Bed Bug FAQ

Bed bugs are a common problem in many households. These blood suckers can cause itching, redness, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Unfortunately, they are also challenging to get rid of, which is why many people have questions about how to prevent and treat bed bugs. Below, we’ll answer some of the most common Bed Bug Frequently Asked Questions.

Hitchhiking bed bugs:

The number way bed bugs are introduced into a home is by hitchhiking. Bed bugs can attach themselves to clothing, luggage, or other items that have been in contact with an infested area. Once they have hitched a ride, they can quickly spread to new locations.

Here is an example of a woman that brought a bed bug into her home after it crawled into her purse.

Used furniture and clothing:

Another way that bed bugs can be introduced into a home is by purchasing used furniture or clothing. Bed bugs can hide in the seams of clothing or furniture, making it difficult to detect an infestation before bringing the items into your home. Therefore, always inspect used items thoroughly before bringing them into your home.

Read how Daniel brought bed bugs into his home.

Read how bed bugs were brought home from used furniture.

Staying in infested hotels or homes:

Hotels and other lodging facilities are transit stations for bed bugs! When you stay in an infested hotel room or home, bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on your luggage or clothing and travel back to your home with you. Therefore, always inspect your hotel room before unpacking your bags.

Visiting public places:

Bed bugs can be found in many public places, including movie theaters, libraries, and public transportation. They can attach to your clothing or bags and travel home with you. Inspect your clothing and belongings carefully before leaving these public places to prevent this.

Second-hand electronics:

Bed bugs can also infest second-hand electronics, such as televisions or radios. They can hide in the crevices of these devices and hitch a ride to a new location when you bring the electronics into your home. Always inspect second-hand electronics before bringing them into your home.

Contaminated laundry:

Another way that bed bugs can spread is through contaminated laundry. For example, suppose you wash your clothes at a laundromat or shared laundry facility. In that case, bed bugs can easily travel from one load of laundry to another. Be sure to wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any bed bugs that may be present.

Pest control professionals:

While pest control professionals are trained to eliminate bed bugs, they can inadvertently introduce them into your home. Bed bugs can hitch a ride on their clothing or equipment, so inspect their belongings before allowing them into your home.

There are many examples, but three of the most popular include a woman who filed a lawsuit against Catskills resort for $27 million; she was bitten so bad that she can no longer stay in hotels. Because this is a critical part of how she makes her living (she’s in entertainment booking), she can no longer continue her lifestyle.

The second involves a woman staying at the Hilton hotel in Ohio; Sai Kim filed a lawsuit for more than $5 million, claiming that she ended up with 150 bedbug bites on her hands, feet, face, fingers, toes, legs, neck, back, chest, stomach, and genitals.

The claim reads like this:

As a direct result of exposure to bedbugs, she was left physically scarred and emotionally damaged, directly resulting from the defendant’s negligence. In addition, the hotel breached its duty to provide reasonably safe accommodations that eventually led to “embarrassing injury and tremendous emotional distress.

The last case, and probably the most significant bedbug case ever settled out of court, was a woman bitten more than 400 times while staying at a Hotel in San Francisco. Some say that she received $71,000 to settle her bedbug claim.

If you are bitten by bed bugs when you wake from a hotel, take pictures before you talk to management. Document everything you discuss with the manager, name, conversation, etc.

Ask to see the bed bug inspection sheet they were given after the pest control company did their last inspection. Most hotels have a company treat just to be safe, and they should not have a problem providing this.

Unfortunately, many managers claim the hotel has never had a problem. You should search our hotel bed bug registry for complaints. You have additional evidence if you find complaints, but the manager claims otherwise.

You’ll notice that when the CDC and other organizations discuss disease transmission from bed bugs, they talk about the feeding process, specifically when the bed bug inserts its tubes into your skin to deliver anesthetic and drink your blood.

Their statement might go something like this:
Tests conducted by the CDC do not show any evidence of HIV transmission from bed bugs or other blood sucking insects; however, viruses like West Nile, Yellow fever, and Malaria can be transmitted by mosquitoes, and the same may hold true for bed bugs.

The conclusion is that the blood from one human host is not injected into another human during feeding. However, a bedbug engorged with human blood can burst open, as shown in this picture by a visitor checking for bugs and ending up with human blood in her hand!

Bed bug burst open and exposed inspector to human blood while checking.

If you inspect a room with your bare hands, you may risk being exposed to human blood as you accidentally pop the bugs. Also, depending on where the bed bug was located on you as you rolled over during sleep, you could crush and expose yourself to human blood.

So, rather than ask, “Can you get aids from bed bugs” I prefer to ask, “Can you get aids from being exposed to infected blood from a bed bug.” It’s not the feeding process that I am concerned about, but rather exposure.

