How Fast do Bed Bugs Spread?

Contrary to what you may think, bed bugs don't have a preference between a spotless space or a filthy environment. As long as they have access to a food source, they can live anywhere, so claims that bed bugs are attracted to dirt and debris are simply unfounded.

bed bugs

That being said, clutter does make it easier for bed bugs to hide, which may fuel the misconceptions. Their ideal environment is warm and provides access to a blood meal. Given those conditions, you may be wondering how fast bed bugs spread? Let's look at some of their travel habits and what you need to know about how quickly they can make themselves at home.

How Fast do Bed Bugs Spread From Room to Room?

Once mated, adult female bed bugs can lay several eggs every day, and anywhere from 200 and 500 eggs in a lifetime. Those numbers should speak for themselves if you're wondering how long it takes to get an infestation of bed bugs. Once an infestation has become established, it doesn't take long for a problem to grow out of control, so the sooner you contact a pest control professional for inspection and treatment, the better off you'll be.

Bed bugs need to take blood meals from warm-blooded hosts — typically humans — to survive, and they'll hide near their sources until ready to feed. As infestations become established, it's not uncommon for bed bugs to spread within the home. How fast bed bugs spread throughout the home can vary by your own activities. Changing which room you sleep in and taking items from an infested room to another room are two things that can help spread bed bugs.They can also move throughout the house in search of other hosts.

How Do Bed Bugs Spread From One Place to Another?

The rate of how bed bugs spread from one location to the next depends largely upon where we go and who comes into our homes.. They're great hitchhikers, and and can readily hitch a ride into your home without you ever knowing it. Hotels, hostels, airplanes, cruise ships and public transportation are ideal places to pick up these uninvited guests. Bed bugs can also be introduced by visitors to your home, including family, friends, babysitters, etc, that are experiencing a bed bug infestation of their own or were in a bed bug infested environment before visiting your home.

Movement of items

Bed bugs can move from one site to the next by traveling on luggage, clothing, bedding, boxes and furniture. They're prevalent anywhere that has a high rate of overnight guests, including universities and hospitals.


Bed bugs don't fly, but they can crawl at a pretty high speed with six legs. Traveling three to four feet per minute on most surfaces, it's the equivalent of the average adult sprinting. This makes it easy for bed bugs to travel between floors and rooms, and quickly tuck into a new hiding spot before being seen In multi-unit buildings (apartments, condos) bed bugs often travel between units on their own. The longer an infestation goes untreated the more likely they are to travel to neighboring units.


After feeding, bed bugs head back to their hidden locations to digest and mate. If the conditions are right, an egg can mature into an adult in as little as a month and a half, and each bed bug could live anywhere from four months to over a year. Bed bugs are focused on feeding and breeding and if given the opportunity will readily establish themselves in your home.

How do Bed Bugs Spread From Person to Person?

Bed bugs need blood meals to survive and blood to breed, but they don't live on human hosts. So while they don't actually spread from person to person, they do rely on people to spread them from one place to the next. For example, houseguests could unknowingly bring them into your home from their travels, and kids could bring them back on their backpacks from school.

Bed bugs are opportunistic, hiding and waiting until it's convenient to feed. And if left untreated, can spread throughout you home, and other places you visit as you go about your daily life. How fast bed bugs spread is really up to you. Contact a Terminix® pest control professional to stop the spread of bed bugs.


Bed Bug Learn Pests