How Do Bed Bugs Get Onto Your Bed?

  • Written By Dan Edwards on December 18, 2017
    Last Updated: December 30, 2020

Quite simply put, bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. They depend on humans, as well as our clothes and luggage, to get to new locations. Their eggs are also very tactile and sticky, so will easily survive the roughest of journeys to your home.

Once transported into the house, bed bugs will naturally scope out the rooms where humans sleep and will set up base in or around the bed for easy food access. Bed bugs can climb most vertical surfaces with ease so will have no problem getting onto your bed.

Why Do Bed Bugs Live in or Around Beds?

The name gives away one of these bugs’ favorite locations to live, but why do they like beds in particular? The reason is quite simple. Bed bugs depend on sustenance from a host, in the form of blood.

One of the most consistent and convenient ways for them to feed is on humans, during the night specifically. They are guaranteed a non-stop feeding ground for between six and 10 hours, seven days a week. Why would they waste their time trying to follow humans around to feed, when we go to them?

Our beds can also offer decent shelter and protection from other predators. This includes spiders, lizards, and even some ants. The bed bugs can remain within the comfort of a bed frame and mattress, undetected and unseen. As long as they have access to food, they will thrive and reproduce in this environment.

When Do Bed Bugs Come Out

How Bed Bugs Are Transferred to the Bedroom

Hotels and Motels

If you suddenly find yourself faced with a bed bug infestation, think about any traveling you may have done. Hotels and motels are notorious for being breeding grounds for bed bugs. This is due to the sheer amount of human foot traffic that they see.

These pests do not need long to latch on to your possessions, 24 hours is enough time for them to take hold. Even the cleanest and most luxurious hotel rooms can still fall victim to bed bugs, so do not be fooled by the price.

Secondhand Furniture and Clothes

Have you recently bagged some bargains at your local thrift store? Did you find an amazing secondhand couch that someone didn’t want? There may be a good reason why the previous owner was looking to dispose of these items.

Finding a great deal on a piece of furniture may be tempting, but approach your decision with caution. You do not know where it has come from, and it may well be infested with bed bugs. As soon as they get into your home, they can spread with ease from room to room.

Bed bugs in old furniture
Be careful with secondhand furniture – especially if it’s been dumped on the street. It may have been thrown out due to harboring an infestation.

Clothing will most likely end up in your bedroom, giving bed bugs direct access to your mattress. As soon as these creatures cross the threshold into your living space, they will divide and conquer—most likely ending up in your bed, where they can feed regularly.

Guests and Neighbors

Regardless of your taste in clothes and furniture, as I mentioned, these pests are great hitchhikers. Inviting friends or family around can leave you with bed bugs in your home, as they hitch a ride over with your guests.

Your neighbors may even have a growing infestation without knowing it. These creatures are great crawlers and will not stop until they find a place to settle.

Once these pests are in, they will quickly multiply. With that in mind, it is best to always be vigilant and check your bedroom and living spaces for evidence. They can appear at any time and in the strangest of places.

Keeping Bed Bugs off of Your Bed

Bed Bug Interceptor Traps

Bed bug interceptors are small trap-like devices placed underneath bed legs with the aim of preventing bed bugs from being able to climb the frame and reach the mattress. These little devices can be a great way to restore peace of mind and allow you to get a better night’s sleep knowing that any bed bugs that are not already on your mattress will really struggle to get to you throughout the night.

Pull your bed away from the walls and place bed bug interceptor cups under each leg. These will isolate your bed and help to prevent the spread of bed bugs. Additionally, interceptors can serve as tools to help you track progress.

In my experience, the best and most effective bed bug traps are usually the ones that are designed to work in the simplest of ways. I’ve used the Bed Bug Blocker Interceptor Traps extensively and I find they do the job better than any other trap I’ve tried. You also get a very generous 8 interceptors per pack. Place them directly underneath the bed/table/chair legs you’re trying to protect, and watch the bed bugs fall into the traps time and time again with no chance of escape.

Mattress Encasements

Using a bed bug mattress protector to encase your mattress will either help to save it if it’s yet to be infested, or otherwise keep bed bugs trapped in and around it until they eventually die of starvation.

My recommended mattress protector is the SureGuard Mattress Encasement. It’s thick, strong, comes in many different sizes, and is certain to help stop bed bugs of all sizes from getting to, or from, your mattress.

To make sure you’re covered from all angles, the SureGuard Box Spring Encasement and Pillow Protectors, along with the mattress protector, will go a long way in helping to combat the infestation, and should help to ensure you sleep a bit better at night, too.