How Do You Get Bed Bugs In The First Place


Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

How Do You Get Bed Bugs in The First Place?

How do you get bed bugs in the first place? In this post, I am going to show you how exactly bed bugs get into your house based on the scientific studies from the experts.

Here, you will find the list of places that have great probability as the source of bed bugs infestation in your house. In fact, the list of bed bugs places below are suggested by experts based on their studies.

Now it is time to show you where exactly the first places of bed bugs that get into your house.

Many people do believe that bed bugs come from a very dirty place. It is true some insects love to live there, but not for bed bugs. It is clearly a misunderstanding. They can live anywhere as long as they can get blood as a food source. So, they are not interested in rot.

As same as mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs look for blood as meals. Unfortunately, the problem is that bed bugs cannot fly like mosquitoes in searching for food sources. Also, bed bugs are not the ticks that can live in their host. So, they do need a very safe place to hide and near the food sources. That is why you can easily find bed bugs in bedroom.

In relation with the bed bugs’ places, Rahlenbeck et al. in 2016 states that bed bugs have conquered quite diverse locations, ranging from hospitals, hotels and homes, to trains, cruise ships, and even airplanes. Most commonly, bed bugs travel in comfort as stowaways in luggage, although they can be transferred via furnishing and other belongings, as well by spreading to adjoining properties.

Therefore, it can be concluded that beg bugs can actually come from any place as long as their host is near and reachable. It means that bed bugs can live anywhere even you can find bed bugs in electronics. Here, Doggett et al. 2011 states that in addition to homes and hotels, infestations are appearing in the office and retail environment, in the health and transport sectors, and in cinemas; in fact, they can be found in almost any location where people sleep or sit.


In relation with bed bugs infestation in hotel, Potter et al. in 2015 find out that while infestations are most common in homes and apartments, three fourths (74%) of pest management professionals in the United States also report finding bed bugs in hotels and motels.

It sounds a bit strange but hotel and any other rented rooms are the perfect places to check when you are curious about how do bed bugs get into your house. Here, hotel as a rented room is a place where people from different background come and stay. Thus, any pests can possibly follow them and stay there.

So, it is the reality that the bed bugs infestation in hotel does exist. But, there is a main problem toward this. It is hard to find out the hotel that will tell the truth about bed bugs infestation. Thus, you do really need to consider and even find out some reviews before booking a hotel. If you are lucky enough, you will find a cheap hotel with high quality.

Then, to prevent bed bugs in hotel, Bernardeschi et al. in 2013 suggests at least two things you need to do: 1.) When sleeping in a hotel, even an upmarket establishment, lift mattresses to look for bed bugs or black spots, and 2.) Do not leave luggage in dark places, near furniture, or close to your bed. Before going to bed, close suitcases and put them in the bathroom—in the bathtub or shower stall.

Therefore, it is important to always check your bed before sleeping and keep your stuffs far away from bed. Here, bathroom is the perfect place because bed bugs do not live there and also the bathtub is slippery for them to crawl.


The existence of bed bugs in hospital is quite surprising because this place must be very clean. Hospital is not likely the place where bed bugs stay and live. But, if you ask pest-management companies about this situation, you will find that this problem is true.

Here, bed bugs infestations in hospital do not come from the inside of hospital but from the outside. In relation with this problem, Don McCarthy as cited by Jasmine Williams in 2013 says that the bugs get into hospitals three ways: emergency situations where people are picked up from their homes, from patients’ clothing and personal articles, and from people visiting patients.

In this case, those reasons are logical and seem to be true. It is because hospital needs to be clean and hygiene. Therefore, it there is an infestation, it must be from the outside.

As it is well-known that bed bugs can travel with belongings, emergency situation will not make people realize what actually living inside the things they carry while they are picked up the patients. The patients’ health is the most urgent thing to be considered.

Here, patients’ clothing and personal stuffs that might have been infested usually included while people picked up patients from their home. So, it will be wise to check any stuff or things to avoid the infestation.

At the last, bed bugs can be carried away by visitors in hospital. They can hide in their bags, clothes, stuffs, or wherever they want to. Once they come and have enough time, bed bugs can spread in the hospital anytime.

Therefore, it is necessary to check patients and visitors stuffs when they come into the hospital. Make sure that all the things they have are clean and free from bed bugs and other pests. In this case, you can observe that some hospital would change the patients clothes once they come to the hospital.


