How Many Legs Do Bedbugs Have?

How Many Legs Do Bedbugs Have?

Capable of disappearing in the blink of an eye, bedbugs are the Houdinis of the insect kingdom. Found lurking in the tightest of spaces—mattresses, headboards, baseboards, bedside and dresser drawer joints, edges of the carpet, and even cracks in the wall—these tiny, six-legged bloodsuckers can be quite disruptive to your nightly sleep routine. 

It’s important to equip yourself with the important facts so you can properly identify bedbugs and get the professional help you need to eradicate them. If you already suspect you have a bedbug problem, don’t wait—contact our field experts at Moxie Pest Control for quick and reliable assistance so you can get rid of bedbugs ASAP. 


Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius, Cimex hemipterus) are small parasitic insects that belong to the Cimicidae family. Despite their small size, typically ranging from 5 to 7 millimeters in length in fully formed adults, bedbugs are notorious for being active at night and emerging from their hiding spots to feed on the blood of people and mammals while they sleep. 

These pests thrive in residential homes and can be challenging to get rid of due to their ability to hide in tight spaces and survive for long periods of time without a blood meal. In fact, depending on the temperature and humidity of the area in which they live, bedbugs can survive without food for anywhere from 20 to 400 days.


Bedbugs, bat bugs, swallow bugs, and poultry bugs all belong to the Cimicidae family, suborder Heteroptera. Species of the Cimicidae family equal to less than 100 described species worldwide, even though they are well known for their temporary habitats and unusual reproduction style, otherwise referred to as traumatic insemination

These interesting characteristics combined have caused bedbugs to be of great interest in the fields of biology and ecology. 

Since they can affect both you and any animals living in your home, there are some common types of bedbugs you should become familiar with:

  • Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus: Cimex lectularius is located primarily in cool and temperate areas worldwide, while Cimex hemipterus can be found in tropical or subtropical areas. 
  • Leptocimex boueti: This type of bedbug is commonly found in areas of West Africa and South America


Interesting Fact: Did you know that bedbugs were practically eradicated from developed civilizations in the mid-20th century? Then, at the beginning of the 21st century, they came back—with a vengeance. Infestations have been reported from all over the world. Scientists continue to research the increased numbers of these household pests to better understand their behavior and habitats on a global level. 



Because bedbugs are infamous for being small and having the ability to hide in the tightest of spaces within your home, identifying the anatomy of a bedbug can help people better understand how they function. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the basic parts of a bedbug:

  • Antennae: As in many other insects, the two antennae are used as sensors to guide bedbugs toward their next host. 
  • Proboscis: The proboscis is the small tube mouthpart bedbugs use to draw blood from their host. When it is not being used, it can hide under the insect’s mouth. When it’s time to feed, the tube becomes elongated. 
  • Eyes: Bedbug’s eyes consist of repeating segments known as ommatidia. They are highly sensitive to movement. 
  • Head: Bedbugs have short, broad heads right above their thorax.
  • Thorax: The thorax is the main segment of the body where the head and legs attach.
  • Wing Pads: Wing pads are only found in adult bedbugs. They represent where wings would typically develop as the bedbug matures. Bedbugs today do not have wings or the ability to fly. 
  • Legs: Bedbugs have three pairs of legs, which equals six legs in total. These legs play a significant role in their ability to travel and function on a daily basis. 
  • Abdomen: There are 11 segments within the abdomen of a bedbug. These segments will expand to allow more blood to be consumed and stored, causing the shape of the bedbug to appear swollen or balloon-like. If the abdomen has a pointed tip towards the rear, it is a male bedbug. If the abdomen displays a rounded tip toward the rear, it is a female bedbug. 


Like other species that belong to the class Insecta, bedbugs have three pairs of legs—six legs in total. Understanding the structure and function of bedbugs’ six legs reveals how these tiny pests can infest so quickly and thoroughly. 


Bedbugs have three pairs of two legs, totaling six legs in all. Each individual leg has several segments; a coxa (base), trochanter, femur, tibia, and tarsus. The tarsus is the part of the leg that contains small claws used to grip surfaces


A bedbug’s six legs are used primarily for mobility and navigation purposes. Having six legs allows them to crawl quickly and on a variety of surfaces, whether that be bedding, furniture, clothing, walls, or different types of flooring. Since they do not have wings and are unable to jump, a bedbug’s six legs are its sole means of transportation.


Bedbugs are known for their ability to move quickly and hide in tight spaces when trying to remain undetected. The legs of a bedbug are unique in that they are able to flatten against their body, as well as help them cling to any surface they are traveling on.  


As you might expect, a bedbug’s legs greatly affect its sensory reception. Tiny hairs on the legs help them detect things like heat and moisture, even when it’s coming from their human or animal host. Their ability to receive sensory information comes in handy when detecting the location of their next blood meal.


If you suspect you have a bedbug infestation or a pest infestation of another kind, don’t hesitate to contact your pest control company. 

At Moxie Pest Control, our professional field experts provide swift, customized solutions to rid you of any pest infestations. We’re here to help you remove unwanted insects and other bothersome critters so you can feel confident and comfortable in your home again. Don’t let these sneaky bloodsuckers rob you of your peace of mind any longer. Contact us today for a free quote. 


Author Bio

Courtney Enzor has worked in the pest control industry for about a decade. From helping you build a fly trap to giving you the best tips for identifying various bugs, she loves answering all your pest-related questions and sharing her pest-related expertise through writing. At the end of the day, she hopes her content will help people avoid mishaps and keep families happy and healthy!

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