Do You Really Know How Do Bed Bugs Travel From Room to Room?


Other than drinking your blood, making you itch all over, and multiplying uncontrollably in your bedroom, there is another nasty habit that bed bugs tend to have. It’s none other than infesting one room in your home after the other.

Knowing how they are able to pull off such a feat, despite their size, is a definite must. Otherwise, you could be unwittingly helping them colonize every area of your home after ravaging your bedroom.

Here’s how they move from one room to another in your house:

Although incapable of jumping and flying, bed bugs can crawl effortlessly on most surfaces. Hunger is the main reason why they move from one room to the next. In some instances, however, bed bugs end up in a different room by accident.

Continue reading to know some important matters that you need to know about how bed bugs are able to infest different rooms in a house one by one.

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Bed Bugs Produce Up To 500 Eggs

Before we discuss how bed bugs can cause an infestation elsewhere in the home other than your bedroom, let us first take a quick look at their lives from birth to death.

This will give you an idea of why bed bugs do not seem to have a difficult time causing complete mayhem in your room.

Just like all insects on the face of the planet (well, except for aphids and a few others that are born live from their viviparous mothers), bed bugs begin their lives as eggs.

The eggs, which look like tiny rice grains, are about one millimeter in length. They are often found in clusters in cracks and crevices.

The eggs hatch in about one week, and young baby bed bugs called “nymphs” immediately look for food. No, it’s not the breast milk of their moms that they drink, but human blood.

Nymphs look like smaller mature bed bugs, although younger ones are yellowish and older ones are reddish.

Nymphs have to continue feasting on blood for their growth and development. Each time they increase in size, they molt, which means that they shed their old skin that can no longer accommodate their growing bodies.

Nymphs molt five times before reaching full maturity, which usually happens within five weeks.

There are only three things in life that adult bed bugs are concerned about: sleep, mate, and eat.

Throughout their stint as mature creepy crawlers, they drink blood about once a week. Their preferred feeding time is from 2 am to 5 am. If hungry, they won’t hesitate to eat at any other given time.

Adult bed bugs live for about four to six months. However, some may live for up to one year even without access to food, provided that the environmental conditions are right.

Once upon a time in a laboratory setting, scientists learned the startling fact that some bed bugs were able to live for 400 long days.

Refrain from assuming that panicking at the sight of just a couple of bed bugs is unnecessary.

If you fail to spring into action right away, it won’t take long before a full-scale infestation is already taking place in your bedroom.

This is especially true since adult female bed bugs can lay one to five eggs per day. In their lifetime, they can produce up to 500 eggs.

And if the problem is overlooked and remains unsolved, it is not unlikely for the infestation to spread to another bedroom or any other area in your home.

As a matter of fact, bed bugs can effortlessly spread from one home to the other, and even one city to the next!

Bed Bugs Travel 3-4 Feet Per Minute

Some insects are very good at flying. Others are excellent at jumping. Bed bugs can neither fly across the room nor jump from one furnishing to the next.

Each time that they need to go from their hiding places to your sleeping body to feast on your blood and vice versa, bed bugs have to rely on their short legs, which are only good for crawling.

Refrain from assuming, however, that they are bad at traveling on foot. They aren’t!

Per minute, bed bugs can crawl for three to four feet. It may not seem a lot unless you take a look at it in human terms: The speed of a bed bug crawling is comparable to the speed of a person sprinting!

Due to this, those bloodsuckers find it easy to pack their bags and move to a different room, including one that is on another level of the home.

It’s exactly for this reason why, in case you feel you have bed bugs in your hotel room, you should ask to be given another room a few floors away from the infested one.

That’s because it is likely for some of those bed bugs to have already crawled into the adjacent rooms as well as those on the floors directly above and below.

The bottom line: Bed bugs can travel without much effort even if their main mode of transportation is crawling on their six short legs.

But before you think about placing tiny speed bumps all over your room, there’s one thing about bed bugs that you need to know first: Bed bugs do not really migrate unless they find it necessary.

A couple of reasons exist why bed bugs may find it important to look for another habitat.

In search for a friendlier environment

There are certain smells that bed bugs hate.

Some of them include essential oils such as lavender, neem, citronella, and thyme. If you are using them for aromatherapy purposes, there is a possibility for bed bugs exposed to them to run off to another room.

In many instances, the reason why bed bugs scamper to flee and look for a safer place to colonize is to avoid insecticides. This is true whether they’re the kinds used by professional exterminators or sold commercially.

Either way, the importance of going for a treatment that is thorough and consistent cannot be stressed enough.

Looking for a source of their sustenance

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, adult bed bugs feed about once a week only. Despite this, they may still experience a shortage of human blood supply.

One reason for such is overpopulation. In just three months, according to experts, it is likely for a room to already have a hundred adult bed bugs, a thousand nymphs, and up to 500 eggs!

If all of these bed bugs have only one source of fresh blood (and that’s you), some of them may decide that they are better off looking for another place to live in.

They can hunt for a new supplier of blood by sensing a person’s body heat and carbon dioxide emission.

It is exactly because of the second reason for bed bug migration why you should keep on sleeping in your infested bedroom instead of catching some shut-eye in a different one.

Without access to your blood nightly, those bed bugs will hunt you down! This is basically how a bed bug infestation spreads to different areas of the home.

Always keep this in mind: Stay in your room while you are thinking of the best solution for the problem.

They Move With Luggage And Furniture

Bed bugs can spread not only to different rooms in the same house. These some sort of tiny vampires can also spread from house to house, town to town, city to city, and country to country!