Unlike bus or taxi, people can spend their night or day in a train while it comes to a long trip. Also, it can come across the countries. So, the existence of bed bugs in train seems logical and possible. In this case, Alalawi in 2014 states that people can transport bed bugs when they travel by trains.

Now, let us think about it. For those who travel at night, usually the blanket is available and can be used by passengers. But, unfortunately, we have no idea whether the blanket is completely clean or not. Also, we have no idea who had used it before us, or where the blanket does restore.

Then, for some types of trains, the passengers can keep their stuffs in the one single and long cabin together with others’ stuffs. So, it can make bed bugs move easier from stuff to the other stuff. It is because all the passengers’ stuffs are placed in one location.

So, train can be the best vehicle for bed bugs to travel from one city to the other city, or even from one country to the other country. As same as virus, bed bugs can spread while the subject who carries them travels.

Therefore, checking your stuffs before and after the travelling is necessary. It is not only to make sure your stuffs are still fine, but also to avoid the spread bed bugs. Also, it will be wise to not use blanket from the train, but you can use your own jacket.

Cruise Ship

It is quite strange for people at first to realize that bed bugs can live in cruise ship. In this case, it is true that bed bugs are not from sea, so it is impossible that cruise ship has bed bugs in it. But, considering that cruise ship is the boat that loads people from anywhere, it becomes possible.

Cruise ship has so many facilities including some beds or room for people to sleep. Here, we have no idea if the passengers’ bag or clothes are actually infested by bed bugs. So, when these people stay there for a while or even a few days, it is possible for bed bugs to spread in the cruise ship.

Also, it is well known that bed bugs can survive without any nourishment. Therefore, they can stay there for weeks, months, or even a year. This ability makes them can wait new passengers for months after the last bite.

Then, to avoid bed bugs in cruise ship, you need to seal your stuffs in plastic when you left them near the bed. It may sound weird or even funny, but it is good as preventive steps. Or, if you don’t want to do that, you can inspect your stuffs before you enter your house from the trip.

In addition, checking the bed is also important thing to do. You may not expect bed bugs under the bed, but it will be safe to check it first. No one will know what will come when he falls asleep. It can be bed bugs or anything else.


So far, the existence of bed bugs in airplane is quite rare. It is because airplane seems quite pricy, so the prime cleanliness is a must. But, if you look for the news about it, you will find some cases related to this problem.

Well, here comes the question:

  • Do the bed bugs come from the airplane?
  • Do the bed bugs come from the last room you stay before?
  • Do the bed bugs come from other people?

Well, it is important to consider these questions before you starting to complaint the airline if that situation happens.

In this case, bed bugs can come from the last hotel you stay that hide in your stuffs. Then, you will carry them into a plane before they arrive in your house. That is how bed bugs do come in your house.

In other case, bed bugs can come from the other passengers. Here, bed bugs can move from them to anywhere, including to the seat, pillow, or even blanket. So, there are lot of possibilities about how bed bugs come in an airplane.

However, the point here is that bed bugs do exist in airplane. So, to avoid them, you need to cover yourself, bring your own blanket and pillow, and cover your stuffs. It may sound weird, but that is the effective way to avoid bed bugs joining your trip.


You may wonder about how bed bugs get into your house from hotels or any other places. Well, it seems impossible for bed bugs to track and follow your scent to go to your house, right? It will take so much time for them to crawl into your house. In fact, the road is full of their predators.

So, what if they don’t crawl? What if they hide in your stuff and follow you wherever you are going to? Here is the fact. Your stuff like luggage and backpack can be a perfect place for them to hide while you are sleeping. It is a very safe place because there are so many empty spaces they can use to hide. That is how bed bugs get into your house from the hotel or any places you temporarily stayed.

Thus, here are the tips for you. If it is possible, keep your stuff in the bathtub or at least in the bathroom. Well, this is quite unfamiliar thing to do. But, if you think clearly, you will find that bed bugs will not stay there. So, your stuff is safe. In fact, bed bugs will only live near their host. That is why the bedroom is their most favorite place for living, not bathroom. So, how do you get bed bugs in the first place? Please share your opinion below.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression, “Sleep tight. Don’t let thebed bugsbite.” And as a child, bed bugs might have been some creature that you thought only existed in silly bedtime rhymes. But these insects are absolutely real and, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to find them anywhere in your house.

Buthow do you get bed bugsin the first place? Read on to learn what attracts them, as well as some of the ways they might make it into your home.

