Do Bed Bugs Jump from One Person to Another?

Do Bed Bugs Jump from One Person to Another?

No, bed bugs cannot jump nor fly from one person to another the way fleas do. Although it is possible for bed bugs to transfer from one person to another, it is through crawling from one person’s belongings onto another person’s belongings.

Bed bug infestations spread from room to room or house to house when even just a single pregnant female bed bug hitches a ride on a person and is taken back to that person’s home.

This lone bed bug can then start a colony all by herself.

How do bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs do not spread by jumping from one person to another, instead they hitchhike on one person until they reach another room or another house and then decide to set up shop in that new location. Bed bugs hitchhike by latching onto clothes, bags, toys, furniture, or any type of object that can be moved from place to place.

It is also possible that during the middle of hitchhiking on a person, the person rides on public transportation, so the bed bug crawls on the seat and then latches onto the next unsuspecting person that sits down.

If you are a huge fan of buying pre-loved items such as clothes and furniture, you can also risk bringing home some bed bugs because some thrift stores do not bother checking or treating their items before putting them on display. So, it is wise to treat all of the things you buy from thrift stores as though they all have bed bugs, just so you can be sure.

Another favorite place bed bugs love to hang out in are hotels. Bed bugs thrive in places with a lot of human traffic. One night in an infested hotel room is enough to take home a handful bed bugs home with you.

How do bed bugs reproduce?

Bed bugs start out as 1mm translucent to pearly white eggs. These eggs hatch after 10 days. The baby bed bug, or nymphs, will go through five nymphal stages until they become adult bed bugs. They will need to take in a blood meal between each stage in order to shed their exoskeleton. It takes the nymphs at least two months to become sexually-mature adults.

Do bed bugs jump from one person to another?

Bed bugs are quite talented at setting up their operations in new homes. Because of how small they are, they can go unnoticed when hitching a ride on people and their belongings. So even though bed bugs do not live on humans, they do use us as means of transportation to get from place to place.

Some people may think that bed bugs jump on people like fleas, but this is completely untrue. Jumping insects have powerful hind legs that allow them to jump great distances relative to their diminutive sizes. Bed bugs do not have these legs. So they do not have the ability to launch themselves over 100 times their body length.

Bed bugs can only crawl, but they can do so in a quick pace, three to four feet a minute to be exact. Their ability to crawl fast and being sneaky helps them hitchhike without being spotted.

How else are bed bugs and fleas different?

Sometimes people can jump the gun and start treating their homes for bed bugs without even confirming that the bugs they do have in their house are bed bugs. One of the insects most commonly mistaken for bed bugs are fleas. Knowing the difference between these two insects can greatly help you identify a bed bug infestation quicker.

The next time you find the insect in your house, trap and seal it with a piece of clear tape. This will allow you to inspect the insect and properly identify it.


Bed bugs are reddish-brown and are larger than fleas. They are around 5mm long. From above, their bodies are apple seed-shaped, flat, wide, and segmented. When bed bugs have just recently fed, they are round and bulbous due to the blood in their body. They have six legs and two antennae.

Fleas, on the other hand, are smaller at around 2mm long. They are also reddish-brown in color. Their bodies are much narrower when viewed from above. Their hind legs are long and powerful. Fleas do not have any antennae.


Bed bugs do not live on their host’s body. After feeding on their host for five to ten minutes, they prefer going immediately back to their harborage to digest their blood meal in peace. They like hiding out in your mattress, box spring, furniture, books, and clothes. If there is a dark crack and crevices within six feet of your bed, there are probably bed bugs hiding in it.

Fleas have to live on the bodies of their hosts to stay alive. This is why you have to constantly check your pet’s fur and skin for fleas. Fleas are able to jump and are quite tricky to catch because they know to hop away from you. They are able to jump as much as 100 times their body length.

How do I stop the spread of bed bugs?

The best way to stop the spread of a bed bug infestation is to make sure you catch the infestation in its early stages. The longer you allow the bed bugs to thrive, the more difficult they will be to control.

Stop the spread of bed bugs by always keeping your bedroom clean and free of clutter. Do not buy second hand furniture if possible. Wrap your mattress and boxspring in a plastic encasement. Make sure to vacuum your home regularly.

When you are traveling, inspect the room you are staying in before making yourself at home. Do not put your luggage on the bed or the floor. When you get home, wash all of your clothes from the trip in a hot wash cycle and place them in the dryer for 30 minutes to kill any hitchhiking bugs.


No, bed bugs do not have the long hind legs that jumping insects have to jump from one person to another. Instead, bed bugs crawl onto a person’s clothes or belongings to travel from one place to another. This is the bug’s way of making sure their species proliferates and spreads far and wide.