Do Bed Bugs Play Dead?

No, bed bugs do not pretend to be dead. If a bed bug is motionless and appears to be dead, it most likely is.

This presumption is probably based on situations where a homeowner believes that bed bugs have been eliminated only for a reinfestation to happen a few weeks later. Perhaps they think that bed bugs only go into hiding after being sprayed with a pesticide. However, there is no proof that bed bugs are acting dead; thus, that is not the case.

Do bed bugs have a way of defending themselves?

No, bed bugs don’t have a way to protect themselves. When threatened, some insects can release an odor. They become unattractive to predators because of the secretions covering their bodies.

Other insects have special glands, but bed bugs do not. Bed bugs cannot produce these smells. The gland that makes it is located in the insect’s abdomen, but because bed bugs are built to have their bodies filled with blood, they have evolved to favor blood storage over the gland that produces defense.

When consumed by their predators, some insects can potentially be poisonous. Brightly colored insects make this clear.

When eaten, bed bugs are not toxic. Predators can consume a lot of bed bugs without suffering any consequences.

Also, bed bugs lack physical attributes that enable them to repel predators. They don’t have any teeth or claws.

The only option for a bed bug to survive when predators are around is to flee or, better yet, stay inside its hiding place until they are certain there are no predators around.

Are bed bugs an insect that can play dead?

Bed bugs don’t play dead, though. There isn’t a single study out there that even remotely implies such a thing.

People believe that bed bugs behave strangely because after being sprayed, even though many of them are destroyed, some will still be alive. This is so that pesticides can kill some bed bugs before others.

bed bugs an insect

The fact that you were probably certain that all bed bugs had been eliminated but then began seeing new ones a few weeks later has led you to assume that those bed bugs merely pretended to die is another reason why people think bed bugs play dead. The more likely explanation is that not all of the bed bugs in your home were eradicated. The ones that were well-hidden made it through the treatment and were able to resurrect the infestation.

When treated with a pesticide, do bed bugs become limp?

Bed bugs do not go into a zombie state after being sprayed with pesticides. When they detect the pesticide, they become more animated and nervous. This is a result of their survival instinct. They will flee and hide if they become aware of anything unusual.

In other cases, it takes weeks for pesticides to eradicate bed bugs. Pesticides do not always kill bed bugs right away.

Why don’t bed bugs go limp?

Said, playing dead has not evolved in bed bugs. They descended from bat bugs. These insects inhabited caverns and subsisted on bat blood. Bat bugs would lose control of the bat and fall to the cave floor if they developed the habit of acting dead. The ascent back to the cave roof would be challenging for them. This article has appeared on

In all honesty, bed bugs have nothing to gain by pretending to be dead. They will still be eaten by the predator or crushed by the person even if they stop moving and pretend to be dead. The individual will vacuum or sweep the bed insect and put it outside even if they believe the bed bug is dead.

What insects pretend to be dead?

Other insects have also been noted to act lifeless. Giant water bugs, robber flies, weevils, ladybugs, and even caterpillars are among them. Some of these insects may stiffen and remain still, while others will even drop off the leaf they were clutching to advertise their demise.

How can you identify a dead bed bug?

Examining a bed bug’s motions is the best approach to determine if it is alive or dead. Even if you contact a dead bug, it will remain entirely still.

Live bed bugs can remain motionless in their hiding spots, but they will skitter and flee if you touch them. They’ll search for a different hiding spot.

Do bed bugs that are dead shriveled up?

Yes, that is among the easiest ways to distinguish between a living and a dead bed bug.

Even when they are motionless, bed bugs never move onto their backs and remain there for a long time. Live bed bugs will make every effort to maintain their upright position.

The longer bed bugs are dead, the more they will dry out. Since they have completely dried out, they will curl and shrivel.

when bed bugs are dead

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you know when bed bugs are dead?

Dead bed bugs will appear shriveled and curled up after treatment, with their legs and occasionally their heads tucked into the center of their bodies.

Why am I finding dead bed bugs?

Maybe because the bedbugs are changing their skin, or you managed to eliminate the bed bugs. However, be aware that the bedbug’s exoskeleton may have been knocked off. Before reaching maturity, bed bugs go through a process known as moulting, where they must lose their exoskeleton or skin at least five times.

What draws bed bugs out of hiding?

  • Dim the lights or turn them off completely. Nocturnal feeders dislike light and exposure.
    occupy the space. Bed bugs are aware of human presence. Additionally, it would set off their radars considerably more if the same humans were dozing off.
  • Put a heat source in the space. It would be a clever approach to entice bed bugs outside with a gadget set at the same temperature as body heat attracts bed bugs.
  • Release some carbon dioxide close to where they are hiding. This gas attracts bed bugs because it suggests that someone is sleeping close. Normally, when a person goes to sleep deeply, they exhale a lot of carbon dioxide.
  • Lastly, agitate the locations where bed bugs typically conceal themselves. Clean up all the carpets, take off all the clothing from the floor, raise the drapes, invert the mattress, and air the bedding outside.

Can dead bed bugs come back to life?

Yes, certain insects can disguise themselves as dead animals. This includes certain species of ants, bees, wasps and crickets. However, dead bed bugs are actually dead and can’t come back to life.

dead bed bugs


Because they have not developed to keep this tendency, bed bugs do not play dead. Additionally, bed bugs do not benefit from acting dead around a threat. They will still be eaten by predators and squished or vacuumed by people.

There is almost no defense mechanism present in bed bugs. When faced with danger, all they can do is flee and hide.

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