What Do Bed Bugs Eat?

Bed bugs need the blood of warm-blooded creatures to survive. Though they may feed on animals, bed bugs are generally found feeding on the blood of humans.

As bed bugs feed on warm-blooded creatures, it’s only natural that they’re attracted to you. Specifically, they’re drawn in by your body heat, the carbon dioxide you exhale and other biological signatures. In fact, they’re called bed bugs because they’re often found on or around bedding. Cracks and crevices in box springs, headboards and bed frames make cozy homes for the bed bugs that are waiting for you to rest so they can get a nice warm blood meal.

However, it’s important to note that bed bugs can be found outside of the bedroom as well. Additionally, they’ll feed during the day or night. They’re not so much waiting for you to fall asleep as they’re biding their time until you’re inactive. Therefore, you could be bitten by bed bugs at any time or anywhere, including at the movie theater, in a cab or on public transportation.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are adept at hitchhiking. They’re typically transported by people or their belongings, such as suitcases, purses or coats. More or less, any place where you’ve sat or rested is a location where you could pick up bed bugs. In addition, people who travel — or who have guests come to visit — might have an increased risk of getting bed bugs.

You can pretty much bring home a bed bug from any public area you can think of. Some examples of the many places where bed bugs could be picked up include:

  • Airports
  • Train and bus stations
  • Public transportation
  • Movie theaters
  • Hotels, hostels and guest houses
  • Apartments
  • Libraries
  • Retail clothing stores

What Should You Do if You Suspect Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are excellent hiders andprolific breedersand can live for around 12 months as an adult, so this isn’t a situation in whichdo-it-yourself methodsare a good idea. If you think you have bed bugs, your best bet is to contact abed bug control professional. Terminix® can help.

A trained professional will be able to perform an extensive inspection of the areas where bed bugs can hide, including beds, furniture and linens. Afterwards, your technician will work with you to customize a solution that suits your needs.

Schedule your FREE bed bug inspection from Terminix today!

Ticks vs. Bed Bugs: The Big Difference

You never want to see a tick on your body or a bed bug in your home. And especially when it comes to the latter, seeing one usually means there are others around. On the surface, ticks and bed bugs might seem similar: They are both pests that like to bite and feed on blood. But in fact, there’s more than one difference between these two creatures

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Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

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Where Do Bed Bugs Come From in the First Place?

If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation at home, the first question which comes to your mind may be… ‘Where do bed bugs come from in the first place?’ That is because home is considered a safe haven, indoors and kept away even from minimum dust and whatnots. The last thing you would expect would be having these biting pests in your home, living along together with you and your family.

Facts about Bed Bugs

Firstly, we should start knowing a little bit more about bed bugs to get around answering your question. Bed bugs are biting pests and they suck human blood (would prefer to) by locating its prey through heat. Our warm bodies are perfect targets for them.

Bed bugs are also flat and tiny, they are able to hide and crawl away at an average speed of 1 meter per minute. Hiding carefully in tiny cracks and crevices is definitely one of their advantages in making them difficult to find and be spotted easily.

Where do bed bugs come from in the first place?

How is it possible to get bed bugs into homes? Bed bugs are perfect hitchhikers. This means, cross infestations happen anywhere outside, resulting in you bringing home the bed bugs to start an infestation when they feed and reproduce.

Where Do Be Bugs Come From?

If you travel frequently…

If you travel frequently, there is a higher chance of you bringing bed bugs home. Bed bugs can be found in lodging and in many forms of transportation such as taxis and airplanes. You risk cross infestation when bed bugs latch onto your clothing or luggage that you bring back home.

If you went to the cinema…

A full house theatre at the cinema means hot seats everywhere. The warmth would have attracted these bed bugs to come and bite you should there be some hiding and breeding somewhere. Even possible, you bring home one or two of them which are stuck on your clothing.

If you lounge at sofa areas…

Important! Bed bugs prefer fabric materials over cold metallic surfaces and they even have their own preferred colours. Bed bugs prefer colours such as dark red and black. This explains why sofas with fabric material are definitely bed bug hotspots and with these comfy sofas usually placed at lounge areas, a relaxing place would be the last on your mind you would be on alert.

If you go to a place which is already infested…

For bed bugs to appear in the first place, someone in the house may have had contact with places which are already infested, either knowingly or unknowingly. For example, house visits to a friend’s place and working in infested office spaces.

