How fast do bed bugs spread from room to room?

Bed bugs are a common pest that can be found in hotels, apartments and homes. These pests can move quickly between one area to the next. To stop them multiplying across your home, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Before you call a pest management expert, there may be a few things you can do yourself to remove bugs from your home, and stop them moving to other places.

They can move with a speed of 4 feet per minute, so it only takes them 15 secs to move 1 foot. So if you have 30 feet between two rooms, it would take them 7 mins 30 secs.

Ways that infestations can start in your home

Bed bugs start out in other parts of the home, likely on someone who has been bitten and then travels to another location.

It’s not uncommon for them to be found near a person’s bed or living quarters because it provides warmth, shelter, and plenty of blood meals. They feed on human blood, so they will crawl towards a bed and stay there during the evening. These creatures will follow the carbon dioxide you breathe out when you are sleeping.

One type of infestation can lead to another in the form of these insects contaminating other, non-living spaces.

These pests can multiply rapidly and be difficult to manage if they are not discovered early on.

What to look for

You can identify them by their flat bodies, long antennae, and distinctive reddish-brown color. If they have recently eaten, their bodies will be bloated with human blood, and they will appear larger.

Bed bug bites are often mistaken for other insect bites or reactions to particular foods such as wheat flour or banana peels.

The first signs may be small blood stains on sheets or linens found near the infested area. Signs of an infestation include the bugs themselves, eggs found in bedding, skin cells from the bed bug’s cast-off exoskeleton shed while molting, and fecal spots. A female will lay eggs that are around the size of a poppy seed and is white in color. If you can identify these pests yourself, you may be able to save time and money before calling out a pest management operator.

sofa infestation of bed bugs

Bed bug infestation speed

Bed bugs travel between one room and another sometimes quite quickly. They are most often picked up by travelers who unknowingly bring the bug into a new location. They will also crawl between an infested piece of furniture in one room and then find their way onto a person’s clothing, suitcase, or possibly even backpack. Once they get on these items, they can easily crawl into a new area and start to infest the bed in that location.

They move between one area to another through cracks or holes located around floorboards, baseboards, and wall molding. These tiny spaces are just big enough for bed bug eggs, nymphs and adults to squeeze through and make their way into an adjacent room.

These insects may also spread through the use of luggage or infected suitcases, as these items are often moved from one location to another without anyone knowing that bed bugs have traveled along with them.

Nymph reproduction rate

Adult bed bugs also reproduce at a rapid rate. For their population to grow, it only takes one male and a female in the same space to produce up to 800 baby bugs within just six months.

luggage service

Movement speed and distance

Bed bugs generally prefer to crawl, since they are slow. They can move about an inch in a minute. This may not seem very fast, but bug movement is often overlooked and underestimated. They will also go into hiding during daylight hours as their photophobic instincts tell them that this is the best time to rest and avoid detection. This means that their rate of movement is even slower during the day than it is in the morning or at night.

Understanding their behavior can help us understand ways they spread from one room to another, as well as what we need to do if we think there might be a problem with an infestation.

Their methods of travel

They travel around a home on furniture, bedding and belongings. A single infested item left alone for more than 24 hours may lead to new infestations in different rooms of the house. Bedbugs are not known to spread disease but their bites can cause allergic reactions or psychological effects such as anxiety and depression.

bed bug close up photo

Hiding places within furniture

Bed bugs can hide within the joints of furniture, behind loose wallpaper or wall cracks. They can hide in bed frames, box springs, dressers, nightstands, and desks. They will also make a home within a mattress and pillow.

They are not just restricted to the bed, they will travel across floors via electrical cords or on clothing of people walking through the house. Bedbugs can be found in any crevice where there is a space large enough for them to crawl inside. They typically stay close by their human host but if disturbed they will travel away from the home.

These creepy-crawlies love dark, warm places and often hide in the seams of furniture. They prefer to stay close to their host and thus bedding is often infested more than other pieces of soft furnishings.

box spring mattress

Prevention tips

1. Cover your mattress

A mattress cover will protect it from bed bugs. This will allow you to sleep in peace without having to worry about getting bitten by a bug while you sleep.

Most types can be machine washed, so they’re easy to maintain as well.

2. Store clothes in sealed plastic bins and keep them off the ground

It is important to keep your clothes in a sealed plastic bin to avoid the insects coming into contact with your clothes.

It is also important to keep them off the ground as this will help rule out any chance of them getting inside it too.

Store all items in containers if possible, and if you have an infestation then wash your items on high heat before storing them back in the container.

3. Remove clutter

Chuck out items you don’t need to make it easier to spot bed bugs.

It’s important to reduce clutter around the house as this will lessen the chances of having any place for pests to hide.

This includes old furniture and boxes that can harbor bedbugs, as these items are very difficult to inspect properly.

4. Clean up after yourself

Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or any clothes lying around. They can live for a time on these items, especially if they’re unwashed and have fabric softener on them.

Bedbugs are often found close to their food source, so cleaning up after yourself will help keep bedbugs at bay, and you’ll be less likely to leave anything around to attract them.

5. Use bug powder

Bed bug powder can help to kill them you see on surfaces like counter tops or tables, and it can also help to lower bed bug numbers in other areas of your home.

To apply the powder, sprinkle some around where you’ve seen a bedbug, wait about 15 minutes for it to kill the individual insect then vacuum up any excess powder from the surface.

Repeat this process until all surfaces are covered with a thin layer of powder.


Hopefully this article has helped answer this question for you. Bed bugs are a serious problem that can cause significant anxiety for people. In order to stop them spreading, it is important to know how they travel and what steps you should take if you find them in your home.

There are many different ways that bed bugs move around the house; some of these include on clothing or by hitchhiking onto furniture or objects carried into the home. You may also have an infestation in your bedroom because there is something attracting them that needs to be replaced with new material that doesn’t attract pests. If after following all of our suggestions, you still see evidence of bedbugs crawling out at night, call pest control services right away!



Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

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