Bed Bugs Crawling on Walls

Bed Bugs Crawling on Walls

Bed bugs can, not only, crawl on walls, they can actually live in walls. Bed bugs have special hooks on their feet that can grab onto the tiny cracks on your textured walls. Cracks that are large enough to fit a credit card is big enough for an adult bed bug to squeeze into. Aside from wall cracks, bed bugs can also hide behind wallpaper, sockets, and even baseboards.

Can bed bugs climb walls?

Yes, bed bugs can climb up walls. Bed bugs cannot jump nor can they fly, but they can certainly scale walls with no problem. Bed bugs like to live within six feet of their human host, so after feeding, they will crawl right back to their hiding spot to digest their blood meal, mate, and lay eggs.

If your bed is next to a wall, the bed bugs will climb on it and hide out in the cracks where they can reproduce and continue infesting your home.

Can bed bugs go through walls?

No, bed bugs cannot travel through walls by burrowing. This is because they do not have necessary anatomical parts to be able to do that. Their mouths are straw-like beaks that do not have lips or teeth that can bite and chew through hard materials like, say, termites. But if there is a hole in the wall that is large enough for the bed bug to go through, they can definitely crawl through it.

Bed bugs are known to seek out human hosts that are 40 feet away. They are drawn towards the host because of the carbon dioxide they exhale. 

Bed bugs have been observed to know how to flee from a treated room into an untreated room. This means that bed bugs exhibit complex survival skills and will travel as far as they need just to get away from pesticides. Bed bugs will crawl across walls, inside electrical outlets, wires, and anything along the walls to run off towards safety.

Can bed bugs climb fabric or wood?

Bed bugs crawl on fabric with ease, this is evident in their ability to traverse bedsheets to get to their human hosts. You can even say that they are experts at maneuvering fabric materials. The bed bug’s tiny, flat body can squeeze through the gaps between linen, while their feet can easily grip onto the fibers of any fabric material. This is also why luggage is one of the bed bug’s favorite things to hitch a ride on, because the material is very easy to hold on to.

Wood is another material that bed bugs scale with ease. When you touch wood, it might feel smooth to the touch, but remember that bed bugs have very tiny feet and the special hooks on their feet are designed to grab onto the small grooves on wooden surfaces. Hence, bed bugs have no problem climbing any wooden furniture.

Can bed bugs climb plastic or metal?

Plastic and metal are very smooth materials. Bed bugs may have a difficult time climbing either surface, but they can definitely do so. Some plastic and metal surfaces are textured and not entirely smooth, so in this case, bed bugs are more than equipped to climb them.

How do I know if there are bed bugs in my walls?

It can be quite difficult to catch a bed bug infestation in its early stages, this is due to the bed bugs size, sneakiness, and talent at hiding from humans. 

The larger the infestation becomes, the easier it is to catch bed bugs walking around.

The signs you should watch out for are blood stains on your bed sheets, and possibly your walls. There might also be bed bug feces that look like ink stains. Baby bed bugs shed their exoskeletons several times in order to become a full-grown adult, so be on the lookout for discarded bed bug shells. A sizable infestation tends to leave a distinct smell in the room they are in. It is a moldy and musty odor that is caused by the bed bugs’ scent glands.

If you notice any of these signs, it is best to get down and dirty and to inspect every nook and cranny of your walls to find all of the bugs’ hiding places.

How do I get rid of the bed bugs in my walls?

Vacuum your walls

Use a vacuum to pick up any stray bed bugs as well as to clean up any bed bug feces, shed shells, and eggs. If your wall can be washed with soap and water, that is ideal.

Vacuuming will help clean the hard to reach corners where there are presumably plenty of bed bugs.

Steam clean

If you or someone you know has a steam cleaner, use it on the cracks and gaps around your baseboards and electrical outlets along your walls. While the vacuum was able to remove most of the bed bugs, the steamer will penetrate the cracks and kill the bed bugs that were able to evade the vacuum.

The heat from the steamer is hot enough to kill both bed bugs and their eggs.

Bed bug spray

Use a contact spray bed bug killer on the corners of your walls and make sure to concentrate on the outlets and baseboards.

Seal off the bed bugs’ hiding places

Use sealants such as caulks and paint to cover cracks on your walls, floorboards, and baseboards to seal any opening that bed bugs can crawl into.


Bed bugs can crawl on and live in your walls. They have special hooks on their feet that allow them to grab onto the microscopic cracks and crevices of the wall’s surface. The wallpaper, electrical outlets, and baseboards also make for great hiding spots for bed bugs and their eggs.

If your bed is pushed right up against the wall, chances are there are bed bugs living in your walls because it is close enough to their human host, which is you.

Image: / John-Reynolds