How Many Legs Do Bed Bugs Have?

We live in a world that is well occupied by living organisms. From the birds in the air to the deep seas and most definitely to the dryland insect world. It cannot be denied that there are millions of species of insects and while some of them are harmless, others are not and bed bugs happen to fit into the nuisance category.

Knowing what bed bugs’ strengths are and how they look like will put you at an advantage in your fight towards achieving a bed bug free home. With that in mind, let us look at one of these parasites’ strengths – the legs.

So how many legs do bed bugs have? Bed bugs have six legs. A pair is attached to the joint between the pronotum and the wing pad. This pair is the shortest of all six legs and it faces forward, toward the head. The second pair is positioned right below the wing pad, this pair faces outward and is slightly longer than the first pair. The final pair is located on the abdomen, it is the longest set of the three and faces backward, towards the rare of the bed bug.

How Many Legs Do Bed Bugs Have

A bed bug is flat in appearance and so the legs seem to be attached to its sides. Their strategic placement gives the bug an advantage of the speed which aids in their heightened hitchhiking and hiding abilities.

Most people in today’s world still have not experienced bed bugs and once they start getting bitten in the middle of the night, they will be shocked as they discover their new housemates and what they are capable of. This article goes in-depth on how bed bugs look and covers what bed bugs can do with their neatly arranged legs.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are flat, oval in shape and have a brown-reddish in color, in fact, they look like apple seeds. A baby bed bug (nymph) is tiny and almost translucent in color. An adult bed bug grows to an average of 5-7mm and it is light brown in color but changes to a dark red shade after it feeds.

The body also balloons up to look like a capsule after feeding. Much like most insects, bed bugs have three segments on their bodies. The head, pronotum and abdomen which are accompanied by the six legs that spread out to the side of the bug.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like

Knowing what these parasites look like will aid you in your bed bug fight. Our homes have several creepy crawlies at any given time and you do not want to spend time trying to eliminate insects that are harmless and unaware of what your real blood-sucking enemy looks like.

How Fast do Bed Bugs Move?

Pretty fast! Bed bugs move an average of four feet per minute. This is quite fast, a characteristic that when coupled with their tiny bodies gives these pests an unfair advantage over homeowners. They are able to climb into our clothes, hide and hitchhike without detection.

This speed also enables them to traverse through most surfaces found around the home; walls, floors, wood, ceiling, beddings, fabric, skin, etc.

Can Bed Bugs Jump?

It may seem like bed bugs have a set of super legs that aren’t limited in any way but that isn’t the case. They have a few limitations and one of them is the fact that bed bugs cannot jump. For that to happen, the legs would have to be located directly below the bed bug and not on the side. Picture a grasshopper and notice how the legs are placed in a strategic position (directly below the body) which only calls for a little bend, push and the jump will happen.

Lacking the ability to jump slows down the bed bugs’ abilities to cause even more havoc. Imagine the amount of damage that would be experienced if these pests had the ability of jumping from one place to the next as they so desired? Elimination would be close to impossible.

Can Bed Bugs Fly?

Can Bed Bugs Fly

Bed bugs belong to the family of small parasitic insects (Cimicidae) that feed on warm-blooded animals, this means that bed bugs have functionless wing pads. Another limitation to this already very privileged bug is the fact that they have no wings and therefore lack the ability to fly.

While these bugs can move really fast from the clutches of danger and just as easily hide away into miniature crevices, it still feels good to learn that bed bugs cannot fly. Flight, would easily increase their odds of survival which is already high, given their fast-paced legs and hide and seek abilities.


Bed bugs cannot jump or fly but they sure can crawl. This mode of transport takes them from room to room, apartment to apartment and even into your clothes to their next destination.

Bed Bug Exterminators

Bed bugs give off the illusion that they are easy to beat. I mean how can we as full-grown humans be challenged by insects that require squinting our eyes to easily spot them? Having facts about these parasites will help greatly in your quest to completely eliminate them and knowing what they look like puts at an advantage of winning the war against them on your side.

List of Sources

Bed Bug Photos – The State University of New Jersey

Potter, M. Bed Bugs. Extension Entomologist, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus (Bed Bugs), University of Florida

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