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Can You Get Bed Bugs From Sitting on a Bed?

Bed bugs are frustrating and irritating little creatures, so you want to do everything you can to keep them from getting into your house. 

Thus, the most important bed bug question is, how easily can you get them?

Is just sitting on an infested bed enough to bring bed bugs home?

Yes, you can get bed bugs from sitting on a bed or any other infested item. However, bed bugs do not live on your skin or clothes, so you don’t have to worry about your body becoming infested. But, they can hold onto your clothes and travel with you from place to place. 

Can I Get Bed Bugs From Sitting on Infested Furniture?

A man is sitting on the couch while using a laptop in the living room.

Yes, you can get bed bugs from sitting on infested furniture, such as a bed or couch. 

Yet, you should know that a person can’t actually “get” bed bugs because these insects do not live on people. 

However, bed bugs can hold onto a person for a while. 

In fact, the main way bed bugs travel is by climbing onto something, like a person’s shirt or bag, and holding on. 

Then, that person brings those bed bugs to a new destination, possibly their home. 

The bed bugs can now infest this new area. 

Also, remember that all it takes for an infestation to begin is one pregnant female.

And since female bed bugs remain almost constantly pregnant when they’re sexually mature, the population will almost definitely boom if you bring a female bed bug into your home. 

Is it Easy to Get Bed Bugs From an Infested Item?


Unfortunately, it is pretty easy to get bed bugs from an infested item because these insects are small and hard to see. 

Bed bugs are also relatively fast since they can travel about four feet per minute. 

It’s so easy to get bed bugs, in fact, that many people who have gotten infestations note how it seems they arose out of nowhere. 

How Can I Tell if a Bed Has Bed Bugs?

Photo of a neat bed.

It can be challenging to tell if a bed has bed bugs if the insect population is low. 

Additionally, bed bugs like to hide, can squeeze into tight spaces, and are nocturnal, making them hard to spot. 

However, if you are sleeping in a bed that isn’t your own, you can do some quick checks to help you determine if the bed has an infestation. 

Generally, a bed has bed bugs if: 

  • You see a bed bug
  • You see bed bug exoskeletons
  • You see bed bug eggs or egg casings 
  • You find small dark spots on the mattress or walls near the bed, which could be bed bug poop
  • You find small blood spots, which could indicate that bed bugs have already fed on a person in that bed 
  • You smell a musty odor on the bed or bedding 

And remember that when you are looking for bed bugs, you should inspect the sheets, blankets, and pillowcases. 

You should also examine the sides of the mattress and the floor and walls near the bed. 

Check other furniture for these signs too. 

Additionally, if you are visiting a hotel, you ought to read through its reviews to see if anyone has mentioned bed bugs to determine if the bed is safe. 

What if I Find Bed Bugs in the Bed I Have to Sleep In?

Of course, if you find bed bugs in the bed you were about to sleep in, the best thing to do is look for a new place to sleep. 

However, it isn’t always possible just to find another bed for the night. 

So, if you have to sleep in a room that has bed bugs, you need to follow these steps to keep from bringing the insects home with you: 

  • Put your suitcase or any other bags in the bathtub for the duration of your stay 
  • Open your bags outside when you get home 
  • Immediately place all of your items into sealed plastic bags 
  • Dry any items you can in the clothes dryer on high for 30 minutes 
  • For other objects, inspect them with a flashlight to confirm there are no bed bugs in them before taking them out of the plastic bag and bringing them inside

Where Am I Most Likely to Pick Up Bed Bugs?

You can pick up bed bugs just about anywhere, from any surface, but they prefer fabric. 

They particularly like fabrics that people often sit or lay on. 

Thus, the most likely places to pick up bed bugs are beds, couches, and recliners. 

But, you can get bed bugs from less obvious locations, such as office chairs and seats on public transportation. 

Bed bugs don’t usually prefer these areas, but they can live in them since they have enough people to feed on there. 

Also, don’t think you can only get bed bugs from dirty places. 

Bed bugs don’t eat garbage like cockroaches. 

Instead, they survive solely on blood. 

Therefore, bed bugs will live in both clean and dirty conditions. 

When Am I Most Likely to Pick Up Bed Bugs?

Midsection shot of a man sitting on a sofa scratching his arm.

Now that I’ve established where you’re most likely to get bed bugs, let’s discuss when you are most likely to get bed bugs. 

Generally, most people get bed bugs in the summer months. 

One reason for this is that bed bugs reproduce more rapidly in warm weather. 

In fact, their reproductive cycle can be as short as eight days in the summertime. 

Secondly, the summer months are when people tend to be moving around the most. 

Usually, hotels see more business between May and September, meaning there’s a better chance someone will bring in bed bugs during this time. 

People also typically take public transport more often in the summertime, which increases your chances of getting bed bugs from buses and trains. 

And, of course, people fly more in the warm months, meaning bed bugs could easily travel with vacationers to places in the world that aren’t as likely to have them. 

Do Bed Bugs Live in Other Places Besides Furniture and Seats?

Although bed bugs prefer to live in furniture and seats, you definitely can find them in other locations, especially if there’s a bad infestation. 

Besides furniture, some of the most common places to discover bed bugs include: 

  • Cracks in the floors or walls 
  • Around windows and doors 
  • Inside electronic items 
  • On stuffed animals and clothes 
  • Behind pictures and posters 
  • Inside bags 

Do Bed Bugs Jump?

Close-up photo of a bed bug on a wooden surface.

Luckily, bed bugs do not fly or jump, which does impede their movement a bit. 

However, just because they can’t jump doesn’t mean they can’t get inside bags or onto clothing. 

Bed bugs can walk vertically up many surfaces. 

Therefore, they can easily crawl up your body or into your purse or suitcase. 


You can definitely get bed bugs from sitting on an infested bed. 

You can also bring these creatures home with you from sitting or laying on an infested couch, chair, or a bus or plane seat. 

Or, bed bugs could just climb right into your bag, purse, or suitcase and make it to your house even if you never touched the furniture.