Go to AAD Home
Donate For AAD Members Search

Go to AAD Home

Bedbugs: Who gets and causes

Who gets bedbugs?

Anyone can get bedbugs. An infestation can happen even if your home is spotless. Getting bedbugs has nothing to do with good hygiene and housekeeping.

How do you get bedbugs?

People get bedbugs when they bring bedbugs home with them. It’s easy to do, and you probably won’t notice until you get a few bedbug bites. The bugs can crawl into luggage, clothing, and onto other personal items without anyone noticing.

Places that can have bedbug infestations include:

  • Hotels, motels, and cruise ships

  • Apartment buildings and condominiums

  • