Last updated on October 10th, 2022
Have you ever wondered what animals can climb walls? Looking at a lizard, how it climbs up a wall defying gravity? Well, several animals can climb up walls without falling.
Some can even climb downwards. But I, too, had not wondered about it before my nephew asked about it. Five-year-olds can be curious about the world around them.
So when I asked a friend who works as a zoologist about animals that can climb walls, she told me not just lizards, but several insects and even larger animals like frogs can climb walls.
Animals that can climb walls:
List of animals that climb walls:
Cockroaches can climb walls and smooth surfaces like glass, porcelain, granite, marble tops, and even smooth metal.
You will find that cockroaches never slip while they climb walls or when they walk on these smooth surfaces.
These insects can walk or climb on the walls with the help of their six legs. If you observe the foot of each leg, you will find that these resemble a ‘claw.’
It is this claw-like structure that helps the cockroach gain a better grip on the surface.
At the end of the tarsus of the feet of a cockroach is a metatarsus that has a pad-like structure.
This helps the cockroach grip the wall, and scamper away fast, all while not falling off.
Scorpions are excellent climbers. You will find that they can climb on rocks, trees, and other surfaces easily.
Scorpions can also climb walls when necessary, but unlike cockroaches, they cannot climb on smooth surfaces like marble and smooth metal.
The primary reason for this is the unconventional method that scorpions employ while climbing.
Scorpions climb with the help of their ungues, which are tiny pincers at the end of their feet. This helps them to grip the surface which they want to climb.
However, these pincers are only capable of gripping rough surfaces. Hence, you will find that scorpions can climb only reasonably rough walls.
But as the pincers cannot find any grip on smooth surfaces, you will never find scorpions trying to climb marble tops or granite surfaces.
Scorpions are one of the animals that can eat praying mantis due to their ability to climb and seek out these insects.
Possums can prove to be pests that can be difficult to get rid of.
They can live in your attic on the holes in the wall, and finding them can be pretty tricky.
Possums are known to be good climbers, and when threatened, they can climb walls extremely fast.
If you see a possum in your garden and try chasing it, you will find that it can climb the drywall in your garden in a matter of minutes.
They use their forelimbs and hind limbs while climbing and the claws in the forelimbs are used for gripping.
However, possums are not good at climbing smooth surfaces as these would not offer good gripping.
Possums can easily climb up a wall like a pole or a tightrope and make the holes or crevices in the wall its home.
Ants are one of the most familiar creatures that we see climbing walls. It is a common sight to find a line of ants trailing in or out of a wall crevice.
Although this means that there is a pest infestation in your home, it is also a moment for you to observe the movement of the creatures.
Ants are creatures that can’t die from falling because they can defy gravity with the help of the fine array of hair on their feet.
They also have tarsal segments on their feet and pretarsal adhesive pads like cockroaches.
When they climb the walls, their feet touch the wall’s surface, and the adhesive pads provide them with a firm grip.
This grip allows them to even move across smooth surfaces like glass segments.
So, for example, if the wall in your house has glass segments, you will find that the ants can cross these easily.
Like other bugs and insects, beetles have the unique ability to climb walls.
You will find that whenever you open a window and a beetle flies into the room, it will immediately gravitate toward the wall or floor.
The stiff hairs on the legs of the beetles have adhesive-like material on them.
This adhesive helps the beetles stick to the walls of your home.
One of the things that you will find unique about beetles is that they head toward the windows whenever they walk on the walls. It is because they are attracted to light sources.
If you are an amateur gardener and you think that by building a fence or a wall around your garden, you can keep slugs out, then you are mistaken because slugs can climb up and down walls.
Thus, walls are not sufficient to keep slugs out of your garden. Slugs secrete a substance that resembles mucus and is extremely sticky.
With the help of this sticky substance, slugs can climb up walls, which makes it easy for them to reach your tomato plants.
Moreover, this substance helps slugs adhere to the walls when they climb down.
This mucus appears in a trail when a slug moves across the wall. Finally, this mucus is sticky enough to help slugs adhere to smooth surfaces like marble, glass, and granite.
Crickets like cockroaches and beetles can easily climb walls. You will find that they can also climb on smooth surfaces.
However, crickets get frightened rather quickly, and hence you will find that they can quickly jump and climb from one part of the wall to another.
They climb walls like other insects by gripping the wall’s surface with their feet.
You will also find that crickets are best at climbing walls when it’s damp. The dampness of the wall makes it easier for the insect to adhere to it.
However, they cannot climb smooth surfaces like plastic or glass as friction is reduced. Otherwise, they most other walls they can easily climb.
It is common for frogs to climb vertical surfaces, provided that the wall is reasonably rough for them to cling to.
Frogs can climb walls with the help of the sticky pads at the bottom of their feet.
The sticky mucus that leaves a trail on the wall is caused by the secretions from these pads, which aid the frog in adhering to the walls.
Still curious about frogs climbing walls? We wrote an entire article on the subject matter which you can read over there.