Bed Bugs Can Transmit Disease!
I have found no answers to this HIV question, but I did find the following:

Oriental Sore, Leprosy, Q-fever, and Brucellosis are all able to be spread by bed bugs (see: Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64. )

A recent study shows that bed bugs can pass Chagas Disease, which was thought impossible before these experiments were conducted on mice. Here is what UNM School of Medicine has to say about this disease:

Chagas disease, or American Trypanosomiasis, remains a leading cause of heart disease south of the US border. Approximately 12 million afflicted individuals, 40 million at-risk individuals, and 50,000 deaths yearly throughout Central and South America. The parasite Trypanosoma cruzi was responsible and is transmitted to humans by triatomine or kissing bugs.

It is not uncommon for two people to sleep in the same bed and for only one of them to be bitten by bed bugs. There are several factors, including how bed bugs feed and the individual’s reaction to the bed bug bites.

Bed bugs like the carbon dioxide we exhale when breathing. They are also attracted to the heat and moisture that our bodies produce. When a bed bug finds a host, it typically feeds for 5-10 minutes before retreating to its hiding spot. During this time, the bed bug will inject its saliva into the host’s skin, which can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

People react to bed bug bites differently. While some people may experience severe itching and swelling, others may not have any reaction at all. This means that one person in a bed may be bitten and have a visible reaction, while the other person may not even realize they have been bitten.

Where the bed bugs are located on the bed is another factor. If the bed bugs are concentrated on one side of the bed, the person sleeping on that side is more likely to be bitten.

Suppose one person is wearing clothing that is more attractive to bed bugs, such as clothing that has been worn before or that has not been washed recently. In that case, they may be more likely to be bitten.

It’s common for only one person in a bed to be bitten by bed bugs. This can be due to factors such as how bed bugs feed, the individual’s reaction to the bites, and the location of the bed bugs in the bed.

A lot of our visitors have been in this exact same situation, if you would like to read about their nightmare, then check out our page on two people sleeping together in the same bed while only one is being bitten.

While bed bugs are a nuisance and can cause discomfort and itching, they do not pose a significant health hazard. Bed bugs are not thought to spread diseases like other pests, such as mosquitoes or ticks; however, some studies suggest otherwise.

The primary health concern associated with bed bugs is their bites. Bed bugs feed on human blood; their bites can cause redness, swelling, and itching. Sometimes, people may be allergic to bed bug bites, leading to more severe symptoms such as hives or difficulty breathing. However, these reactions are relatively rare.

In addition to the physical symptoms of bed bug bites, infestations can significantly impact a person’s mental health. For example, bed bug infestations can cause anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness, which can have long-term effects on a person’s well-being.

While bed bugs do not pose a significant health hazard, it is still important to eliminate infestations as soon as possible. This is because bed bugs can reproduce quickly, and a small infestation can quickly become a much larger problem.

Visitors claim bed bugs do post a health hazard!

Sick of This says:

I want to say bed bugs are a health hazard. My little sister is covered head to toe with bites and rash because of them. She bleeds out and scratches at them all the time.

They are not safe for young children, especially because they don’t have the control not to scratch at the bites most of the time, and it’s even hard for someone like me to restrain myself. Luckily, I am not allergic, and they have not caused any rash with me, but it has to my little sister.

Unrelated to health, they can cause a drop in confidence in anyone who reacts badly to them. Someone with a minor reaction like me can pass it off as mosquito bites, but if the reaction is bad, like with my little sister, it causes problems.

She can’t go out to her after-school group anymore because of the risk it could cause, bringing bed bugs to their home or other children. For young people and for older, it’s hard to be confident with bites and rash all up your arms and legs, and for some people, their face.

People think you are diseased and catchable, and quite honestly, in a sense, you kinda are. You can bring bed bugs with you to work, or school, and other people can get them.

So yes, I would say that Bed Bugs are indeed a health hazard and should be taken care of the moment they are spotted.

Cyndi Howald says:

This is still undergoing research, but in Vancouver BC, Canada, a Dr/researcher discovered two patients with MRSA with no previous risk factors other than bad bed bug bites. They are doing further studies, see Bedbugs as Vectors for Drug-Resistant Bacteria.

Jlynn says:

I’m sorry, but I feel that they are a health issue. The loss of sleep, the freaking out and tearing apart furniture, tearing down walls, laying in bed clutching a flashlight, NOT SLEEPING, being paranoid. It is very much a health Issue. I used to think it was just a saying, never dreamed of them being real, and now I’m afraid to relax for fear that something wants me for dinner!

