How Do Bed Bugs Spread? How Easily Do They Multiply & Move?

close up image of bedbug on skin

It’s good to know how bed bugs spread because many people accidentally bring them into their homes when buying second-hand furniture, luggage, bedding, or clothing. Don’t worry, though, we will show you how bed bugs spread into homes and what you can do to prevent an accidental bed bug migration.

Where can bedbugs be found?

Bedbugs do not just live in beds. They are spread by the multiple products they attach themselves to. They can be found in furniture, clothing, and bedding. 

When you buy used furniture or clothing their eggs could already be present and you wouldn’t even know it. They will spread throughout your house, contaminating multiple rooms. Bedbugs can even spread throughout building complexes such as hotels and apartments.

The bedbug can also be found in boxes, suitcases or items that are taken from one place to another. If you stay in a hotel that has a problem with bedbugs there is a very good chance you will bring some home with you in your suitcase.

If you are in an area infested with bedbugs they can transfer to your clothing. When you leave this area you are most likely taking some of them with on your clothes.

The CDC reports the bedbug is a master at hiding. With their body structure they fit into the smallest of areas and go for a long time without eating. Their main way to travel is with humans; by attaching themselves to our articles we travel with they move from place to place as we move about.

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Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Bedbugs eat by sucking our blood. They are most active at night and will bite any exposed skin they can find. Your neck, face, hands and arms are the most vulnerable for getting bit. The bite does not hurt so it doesn’t wake you to alert you the event is even happening. You will not know until the small, flat and raised bump appears on your skin.

The bumps will turn red, start to swell and itch. One odd thing about the bedbug bite is how they appear to be lined up on your skin. Infectious disease specialists call this the, “breakfast, lunch and dinner” sign.

Sometimes these bite marks will not show up for days. There are even reports of them taking up to 14 days to show after the bite has occurred. This unfortunate fact may make it difficult to verify where the bite occurred, especially if you have been traveling.

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The bedbug bite can also be mistaken for the mosquito or flea bite or even skin rashes. They have glands which secrete musty odors and may also leave fecal spots on the bed sheets or areas they are hiding in; so these may be good signs you are suffering from the bedbug bite.

It has not been proven that the bedbug carries infectious microbes. Researchers have thought the bedbug may be responsible for Chagas disease in some areas but it is inconclusive at this point. Studies are being conducted on this disease and others.

While the disease aspect has not been determined, some people have severe allergic reactions to the bed bug bites. No treatment is specified for the bites; if itching persists or allergic reactions occur you can use a topical steroid cream to ease symptoms.

How do you know if you have an infestation?

Bedbugs leave fecal stains, egg cases, and also shed their skins, all signs of bedbug infestations to look for. They also produce a sweet musty smell if they are present you may notice this on your linen or furniture. 

They can hide anywhere with their size; check behind picture frames, under wallpaper in your couch and any small crack or crevice.

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How to get rid of a bedbug infestation

It is not easy to get rid of bedbugs. Many times calling a professional pest control is your best answer. These pesky litter critters can actually live up to a year without eating so there is no way to eliminate their food source like with most household pests.


There are mattress bed encasements to place over your mattress and you can even spray an insecticide over it and then zip it closed to kill the bedbugs. There are also Active Guard Liners you can place on your beds that are very effective in preventing bedbugs.

There are several safe spray insecticides to use on a mattress: Cimexa Dust, Bedlam Aerosols, Temprid SC Insecticide and Steri-Fab Bed Bug Spray.

Baseboards and Furniture

There are several sprays and dusts on the market to spray or powder around areas you feel may be harboring bedbugs. Make sure to cover inside and under all suspected areas as they are small and will hide their whereabouts.

Bedbugs can found anywhere; even some 5-star hotels have been reported to have problems. Their presence is not determined by how clean a place is or isn’t. You do want to check for signs and if present- get rid of them if discovered.

Categorized as Bed Bugs

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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