Do Bed Bugs Jump Around Like Fleas?

by | Jun 10, 2023 | 0 comments

bed-bugs and fleas are two common pests that can cause distress and discomfort. While fleas are known for their jumping abilities, you may wonder if bed-bugs possess similar capabilities. In this article, we will delve into bed-bugs and fleas to understand their movement and address the question: Do bed-bugs jump around like fleas?

Regarding pests, it’s essential to have accurate information to manage and control infestations effectively. bed-bugs and fleas are often mentioned together but have distinct characteristics and behaviors. By exploring their mobility, we can better understand how these pests navigate their environment.

bed-bugs vs. Fleas

Before discussing their jumping abilities, let’s briefly examine the nature of bed-bugs and fleas.

bed-bugs: Tiny insects known as bed-bugs, or Cimex lectularius in scientific terminology, ingest both human and animal blood. The organisms possess bodies that are flat and oval-shaped, exhibiting a reddish-brown coloration. bed-bugs have nocturnal activity patterns and conceal themselves behind cracks during daylight hours.

Fleas: Fleas belong to the order Siphonaptera and are parasitic insects that drink the blood of mamals. Their laterally compressed bodies allow them to navigate through animal fur efficiently. Fleas are known for their exceptional jumping abilities.

The jumping ability of fleas

Fleas are renowned for their incredible jumping skills, which allow them to traverse long distances and reach their hosts. Their hind legs are well-developed, enabling them to propel themselves up to 200 times their body length in a single leap. This remarkable ability is attributed to a specialized anatomical structure and powerful leg muscles.

Can bed-bugs jump?

Unlike fleas, bed-bugs do not possess the physical adaptations required for jumping. bed-bugs have short legs that are not built for leaping or jumping. Instead, they rely on alternative means to move around and find hosts.

bed-bugs’ mode of transportation

bed-bugs primarily rely on crawling as their mode of transportation. They have six legs and move relatively slowly compared to fleas. bed-bugs can crawl over different surfaces, including fabrics, wood, and smooth materials.

bed-bugs’ crawling behavior

bed-bugs exhibit distinctive crawling behavior. They move in a wave-like pattern, alternating between moving forward and backward. This behavior allows them to navigate through small crevices, making finding hiding spots and avoiding detection easier.

bed-bugs’ ability to climb

While bed-bugs may not jump or leap, they do have the ability to climb. They can use their legs to scale vertical surfaces, such as walls, furniture, and bedding. This climbing ability enables them to reach potential hosts and find new hiding places.

Did you know?

bed-bugs can be introduced into a home through used furniture, second-hand clothing, and even library books.

Differences in physical characteristics between bed-bugs and fleas

Apart from their mobility, there are other notable differences between bed-bugs and fleas:

  1. Size: Fleas are generally smaller than bed-bugs, with adults measuring around 1 to 4 millimeters, while adult bed-bugs are typically around 4 to 5 millimeters long.
  2. Body shape: Fleas have laterally compressed bodies, aiding their jumping abilities. bed-bugs, on the other hand, have flat, elliptical-shaped bodies.
  3. Coloration: Fleas are often dark brown or black, while bed-bugs are reddish-brown.
  4. Wing presence: Fleas have well-developed hind legs and can jump due to the absence of wings. bed-bugs, however, do not have wings.
  5. Host preference: Fleas primarily infest animals like dogs and cats, while bed-bugs prefer human hosts.

How bed-bugs move from one place to another

bed-bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can move from one location to another by latching onto objects or people. They can hide in clothing, luggage, furniture, and other items, allowing them to spread and infest new areas.

Factors that contribute to bed-bug infestations

bed-bug infestations can occur due to various factors, including:

  1. Travel: bed-bugs can be picked up while traveling and brought back home unknowingly.
  2. Shared living spaces: Close proximity to infested areas, such as apartments or dormitories, increases the risk of bed-bug infestations.
  3. Secondhand furniture: Acquiring used furniture without proper inspection can introduce bed-bugs into a home.
  4. Lack of awareness: Insufficient knowledge about bed-bugs and their hiding habits can make detecting and preventing infestations challenging.

bed-bugs’ preference for crawling and hiding

adult bed-bug close up

bed-bugs are primarily nocturnal creatures that prefer to crawl and hide in tight spaces. They seek out crevices in mattresses, furniture, baseboards, and cracks in walls, where they can remain undisturbed during the day. This behavior contributes to their survival and ability to avoid detection.

Misconceptions about bed-bugs’ jumping ability

There are misconceptions surrounding bed-bugs’ jumping abilities, often due to their association with fleas. However, it is important to understand that bed-bugs do not possess the physical attributes required for jumping. Their crawling and climbing abilities are their primary means of movement.

Signs of a bed-bug infestation

Recognizing the signs of a bed-bug infestation is crucial for early detection and prompt action. Some common indicators include:

  1. Bite marks on the skin, often arranged in a line or cluster.
  2. Tiny bloodstains on bedding or nearby furniture.
  3. Dark spots or stains on mattresses or other surfaces could be bed-bug excrement.
  4. The presence of discarded bed-bug skins or molted exoskeletons.
  5. A distinct, sweet, musty odor, often smelling like raspberries.

Preventing and treating bed-bug infestations

Prevention and early intervention are vital in managing bed-bug infestations. Here are some preventive measures and treatment options:

  1. Regularly inspect and vacuum areas where bed-bugs can hide, such as mattresses, furniture, and baseboards.
  2. In order to stop bed-bugs from getting into or hiding in your mattress or box spring, you should use a protective encasement.
  3. Reduce the clutter in living spaces to minimize potential hiding spots for bed-bugs.
  4. If infestation occurs, consider professional pest control services to eliminate bed-bugs effectively.
  5. Infested linens, clothes, and other washables should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat to eliminate the bed-bug problem.


While fleas are known for their jumping abilities, bed-bugs rely on crawling and climbing to move from place to place. Understanding the differences in mobility and behavior between bed-bugs and fleas can help dispel misconceptions and aid in effective pest management.

By implementing preventive measures and taking prompt action in the case of an infestation, you can protect your home and ensure a bed-bug-free environment.


Can bed-bugs jump onto beds or furniture?

No, bed-bugs cannot jump. They rely on crawling and climbing to access beds and furniture.

Are bed-bugs capable of jumping long distances?

No, bed-bugs do not possess the physical adaptations required for jumping long distances.

Can bed-bugs infest pets like fleas do?

While bed-bugs primarily feed on human blood, they can infest pets if their preferred food source is not available.

Do bed-bugs bite and jump away quickly?

bed-bugs do bite, but they do not jump away quickly. After feeding, they tend to crawl to nearby hiding places.

Do bed-bugs prefer certain types of fabrics or surfaces?

bed-bugs are opportunistic pests and can infest various types of fabrics and surfaces. They are particularly drawn to materials that provide hiding spots, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture.

Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


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