If you face an infestation at home, bed bug control specialists have the expertise to understand pest behavior and apply the right treatment methods to eradicate effectively. The bed bug life cycle is well considered and their favorite hiding hotspots are professionally identified by pest control experts.

If you are interacting with recycled or 2nd hand fixtures and furniture…

Vintage furniture is a popular décor idea for new homes; they are novel and gives off the nostalgic feel at the same time. Some fixtures which are rare and difficult to source often are passed down from many hands before. Yet many would go the extra miles to obtain these in order to attain the ideal designer look at home.

Many of them whom bring home 2 nd hand furniture and fixtures also unknowingly bring back bed bugs which may be breeding and harboring in these pieces. It may come to a late realization for many home owners who discover much later the cause of their bed bug infestation.

Denying bed bugs from your home with expert help

So now that you have understood better on where do bed bugs come from in the first place, read more on How to get rid of bed bugs fast in the next blog post; another one of the most frequently asked questions concerning bed bugs.

There are numerous products and methods to get rid of bed bugs. However, it is best to engage a professional team to advise the best control approach required. If a bed bug infestation has already set in, it is recommended to appoint a pest control specialist immediately. For more information on bed bug control, speak with our expert at(65) 6347 8138.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

It’s a common misconception that filth attracts bed bugs. In fact, bed bugs aren’t picky about their environment as long as they have a host to feed on. Their existence depends on getting fresh human (and sometimes animal) blood, so everything else falls into second place. As for clutter and filth, they only provide extra hiding grounds for the population — something to blend in with, but not a cause of bed bug problems.

Why and how do bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs need sufficient blood meals at a certain frequency to survive, grow, and breed. And unlike mosquitoes who fly, and ticks who live on their hosts, bed bugs have developed another way to spread and get to their food source. They get caught up on various objects such as suitcases, clothes, and bags, and use those to crawl to places where humans live. Once they find a host, they try to stay close to it so they establish their colony in cracks and crevices near us, hence the name bed bug.

It’s really that easy for bed bugs to spread–a single pregnant female is enough to start a colony which, if left to grow, will manage to transmit and infest other places. Bed bugs tend to spread for the following reasons:

  • If you disturb them, be it physically or if you use bed bug bombs;
  • If food is scarce and there’s no host nearby, they will travel to other rooms in the property;
  • If you move or throw away any infested items, the bugs will spread around;
  • If the colony grows too big for the current harbourage area, the bed bugs will disperse to other rooms.

How do you get bed bugs in the first place?

The sneaky little buggers will use various ways to get to you. They attach themselves to other people and even objects to travel from one location to another until they find a host. Bed bugs are in for the long run, so they will look for a safe place where they can settle in.
Let’s see how we get bed bugs:


Hotels, motels and holiday inns are high-traffic areas where masses of people come and go on a daily basis. Travelling tops the list of risky behaviour because even the best hotels can be infested with bed bugs, if someone brings them in, willingly or not. With the open economy growing and creating opportunities such as Airbnb and CouchSurfing, the risk only increases.

Below, we will give you some tips on how to avoid bed bugs in hotel rooms.

Second hand furniture, clothing, toys

Items purchased from flea markets and yard sales may seem like a bargain but they are increasingly connected to bed bug problems in UK households. The thing is, you can’t always tell that second-hand furniture is infested with bed bugs. The seller will make sure that it’s in a good and clean condition, so it can be really hard for a non-professional to spot the signs of bed bug presence. But don’t be fooled, the fact that something looks clean and preserved doesn’t mean there are no pests hiding in it.

Sleepovers, guests

Since bed bugs aren’t the fastest runners nor the best jumpers, they will crawl from place to place looking for their next host. They hide in clothes, shoes, plush toys and all sorts of personal belongings when travelling. It’s possible that your child brings back the pest after a sleepover or that you pick some of the insects from a party at your friends’ place. Although you can’t prevent such turn of events, you can still warn your hosts of the bed bug issue–the sooner they know, the faster they will be able to react.

Shared housing

If your living arrangement includes sharing spaces with other people, the chances of bed bugs creeping up increase once again, especially if your neighbours have them. When expanding their colony, bed bugs crawl through wall crevices, air vents and other openings to get to their next victim. Even if you are doing everything in your power to prevent an infestation, the insects may appear in your own apartment.

Public transportation

Busses and trains aren’t the only public places where you can get bed bugs. Any location where people work and stay for longer periods of time may inhabit the critters–schools, offices and even movie theatres can all become breeding grounds for the bug. From there, it’s a short trip to your home.

