A staggering 91,000 described species that’s how many insect species call the US home. What’s more, that count doesn’t include the 73,000 “undescribed” species found in the country.
Now, as helpful as the majority of these creatures are, about 1,000 known species in the world are serious pests. These include bed bugs, regarded as public health pests in the US.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are so common that 91% of homes in the US shelter them too.
Despite their prevalence though, many people still know little about them. That’s why up to now, many still ask the question “do bed bugs fly?” Many also believe that these pests only invade dirty homes.
So, what’s the truth then? Do these pests have the ability to fly and do they only affect unsanitary homes?
We’ll address all these questions and rumors about bed bugs in this post, so be sure to read until the end!
No, bed bugs don’t fly, as they are wingless insects.
However, they don’t mind crawling up to 100 feet or more in search of a food source.
Also, they may look like fleas, but these true bugs don’t have the same body structure. Bed bugs are incapable of jumping high from one host to another.
Now that you know bed bugs don’t fly nor they jump, let’s bust the other common myths about these critters.
Dirt and grime don’t attract bed bugs. It’s the warmth of human bodies that they find alluring. They’re programmed to go near this warmth, especially if there’s carbon dioxide present.
These two factors signal the presence of blood — their main source of nourishment.
Over 500 species of insects, spiders, and mites have become resistant to pesticides. Meaning, a typical household insecticide that kills mosquitoes may not kill bed bugs.
In fact, the common bed bug has long since shown resistance to the chemical deltamethrin. It’s the common pesticide used to kill moths.
Moreover, a recent study found that they’re developing resistance to two common pesticides. These include bifenthrin and chlorfenapyr.
They aren’t only a nuisance — they’re also a health threat. In fact, the federal government has already acknowledged these bugs’ health impacts.
While bed bugs don’t appear to transmit diseases, they carry more than 40 types of pathogens.
Also, recent research found that they harbor the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. This is the same parasite that the “kissing bug”, or triatomine, carries and transmits. It’s also the parasite known to cause the life-threatening Chagas disease.
Bed bugs are most active at night, but they can still bite you in the day. This is especially true for bed bugs that need feeding — they will come out regardless of the time of the day. If these unfed bugs detect your presence, they will come out of hiding.
Beds are the number one hiding places of bed bugs, as these offer them the closest spot to their meal. However, they also love to hide in anything that has a crack or crevice. These include the areas behind wallpaper, baseboards, and upholstered furniture.
If bed bugs can’t fly, how then are they able to “travel” and affect all states in the US? Could they actually be hiding in the clothes you’re wearing at the moment?
Here are the facts that will get these questions answered once and for all.
Can bed bugs live in clothes?
The simple answer is that it depends on whether you’re wearing these clothes. Bed bugs don’t like heat, so they prefer not to stay in clothes currently worn. They can hide in the clothes you keep in your cabinets and shelves though.
Speaking of clothes, bed bugs can also crawl into the stuff you keep in your luggage. This is one of the most common ways they travel, and how they can end up miles away from their initial location. In short, you can take bed bugs home with you if you stayed in a place with an infestation.
Up to now, scientists are still trying to figure out how long bed bugs can live without food. What they do know, however, is that these bugs can live from 20 to 400 days without a meal. In fact, some have even shown to survive longer in low temperatures.
Speaking of temperature, adult bed bugs do die when exposed to extreme heat. Extreme being 118.8 F for no less than 95 minutes. Bed bug eggs are even hardier, as only a heat level of 130 F can kill them after 90 minutes.
Whereas a temperature of more than 95 F is enough to kill the common cat flea.
Although bed bugs are everywhere, they are more prevalent in homes full of clutter. That’s because clutter provides them with more hiding spots. The more places they can hide in, the more difficult it is to completely get rid of them.
There you have it, the ultimate fact list that answers your question, “do bed bugs fly?” Even if they can’t, being wingless and all, they are still long-distance travelers. The fact that they can go for months without food makes them even more difficult to deal with.
That’s why it’s best to call in the pros as soon as you suspect you have bed bugs at home. The sooner you do, the lower your risks of a full-on bed bug infestation.
Worried that your beloved furry pals are bringing other types of pests into your home? Then be sure to check out our site’s Pets section for more guides like this!
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