What I’ve gone through for the past 2 months is worse than any scary movie I’ve seen.. and the cost to call an exterminator would cost me over $1,200 to have my house treated and to buy that many bags and totes.

I’m about to move away and burn my house to the ground so no one else would have to deal with them and move to the Antarctic, where I know they don’t like cold temps. So Tell me they are not a HEALTH ISSUE….

Here are comments on MRSA & bed bug bites.

Bed bugs have six legs, just like most insects. However, their legs are short and stubby, which allows them to move quickly over flat surfaces. Despite their small size and limited mobility, bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They can easily use all six legs to travel from one location to another by attaching themselves to clothing, luggage, or other items that have been in contact with an infested area.

No, bed bugs can infest any home, regardless of how clean or dirty it is.

A cluttered bedroom where bed bugs like to hide.

A cluttered bedroom.

Looking at the picture of a cluttered room above, you might think so, but that’s just a stereotype; bed bugs don’t really care how clean or messy a room is, they will nest anywhere humans live.

Bugs that Bite like Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most dreaded pests homeowners can encounter. These blood-sucking insects can cause itchy welts and disrupt sleep, making them a serious nuisance. However, bed bugs aren’t the only bugs that bite. As shown below, several other pests can leave similar marks and cause similar problems, such as fleas, mosquitoes, mites, spiders, chiggers, ticks, and lice.


Fleas are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. While they are often associated with pets, such as dogs and cats, they can also bite humans. Flea bites are typically found on the feet and ankles, appearing as small, red, itchy bumps.

Read about how Amanda dealt with flea bites.


Mosquitoes are perhaps the most well-known biting insect. While they are often considered a nuisance at outdoor events, they can also enter homes and bite at night. Mosquito bites appear as raised, itchy bumps and can potentially transmit diseases.


Mites are tiny arachnids that can be found in dust and on pets. While most mites are harmless, some can cause itchy bites. Scabies, for example, are mites that burrow into the skin and can cause a rash and intense itching.

Here is more information on what mite bites look like and how to deal with them.


While most spiders do not harm humans, some species can bite and cause an itchy, swollen reaction. Spider bites are often mistaken for bed bug bites due to their similar appearance.


Chiggers are a type of mite that feeds on human skin. They are typically found in grassy areas and can cause itchy, red welts.


Ticks are parasitic arachnids that attach themselves to animals and humans to feed on their blood. While not all tick bites result in disease transmission, some tick species can transmit serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease.


Lice are small, wingless insects that live on the skin and hair of humans and animals. While they are typically associated with scalp infestations, they can also bite other body areas, resulting in itchy red bumps.

No, bed bugs cannot fly. They have underdeveloped wings and are unable to fly or jump long distances. These wingless insects move by crawling or hitchhiking on clothing or other items. However, bed bugs can move quickly and travel long distances in search of a blood meal. They can also climb walls and other surfaces, making them difficult to contain once they have infested a space.

And get this, bed bugs can hitch a ride on a bat; when the bat enters your home, so do the bugs! See the comparison of a Bat Bug vs Bed Bug.

Mite bites and bed bug bites can look similar, but there are some differences that can help you tell them apart. Here are some things to look for:

Mite bites:

  • Often appear as small, red, itchy bumps
  • May appear in clusters or lines
  • Can be accompanied by a rash or blisters
  • Can be caused by various types of mites, including dust mites and scabies mites

Bed bug bites:

  • Often appear as small, red, itchy bumps that are slightly raised
  • May appear in a linear or clustered pattern, often in areas that are exposed during sleep (e.g. arms, legs, neck, face)
  • May cause a burning or itching sensation
  • Bed bugs may leave other signs of their presence, such as blood stains on bedding, fecal spots, or the bugs themselves

The key difference is knowing how to identify bed bug bites.

It can be difficult to tell flea bites apart from bed bug bites because both can appear as small, red, itchy bumps on the skin. However, there are some differences that can help you distinguish between the two:

Flea bites:

  • Often appear in clusters or lines on the skin
  • May have a red halo around the bite
  • Usually appear on the lower legs and ankles, but can also appear on other parts of the body
  • Can cause intense itching and a burning sensation
  • Fleas may leave other signs of their presence, such as flea dirt (dark, pepper-like specks) on bedding or furniture, or the fleas themselves on pets or in the environment

Bed bug bites:

  • Often appear in a linear or clustered pattern, often in areas that are exposed during sleep (e.g. arms, legs, neck, face)
  • May cause a burning or itching sensation
  • Bed bugs may leave other signs of their presence, such as blood stains on bedding, fecal spots, or the bugs themselves

Understanding how to identify bed bug bites will be a big help!