This is one of the many myths and misconceptions that will often get perpetuated. While the answer to can bed bugs fly is No, it could also be yes. Although the bed-bug has no wings that actually work, it does have vestigial front wings that are more like pads.
Bedbugs cannot fly in the normal sense of the word. They don’t take flight by themselves but they are well known to travel in luggage or clothing that has been in infested areas. They can fly in First Class, Coach, or in the luggage section of the plane.
When we travel we carry a bed bug kit of sorts with us. We bring a flashlight, bed bug traps, pillow encasement and mattress encasement. You may want to consider a crib encasement if your child is young and in a crib.
Bedbugs typically want to hide during the daylight hours and normally try to take a blood meal at night. Bed bugs don’t jump on passersby but they can attach to just about anything that you drop onto an infested area. Luggage (here is an interesting product.. heated luggage to try and help combat bed bugs) on an infested bed or clothes dropped on that hotel bed can be a one way ticket back to your home for the bed-bug. Since the mating process is very traumatic for the female bed bug, she typically will try and remove herself from the colony. This often means that the bed bug that climbed into your baggage is a pregnant female who is looking for a new opportunity to colonize. The female can store the male bed bug sperm long term and can actually become pregnant once she finds a suitable location.
While they do not have operable wings, the question can bed bugs fly is actually …yes. They fly all over the world all the time. They travel from country to country and city to city. They can infest poor homes, nice hotels, cheap hotels, college dorms, your house, your neighbors’ house, or anywhere they find a suitable place. They do want a blood meal in order to be able to develop and populate. This means that they are looking to be near a food source such as a human or animal. (they do prefer humans).
Can bed bugs fly…the answer is actually …no. They cannot achieve flight by themselves. Only by hitchhiking on an unsuspecting traveler or host can they actually fly. And fly they do. As reported cases of bed-bug infestations climb, their numbers are obviously increasing.
Make sure to always bring a small flashlight with you when traveling in order to inspect the bed and the room where you will be staying. Look in cracks of beds, wallpaper, headboards, floorboards, box springs, and the mattress and bedding. Should you find bed bugs, ask for another room and inspect it too. If you are uncomfortable, move on to another hotel…but you have to inspect it too. While the answer to the question Can bed bugs fly, is no…they still do travel very well.