Home » Bed Bugs » Can You Get Bed Bugs From Walking in Someone’s House?

Can You Get Bed Bugs From Walking in Someone’s House?

Bed bugs cause a lot of anxiety because they’re annoying pests that are hard to get rid of and constantly invade your personal space. 

So, if someone you know has bed bugs in their home, you may be wary of going near them. 

But, should you be?

It is possible to get bed bugs from walking in someone’s home or just being close to them. However, it is doubtful that you’ll get bed bugs from someone unless you spend time on or near an infested item. 

Can I Get Bed Bugs From Another Person’s Home?

Close-up photo of a bed bug.

Yes, you can get bed bugs from another person’s home, but your likelihood of bringing their infestation back to your own house depends on two factors. 

Probably the most important of these has to do with where you sit or leave your bag. 

Bed bugs usually prefer to live in places where humans frequently sleep or lounge. 

Thus, a colony of bed bugs is most likely to be in or around a mattress. 

So, if you sit on a person’s bed or lay your bag near it, you’ll have a greater chance of picking up bed bugs. 

How likely you are to get bed bugs from a person’s home also depends on the colony’s size. 

If they have a particularly awful infestation, there will be more bed bugs in their house, meaning the insects have probably migrated to more places.

Therefore, they could have bed bugs just about anywhere in their home. 

How Do Bed Bugs Spread From Person to Person?

Well, first of all, you should know that bed bugs do not live on people. 

So, your likelihood of getting a bed bug directly from another person is pretty slim. 

Bed bugs can cling to people’s clothes, though, so there is a possibility that an insect can leave a person and get onto you. 

Yet, you’re most likely to get a bed bug on you and bring it to your home if you lay, sit, or put your bag on or near an infested item. 

If you do, the bed bugs can crawl out of their hiding spot and into your bag or onto your clothes, allowing them to follow you to your house. 

Where Do Bed Bugs Live?

Woman with magnifying glass detecting bed bug in bedroom.

As I said, bed bugs prefer to live on or near places where people often sleep or lounge, such as beds, couches, and recliners. 

Yet, they can live just about anywhere if they choose to do so. 

But, there are certain areas they favor when other insects have already occupied their preferred spaces. 

Some places that bed bugs like to hide beside beds and couches include: 

  • Inside walls
  • On carpets and rugs 
  • In the folds of curtains 
  • Inside drawers 
  • In the corners that connect the wall and the ceiling 
  • Inside electronics 
  • On or in stuffed animals 
  • In wallpaper 

How Do I Know if Bed Bugs Have Gotten Into My Home?

By far, the best way to know if you’ve brought bed bugs home with you is to spot one of the insects. 

Thus, you need to know how to identify a bed bug. 

Yet, if you can’t find a bed bug, you can look for signs of bed bug activity instead. 

How to Identify a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are tiny insects that are about the size of an apple seed as adults. 

They are also brown with a dark spot at the center of their abdomens, where they store their last blood meal. 

Yet, young bed bugs may be a bit more translucent. 

Bed bugs are also usually pretty flat but can swell up to a cylinder shape after eating. 

Additionally, you will notice that, despite whether the bed bug is flat or round, its body will come to a point at its rear end. 

Bed bug bodies, too, have slight indents that resemble stripes running up their backs. 

Furthermore, bed bugs lack wings and have six legs and medium-sized antennas when compared to other insects. 

Other Signs of Bed Bugs 

Some of the most common signs of bed bugs include: 

  • Small blood stains on your sheets, blankets, or pillows
  • Dark or rust-colored marks on your mattress or the nearby walls 
  • Bed bug eggs and egg casings
  • Bed bug exoskeletons
  • A musty odor on your mattress or bedclothes 

What Steps Should I Take if I Went to a Bed Bug Infested Building?

Photo of a room with bed, couch, and vintage decorations.

If you believe you visited a home, hotel, or some other place that has bed bugs, you need to be careful not to infest your own home. 

One way you can do this is by immediately washing and drying your clothes when you get to your house. 

And, of course, if there’s any way you can change and put your clothes in a plastic bag before you enter your home, you should. 

Either way, you need to wash and dry your clothes on the highest heat setting to kill any bed bugs that may be hanging on them. 

If you brought a bag with you to the infested place, you should take out the items before entering your home. 

Then, place everything in plastic bags. 

Next, wash and dry any items that can go in the laundry by dumping the materials directly from the plastic bag into the washer. 

For objects that can’t go in the wash, you should carefully inspect them in your yard or garage before taking them out of the plastic bags. 

Use a flashlight and a magnifying glass to look for the insects since they are so small. 

You should also search through your bag, making sure to check every fold and pocket for the tiny pests. 


You can get bed bugs from walking around someone’s house. 

However, as long as you stay away from infested furniture, you’ll probably be okay. 

You should check all your belongings before bringing them into your home, though, to avoid causing an infestation.