Having six legs that are only good for crawling is not enough to keep bed bugs from going places. They can cover great distances, even crossing continents and oceans, by hitchhiking.

Many of those who give bed bugs a ride are not even aware that they are doing those critters a favor. Some examples of them are travelers who stay in hotels.

No matter if you are alone or with a special someone there is a risk of bringing bed bugs home from a hotel and facing an infestation yourself afterward. This is true whether you are staying in something cheap or an expensive one.

Here’s one more bed bug fact that you need to know: They do not discriminate between sleazy and posh hotels.

Bed bugs that you share the hotel room with can go with you practically wherever you go by clinging to your clothes. It’s true that they are not like other insects that can stick to your skin or scalp.

However, their legs make it possible for them to hang on to your jacket, shirt, pants, and socks. They can also hitch a ride in your purse or suitcase.

Hotel bed bugs are not the only excellent hitchhikers, but also bed bugs elsewhere. In other words, bed bugs living in the house of a family or friend that you pay a visit may possibly end up where you live!

Unfortunately, it’s not just via your clothes and luggage that you can introduce bed bugs into your home. There are a few other ways through which they can welcome themselves to your life and wreak havoc on it, too.

The following are some examples of how bed bugs can infest your home aside from hitching a ride on you.

Infested furniture

Are you fond of getting your hands on secondhand furniture pieces and decorating your home with them?

If you happen to buy one with bed bugs hiding in its cracks and crevices, it is likely for you to have an infestation sooner or later.

This is true even if the one infested is meant for the garden or porch. Bed bugs always move indoors to have access to human blood.

A nearby treatment

If the bed bug treatment in the neighboring house is not thorough, some bed bugs may have the opportunity to run as far away as possible from the chemicals used.

They may end up in your property. Once there, they could cling to your pet’s paws or the clothes or shoes of your little one while playing outside, and then get inside your home and start a big family.

Visiting family and friends

Having over some people that you care about is a wonderful opportunity to share some nice stories and hearty meals. Unfortunately, it can be a nightmarish experience if a guest has a nasty bed bug infestation at home.

Some bed bugs could be clinging to his or her clothes, and they might choose to be left behind in your home for good and ruin your life.

For bed bugs, going from point A to point B (even if they are thousands of miles apart) is trouble-free for as long as there is someone or something providing them with the chance to hitchhike.

People Can Transfer Bed Bugs With Them

Many of those who have seen bed bugs with their own eyes swear that newly fed adults are about the size and shape of an apple seed.

Because of this, especially if not fully engorged from drinking your blood, they can easily squeeze into tiny cracks and openings. Bed bugs can also crawl through pipes, ducts, and vents.

It’s due to this exactly why it can be extremely challenging to keep bed bugs in one room, most especially if they feel that there isn’t enough human blood for everybody.

However, there are certain steps that you may take to keep as many of those pesky pests in one room as possible, thereby preventing other areas of the home from having an infestation.

The following are some of the things that you should do if you worry about preventing bed bugs from spreading to other rooms.

Never attempt to sleep in another room

You can run, but you can’t hide from bed bugs. Finding you in the next room is easy for them.

That’s because they can detect the warmth of your body and the carbon dioxide that you emit. Some even believe that bed bugs can sense your blood type!

Staying in a hotel is also a no-no

If bed bugs cannot sense you in the other room or elsewhere in the house, they will simply settle with the next available host. Refrain from assuming that this is the perfect solution if you live alone.

Earlier, it was mentioned that bed bugs could live for 400 days. What wasn’t mentioned, however, is that they could live that long even without food.

Unless you can stay in a hotel or someone else’s house for over a year, those bed bugs will still be alive and ready to drink blood once you get home.

Use a plastic cover to trap bed bugs

Wrapping in plastic items that provide bed bugs with accommodation while they are not feeding can exterminate those tiny insects by causing them to starve.

For your mattress, you may order an encasement that can keep bed bugs from having access to your blood. You may also get your hands on four-bed bug interceptors, inside which your bed’s legs would go.

Rely on all-natural bed bug repellents

If the goal is to keep bed bugs from escaping the room, apply repellents in escape areas (under the door, vents, etc.) rather than in hiding places.

Aside from the essential oils mentioned earlier, you may also count on diatomaceous earth, cayenne pepper, and petroleum jelly.

Avoid moving things to the other room

While there is an infestation in your room, you may be tempted to take some of your belongings to safety.

However, it is a bad idea to remove your clothes, books, electronics, etc. from your room. They could be harboring bed bugs, and taking them outside could set some bed bugs free.

While trying to confine bed bugs in your bedroom, there is an important thing that you need to carry out.

It’s none other than coming up with a plan on how to deal with the infestation. It is completely up to you if you prefer counting on DIY solutions or contacting the experts.

Each approach has its own set of pros and cons. Check that you weigh them carefully before making your decision.

Just Before You Go to Plan the Next Steps to Take

Springing into action as soon as possible is the key to keeping a handful of bed bugs from creating a colony that can prevent you from having a good night’s sleep and leave you scratching the next morning.

While planning how best to deal with the problem, it is also important that you keep bed bugs from escaping your room and infesting the next.

Now that you know how bed bugs can travel from room to room as well as the steps that can keep them right where they are, you will find it easier to prevent a full-scale infestation from striking.

Photo credit: ©canva.com/MainelyPhotos

Wyatt Welch

Hi, I am Wyatt, and I live in North Carolina. I've been working as a Pest Control Technician and now I am enjoying my retirement. This blog is a perfect outlet for me to share my knowledge in the field and I'd be happy to help if you have any questions.

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