Can bed bugs crawl on the ceiling?

My upstairs neighbor let me know they had bed bugs and I’m officially freaked out. I think I saw a bug crawling on my ceiling, but I didn’t think bed bugs were found on ceilings. Can bed bugs crawl on your ceiling?

Emily Maracle · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Yikes! At least your neighbor let you know—often, people have no idea! While it can be rare, bed bugs do crawl on ceilings.
Bed bugs can crawl on any surface that has texture as they have hooked feet, including:
  • Furniture legs
  • Bed posts
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Curtains
Bed bugs can’t crawl on anything incredibly smooth like glass, certain types of plastic, or metal.
Since your upstairs neighbor has bed bugs, it’s incredibly likely the bed bugs have traveled through their floor and down into your ceiling and apartment. As stressful as that is, you’ll want to take action immediately.
If you haven’t already, let your landlord know about the problem and that you think you may have bed bugs. While it depends on your lease and where you live, your landlord will likely need to hire an exterminator to fumigate for bed bugs since it’s spread to more than one unit.
In the meantime, consider purchasing a mattress protector and post interceptors. Interceptors can protect your bed from bed bugs as they lift your bed off the ground, and their smooth surface makes it difficult for bed bugs to climb.
While a
renters insurance policy
won’t cover you for bed bugs, it can protect you and your belongings from other types of damage.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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