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How Does Someone Get Bedbugs?

Bed bugs make their way around the community by hitchhiking. You can bring them into your home by: 

  • Taking in used clothing or upholstered furniture such as couches and mattresses. A good rule of thumb is: if you find it in a back lane, leave it there. You may be taking home someone else’s infestation.

    Most used furniture and clothing shops don't treat their stock for bed bugs. Ask before you buy and if they don’t, examine the items carefully for signs of bed bug activity before bringing items into your house.


  • You or someone in your household may have visited a home, hotel or public space that had bed bugs. 

    It is a myth that the presence of bed bugs has something to do with a building's condition or is the sign of an unclean house. Bed bugs don’t discriminate. You can pick them up as easily at a five-star resort as you can at a hostel.

    If you are concerned about picking up bed bugs while travelling see the Resources section for travel tips.

If you need to visit a place that has bed bugs there are ways to reduce your chances of taking them back to your home:

  • Don't take your coat off or put your bag down.

  • Sit on hard surfaces rather than upholstered furniture.

  • Once you have left, stomp your feet and shake your jacket out. Bed bugs don’t have grippers on their legs and are easy to dislodge.

  • As a final precaution, when you return home you can remove and shake out your clothes in your bathtub. Put the clothes in a plastic bag end empty it directly into the dryer on “high” for a full cycle.


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