Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Think bed bugs only live in dingy motel rooms? Think again! 

These persistent pests live in pristine homes and swanky hotels; they’re not picky about zip codes. Understanding where they come from is key to eliminating them and ensuring they never return.

So, where do bed bugs come from?

Join us as we learn where bed bugs come from and how you can keep them from turning your home into their next hotspot. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a homebody, this guide is your first line of defense against these night-time nuisances.

Meet the Bed Bug

Bed bugs, scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, are small, elusive pests that feed exclusively on blood. Around the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm), these pests are small, flat, and oval in shape, sporting a reddish-brown hue that becomes darker after feeding. 

Their slim bodies and sneaky nature allow them to hide in the crevices of beds, furniture, and even cracks in your walls. They emerge primarily at night to feed on their unsuspecting hosts.

So, how do bed bug infestations develop and grow? Bed bugs begin their lives in tiny, translucent eggs, barely visible to the naked eye. After hatching, the insect progresses through five nymphal stages, each requiring a meal of blood before molting to the next stage. 

With each molt, they inch closer to adulthood. The process from egg to adult can vary in length depending on temperature and food availability, but they typically mature in around five weeks. 

But what draws bed bugs into our homes?

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirt and grime; they are drawn to warmth, carbon dioxide, and blood. They don’t jump or fly but can quickly move over floors, walls, and ceilings. Understanding these facts can help you better prepare to prevent and tackle infestations.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs are sneaky pests that can enter our homes in many ways we might not expect. Understanding these common entry points is crucial in preventing and managing infestations.

So, where do bed bugs come from?


Travel undoubtedly broadens the mind but can also increase the risk of an infestation. These critters stow away in hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals. Since they can easily cling to luggage, clothing, and personal belongings, they find it easy to travel from one place to another unnoticed.

Always inspect the bed, including the mattress seams, bed frame, and headboard, for signs of bed bugs like tiny blood spots, dark fecal marks, or the bugs themselves. We recommend elevating your luggage on a rack away from the bed or walls or placing your luggage in the bathroom until you check your room. 

For extra protection, consider using protective covers for your suitcase and sealing your clothing in plastic bags. Afterward, throw your clothes in the wash and dry them on high heat to eliminate any unwanted guests.

Second-Hand Items

Buying second-hand furniture, clothing, and other items can save money and help the environment, but there’s a downside: the risk of introducing bed bugs into your home. These items could have originated from places with infestations, and bed bugs are masters at concealing themselves in small spaces.

Before bringing any second-hand items into your home, inspect them for any signs of infestation. For furniture, look in seams, cracks, and crevices. Wash clothing and other fabric items in hot water immediately, and consider using a high-heat setting in the dryer for at least 30 minutes.

Never bring large second-hand items into your home without adequately checking them first; bed bugs are sneaky and could slip into indoor spaces unnoticed! 

Public Transportation

Buses, trains, and planes are not just means of transportation; they can also give bed bugs a ride to their next home! Public transit vehicles have a constant influx of travelers, making them perfect for these pests looking for a new victim. 

African American man on a subway holding a phone

So, what’s the best practice for commuters? Keep your personal items like purses, backpacks, and briefcases off the floor and tightly closed when possible. Regularly clean and inspect these items for any signs of bed bugs, especially if you travel often.

Nearby Infestations

Bed bugs in multi-unit buildings, like apartments and condos, can move between units via small cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and ceilings. Shared laundry facilities and common areas also provide pathways for these pests.

To mitigate the risk, ask your landlord to seal cracks and crevices with caulk to limit movement between units. Be vigilant in shared laundry areas by keeping your items in plastic bags and inspecting the machines before use. 

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Finding out where bed bugs come from is just one part of the puzzle. Understanding and recognizing the signs of a bed bug infestation can help you quickly control the situation. Here’s how to spot the telltale indicators that pests might be living with you:

Identifying Bites 

Bed bug bites are often the first sign of an infestation. These bites appear as small, red, itchy welts that usually pop up in a line or cluster on your skin. They are commonly found on areas of the body exposed during sleep, like your face, neck, arms, and hands. 

Reactions to bed bug bites can vary; some people may not react at all, while others may experience significant swelling or an allergic reaction. If you notice random bites cropping up, contact your doctor to rule out other pests or ailments. 

Visual Cues

In addition to bites, there are several visual clues that prove you have an infestation: 

  • Bed Bugs: Adults are about the size of an apple seed, oval-shaped, and reddish-brown. They can often be found in mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, and headboards.
  • Eggs: Bed bug eggs are tiny (about 1 mm), white, and slightly pear-shaped. They are typically tucked away in hidden spots, like the cracks and crevices of a mattress or other piece of furniture.
  • Excrement: Look for small dark spots (bed bug feces) on bedding, mattresses, and walls. These spots look like a dot made by a marker and might bleed into the fabric.
  • Shed Skins: As bed bugs mature, they shed their skins multiple times. Finding these molted skins, which look like lighter, empty versions of bed bugs, is a strong indicator of an infestation.

Next Steps: Contact Natura

Now that you know where bed bugs come from, you can prepare yourself against potential invasions; however, if bed bugs start to take over your home, you should call in the experts. 

Here at Natura, we’re well-versed in bed bug control and can eliminate these painful pests in no time. For top-notch pest control in the Vancouver-Portland Metropolitan area, contact us today!

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