Bed bugs can get to your home in many ways, most of which you cannot control or prevent. However, there are still some things you can do to lower the chance of bed bugs establishing near you, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

What to do to prevent getting bed bugs

When travelling

When travelling, it’s best to inspect your hotel room, and bed area in particular, for any signs of the insects, as soon as you arrive. Instead of unpacking, place your luggage in the bathroom and check the areas that are most likely to be infested (bed linen, headboard, mattress, box spring) before spending the night in the room.

Second hand stuff

Before bringing in any kind of borrowed, rented or second-hand furniture, make sure to check all fabric folds, cracks and crevices, even if the item is made of solid materials such as wood or plastic. Also, do avoid picking up items from the street, no matter how well-maintained they look. You never know what can hide inside.

When you live in a rental

To prevent bed bugs from entering your own apartment, seal cracks and crevices that may be used as entryways. Additionally, consider buying protective mattress covers, box spring encasements and special pillow covers to prevent wandering bed bugs from taking residence in your bedroom.

However, bear in mind that if your next-door neighbour has bed bugs, the above mentioned will not save you from an infestation, so make sure to check if they have dealt with the insect.

Don’t throw away stuff

Do a favour to your fellow citizens, and be careful when throwing away infested possessions. Cover them with plastic first and then put a label or a sign that states the items are infested with bed bugs. Of course, you should avoid donating or giving away such belonging.

What are some indicators of bed bug problems

Blood spots

Since bed bugs feed on blood, their excrements resemble blood spots. The marks can be easily spotted on the bedding and mattress but you can see them in any location bed bugs have been on.

You can find bed bug eggs and eggshells in various locations where the insects tend to hide during the day. The eggs themselves are whitish in colour. You can find them in the crevices and joints of your mattress, box spring and furniture.

Shed skins

Bed bugs’ life cycle goes through several stages and each time they moult, they shed their skins. Those cast skins are light brown in colour and unlike the blood spots can be found only in harbourage areas.

Musky odour

A very distinctive sign of severe infestation is the heavy odour present in the room. Some people describe it as a sweet, sickening smell of almost rotting raspberries. This bed bug alarm scent is released by male bugs to keep other males from mating with them.

Spotting an actual bug, be it a nymph or a full-grown bed bug, is the surest sign of an infestation. Nymphs are smaller and lighter, almost clear in colour but will turn red once they are fed. Adults, on the other hand, are brown to red in colour, the size of an apple seed. It’s a bit difficult to detect living specimen as bed bugs are nocturnal and notoriously good at hiding during the day.

How do people spread bed bug infestations

Getting bed bugs is a problem on its own. However, most people tend to act in ways which can worsen the situation, making extermination time-consuming and costly. Luckily, as experts, we can give you some tips on how to avoid just that.

  1. Relocating to another room -Nobody is delighted by the thought of being bitten at night. Some people decide that it’ll be a good idea to sleep on the couch in the living room instead. What they don’t know is that bed bugs can trace the carbon dioxide emitted by you and will eventually end up on the couch as well. So in the end, your temporary escape will help them spread further throughout the house.
  2. Moving infested furniture -Similarly, hiding infested furniture in the garage or basement will not gain you much freedom from the bloodsucking insects. You may think you’ve isolated them in a place where they’ll die off quietly but once again, they’ll find their way back to their food — you
  3. Vacuuming bed bugs the wrong way -Vacuuming is an effective way of lowering the bed bug population because it removes adults and nymphs but not eggs. Yet, you can do more harm than good if you don’t vacuum with a dedicated vacuum cleaner. After you’ve vacuumed the bug clusters, make sure to double-bag the bag before disposing of it outside.
  4. Letting the infestation grow -Although bed bugs love to stick around your bed, if the infestation grows, they will migrate to other areas in the room. This is why it’s so important that you recognise the problem as soon as possible. It’s way easier and less expensive to deal with a contained infestation.
  5. Disturbing the colony -The reason why bed bugs are mainly active at night is that they can feed uninterrupted and unnoticed. Disturbing the bed bug colony, be it physically or with DIY control methods (that usually don’t work), may cause them to disperse and look for hideouts around the house. This is why inspecting for bed bugs should happen alongside professional control procedures.

What to do about bed bugs

Have you found any of the little buggers around your home? If yes, here’s how to proceed:

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