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Can Bed Bugs Infest the Whole House?

When people find out they have bed bugs in one of their rooms, the first thing they want to do is prevent them from spreading elsewhere. 

And they definitely will spread if you don’t take swift action. 

But can bed bugs truly infest an entire house?

Yes, bed bugs can infest your whole house. Bed bugs are small, meaning you can easily move them around without even noticing you’re doing it. Additionally, bed bugs crawl pretty fast, so they can overtake an entire building in a relatively short time. 

How Do Bed Bugs Spread Throughout a House?

Close-up photo of a bed bug crawling on a fabric.

There are several ways that bed bugs can spread throughout a home. 

For one, they can cling onto a person’s clothes and crawl off later at a different destination, which they can then invade. 

Bed bugs can also spread when someone carries an infested item to another room. 

And remember that bed bugs are tiny, so you may not even see them on an object you are carrying.  

Furthermore, bed bugs can crawl about 4 feet (1.2 m) per minute, meaning they can migrate to other rooms quickly if they wish to do so. 

Finally, bed bugs like to hide inside the framework of buildings, allowing them to move throughout them quickly. 

So, if you are dealing with a bed bug infestation, you will want to take measures to prevent any of these circumstances from occurring. 

How to Keep Bed Bugs From Spreading?

Although bed bugs are good at spreading throughout a house, there are, luckily, several methods you can try to help keep them confined to one space. 

Change Your Clothes Before You Leave the Infested Room 

Since bed bugs can cling to your clothes, you should make sure you don’t carry them around your home unknowingly. 

Thus, before leaving the infested room, you should change into a bed bug-free pair of clothes. 

Keep in mind, though, that bed bugs like to hide in drawers and closets because they are dark, warm, and secluded. 

So, it would be best to keep clean clothes in a sealable bag or box to prevent bed bugs from getting to them. 

Then, when you change your clothes, you will know there are no bed bugs on them. 

Don’t Take Items Out of the Infested Room 

Bed bugs are great hiders because they’re small and can fit into tiny crevices. 

Therefore, bed bugs may be living in practically anything in your room. 

Namely, though, bed bugs prefer to live on or in: 

  • Bedding (Both yours and your pets)
  • Clothes 
  • Rugs 
  • Electronic devices 
  • Stuffed animals 
  • Curtains 
  • Furniture 

Thus, you want to be careful when removing anything from the infested room, but you should pay special attention to the abovementioned objects. 

Overall, it’s best practice not to take anything out of the infested room, but if you do, you should place them in sealed plastic bags or boxes before transport. 


Because bed bugs can walk straight under doors to crawl to new places, you should vacuum the floors outside the infested room daily to catch any insects that are trying to migrate. 

And since the fewer bed bugs you have, the less likely they are to spread, you should vacuum the carpets and rugs in the entire infested room. 

Also, it’s best to vacuum the mattress, furniture, and other areas where bed bugs like to hide with the suction tool on your vacuum cleaner. 

Afterward, you will need to dispose of the bed bugs since vacuuming alone won’t kill them. 

If your vacuum has a bag, you can just tape the bag shut and throw it in the trash. 

For vacuums without bags, carefully empty the contents into a bag and then seal the top. 

Then, you can just toss the bag in the garbage. 

Seal Up Cracks and Holes in Your Walls, Ceiling, and Floors 

If you want to see the silver lining amidst the frustration, you can look at your bed bug infestation as a time for some home improvement. 

Bed bugs can use your home’s framework to move throughout it, but if you seal up their way in, you cut them off from this easy and quick way to travel. 

Also, when you seal up the walls, ceilings, and floors, you trap any bed bugs already living there. 

Those insects will eventually starve and die because they can’t access a host. 


Having bed bugs is also a great time to think about decluttering. 

And although decluttering won’t prevent bed bugs, it will make it harder for them to hide. 

Thus, you will have an easier time spotting and eliminating them, which will keep them from setting up in a new room. 

Can Bed Bugs Travel Throughout an Entire Apartment Building?

Photo of a gray, orange, and red apartment building.

Yes, bed bugs can travel throughout an entire apartment building in the same way they can overtake a whole house. 

So, if your apartment neighbors have bed bugs, you should do what you can to keep the insects out of your unit. 

Of course, one of the best ways to keep bed bugs out of your home is to refrain from visiting your neighbors. 

Even if they haven’t told you they have bed bugs, you should assume they do since the insects can travel so quickly through the building. 

If you do have to visit them, you should not bring with you any bag or other object in which insects can enter. 

Additionally, to try to keep bed bugs out of your unit, you ought to vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly to suck up any potential invaders. 

You should also seal cracks in your walls, floors, and ceiling to prevent the insects from using the building’s framework to enter your unit. 

Lastly, mattress encasements are a great investment to keep bed bugs from invading your bed. 

And all you have to do to use one is zip it up around your mattress.

Doing so will keep the bed bugs from making a home inside your bed.  

Read Also >> Can Bed Bugs Travel From Upstairs to Downstairs?


If bed bugs enter your home, they can spread to every room in your house. 

However, you can take certain steps, like vacuuming and decluttering, to help you keep the insects isolated to one area.