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What Are the Chances of Getting Bed Bugs Twice?

Suppose you’ve finally gotten rid of the bed bugs in your home. In that case, the thought of dealing with another infestation can be overwhelming. 

Unfortunately, your chances of getting bed bugs a second time are just as high as getting them the first time. However, if you take some precautions, you can reduce your likelihood of acquiring another infestation. 

What Are the Chances of Getting Bed Bugs?

Close-up photo of a bed bug.

Sadly, there’s no way of determining the average person’s chances of getting bed bugs because several factors can affect someone’s likelihood of bringing them home. 

But, I can say that your risk of getting bed bugs is higher than it was a few decades ago. 

Because of increases in international travel and the banning of certain potent pesticides, the number of bed bug cases has been continually rising since the 1990s. 

So, now more than ever, you want to be careful about what you bring home. 

What Factors Increase My Chances of Getting Bed Bugs?

Although there’s no way to pinpoint your exact odds of picking up bed bugs, some factors make you more likely to get them. 

You Travel Often 

Yes, traveling is fun, but there are, of course, certain risks associated with it. Unfortunately, one of those risks is bed bugs. 

Bed bugs are notoriously prevalent in hotels and other places where many people spend the night, such as bed and breakfast inns and Airbnb lodgings. 

They are an issue in these places because so many people stay there that, inevitably, someone will occasionally bring them in from home. 

Additionally, you can get bed bugs from public transportation, such as plane, bus, and train seats, for the same reason. 

You Live in a City  

Cities are havens for bed bugs because so many people spread them around. 

Furthermore, people living in cities are more likely to take public transport, putting them at an even higher risk of picking up bed bugs. 

The larger the city, the more likely you will get bed bugs. For instance, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles are some of the largest cities in the United States and are also a few of the most bedbug-infested. 

Internationally, Paris, a large city and popular tourist destination, often headlines because of its bed bug problem. 

However, metropolises aren’t the only places that can have bed bug issues. For example, Champaign, Illinois, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, aren’t huge cities but rank in the top 15 for bed bug-infested urban areas in the US. 

You Visit Lots of Different People’s Homes 

Whether you’re a social butterfly or go door to door for work, visiting lots of different houses will increase your risk of acquiring bed bugs. 

The primary way bed bugs travel is by hopping into a person’s bag and being carried to their new location. 

Thus, if you visit many different homes, you should be careful where you place your belongings to reduce your chances of picking up bed bugs. 

You Live in an Apartment Building or Dorm Room 

There are a lot of upsides to living in an apartment building, dorm room, or similar place, but there are also some disadvantages. 

And one of those drawbacks is an increased risk of bed bugs. 

Bed bugs are very sneaky because they’re tiny and can fit into small spaces, meaning they can easily travel throughout a building. So, if someone in your complex has bed bugs, it isn’t difficult for them to get into your unit. 

Are Bed Bugs More Common in Dirty Places?

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

No, bed bugs are not more common in dirty places, meaning you can easily get bed bugs from just about anywhere. 

Even an expensive five-star hotel can have bed bugs because these insects aren’t attracted to unclean locations. 

Instead, bed bugs only care about whether they have access to a host. Therefore, no matter how clean the home or establishment is, it could still harbor bed bugs. 

How do I Reduce My Risk of Getting Bed Bugs?

While it is tricky to know if you are in a place with a bed bug infestation, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of bringing them home with you.

If You Travel

If you travel a lot, reduce your chances of getting bed bugs when traveling by following these steps: 

  • Before you book, check the hotel’s reviews to see if anyone mentioned bed bugs 
  • Do not lay your bags on the ground in public vehicles
  • Search your hotel room for signs of bed bugs and if you find any, ask for another room 
  • Store your belongings on a luggage rack or in the bathtub to prevent bed bugs from crawling inside 
  • Keep your bags zipped up or latched as often as possible 
  • Inspect your belongings for bed bugs before you take them back into your home 

If You Visit Other Homes

If you often visit other peoples’ homes, keep your items, mainly bags, away from potentially infested areas, namely other people’s beds and furniture. 

Additionally, if you work in other people’s homes, you should have a separate work bag that you do not take back to your own house in case you pick up bed bugs from a client.

If Your Building Gets Bed Bugs

If you find that the building you live in is having trouble with bed bugs, reduce your chances of getting them from your neighbors: 

  • Declutter your unit so that bed bugs are easier to spot and, therefore, kill
  • Vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly to suck up any insects that may be hiding there
  • Put a mattress encasement around your bed to prevent bed bugs from getting inside
  • Do not visit your apartment neighbors if they have bed bugs 
  • Patch cracks or holes in your walls, ceilings, and floors to stop bed bugs from entering your unit through the building’s framework


Your chances of getting bed bugs a second time are just as high as getting them the first. 

Thus, you always need to ensure you take precautions to keep from getting bed bugs, especially if you: 

  • Travel often 
  • Live in a city 
  • Visit lots of different people’s homes 
  • Live in an apartment building or dorm room 

If you follow the advice above, you will drastically reduce your risk of getting bed bugs again.