect ingress
2. Bed bug traps from HARRIS
- It is a chemical-free way to detect bed bugs’ presence
- It catches additional pests and bugs
- It can easily detect two to three rooms
3. Bed Bug Interceptors
- It is a blocker that contains bed bugs and works well against other pests like spiders
- It is a chemical-free way to prevent bed bugs
- It is easy to apply
Bed bugs cannot leap onto you or fly inside your home because they lack wings. Most often, these pests will enter your home by hitchhiking on your clothing or other items you carry.
Indirect contact with someone with a bed bug attached to them is the most common way bed bugs spread from one host to another. They can spread in movie theaters, in your child’s school, even in an Uber!
Thorough inspections will help you from unintentionally spreading them.