do bed bugs climb walls
Kristina Davis

If you’ve encountered bed bugs, then I’m sure you’re asking, do bed bugs climb walls? If yes, then, why do they do so?

I, myself, have asked this question multiple times until I decided to learn about it.

So, in this guide, I’ll let out all the information I can to help you understand the reason for this behavior of bed bugs!

Yes, bed bugs climb walls and in some cases, they prefer staying in the crevices, cracks, and gaps in these walls if they aren’t feeding. They usually hide in these areas during the daytime, because people will be awake.

To help you understand this further, let me clarify the various reasons why bed bugs choose to climb on walls.

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Why Do Bed Bugs Climb Walls?

reason why bugs climb

Upon deep and serious research, there are actually 3 reasons why you see your bed bugs climbing on walls:

  1. They’re trying to head to the bed
  2. They’re retreating to hide
  3. They’re moving locations

They’re Heading For You

The number one reason you see them climbing up those walls is that they’re pathing for your bed.

Yes, they’re trying to look for ways how they can lurk on your bed so they can have their lovely dinner.

When I had bed bugs in my house, I noticed most of them being on walls during the afternoon, right before the sun sets, when they’re more difficult to spot.

They’re Retreating

bed bugs are retreating

Another reason, though, is they are trying to get away from the bed.

For instance, you could see them on the walls after making your bed in the morning or if you wash the sheets, cases, and blankets.

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It’s some type of defense mechanism for these critters to continue doing what they’re doing.

They’re Moving to a Different Location

Lastly, it could be because they’re trying to move to a different bed, upholstery, or furniture.

Just because they’re labeled and known as bed bugs doesn’t mean they only infest beds.

These nasty insects can live and thrive on carpets, rugs, sofas, chairs, and even cabinets and drawers, too!

Note: It can also be because they’re scouting for another place where they can hide and conceal themselves.

Do Bed Bugs Climb Walls That Are High?

why bedbugs climb high

Yes, they do! They would usually climb the walls that they sense to have any impurities and imperfections like holes and cracks, so they could stay and be comfortable there.

I’ve outlined the 3 different purposes on why they do so – it shouldn’t be a problem for you any longer.

They move at a slightly slower rate compared to other critters like fleas, crickets, and mosquitoes, but take it from me, they are not slow.

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You’ll almost always see them when they’re wall-climbing, only when they do it in the morning.

At night, especially when most of the lights are out, it’s going to be a challenge to even try to spot them.

Do Bed Bugs Crawl on Ceilings?

Yes, bed bugs can crawl and climb through ceilings as well. Their trajectory of movement is almost always upward because they never want to be seen.

Moreover, these components of the house are usually the ones that have creases, cracks, and gaps. I don’t know about you, but that’s the condition of my house – and so, I know.

They usually climb the walls going to the ceiling, down back to the wall, and the area they want to settle in on.

It can be a bed, sofa, pillows, blankets, comforters, and even the creases atop the bed frame.

The University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Department says that these critters, unlike fleas, do not fly or jump. So, they’ll crawl rapidly through walls, ceilings, and sometimes floors.

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Do Bed Bugs Climb on Walls During the Daytime? 

bed bugs climb wall daytime

Yes, they do climb the walls during the daytime and it’s not like they are allergic to sunlight!

Many of us, including me, believed that these nasty pests hate sunlight, making the reason why they’re nocturnal. However, that’s not what the case is.

They simply just choose to come out more during the night than daytime because this was how they evolved throughout the ages.

It goes well with how they live – they do not want to be seen, and they strike when no one else is watching.

But to clarify, it’s possible for them to climb the walls and ceilings during the daytime, too.

Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?

where bedbugs hide

I can’t stress enough how amazed I was at how good they are at hiding.

Naturally, their habitats would be the creases of bed frames, cracks on mattresses, as well as some impurities in walls, ceilings, and pillars.

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However, they’re not restricted to those. As a matter of fact, they can squeeze themselves in on any type of material as long as the environment is right for their survival.

Among the most common places where they hide include:

  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Curtains, Windowsills, and Door Frames
  • Cabinets, Drawers, and Dressers
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Wall and Ceiling Cracks
  • Unclean and Unwashed Fabric

How to Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Walls and Ceilings?

getting bugs out of walls

In the event that you notice a group of bed bugs climbing and crawling on your walls, it’s best to take care of them right away.

I usually get rid of the bed bugs I see crawling on the ceiling by swatting them or spraying insecticide directly on them.

But since you already know that your home is infested by these pests, you need to take action and make sure that each area of your home is free from those nasty critters.

Seal All Cracks, Gaps, and Spaces

One thing you can do to ensure that they wouldn’t be climbing up the walls again is to seal all different types of gaps, cracks, and spaces on your walls and ceiling.

Tip: Paint the walls, improve them, and then apply sealant on the parts where there are holes, cracks, and crevices. 

This will stop them from having any checkpoints or resting area when climbing their walls.

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Heat Steam All Possible Locations Where They Are

use a steamer

Another thing you can do is to use a steamer and steam the room/area where they are.

This is actually my favorite resolution because it’s dual-purpose – it helps get rid of bed bugs, and it dehumidifies the room!

Set your steamer to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (about 48 degrees Celsius) and leave it steaming for at least 90 minutes or 1 and a half hours.

Alternatively, you can choose to set it at 122 degrees Fahrenheit (about 50 degrees Celsius) and have it turned on for 30 minutes.

I usually go for the hour and a half mode because it also cleanses the overall atmosphere of the area.

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Contact Pest Control Service Companies 

contact pest control

Last, but most definitely not least is to contact a pest control service company to help you with the dilemma.

These companies will perform a complete and comprehensive cleanup of the entire property, guaranteeing that it will be free from all pests – not just bed bugs.

I make sure to have my house treated by these pest control companies at least twice a year.

This is enough to ensure that my personal space with my family wouldn’t be swarmed by annoying bed bugs.


related questions about bed bugs

Want to be in on some of the secrets about bed bugs climbing walls? Here are a few of the questions that are typically asked about it.

Can I Use a Steamer to Exterminate Bed Bugs on Walls?

Yes, in fact, bed bugs won’t survive high temperatures. You can use a steamer, setting it to 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius and they’ll be lifeless in minutes.

However, you can also set it to 122 degrees Fahrenheit or 50 degrees Celsius for half an hour, or 118 degrees Fahrenheit or 48 degrees Celsius for an hour and a half.

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Do Bed Bugs Go on Windowsills?

Yes, bed bugs usually go and rest on windowsills until nighttime, when they can travel back to your bed and feed.

Windowsills aren’t their only favorite location, they also go under the bed frame, the baseboard, as well as the corners of cabinets and drawers. 

How Do I Know if Bed Bugs Are Gone?

You’ll know that bed bugs are gone if you don’t see any of them for at least 2 weeks after having them treated by a professional or by yourself.

But that doesn’t mean that you’ll stop with all the processes and treatments.

Final Verdict

So why do bed bugs climb walls and ceilings? – They travel to and fro where you are. It is as simple as that, no need to confuse yourselves.

I, too, learned it the hard way but I was lucky enough to have gotten reliable information from experts and homeowners around the world.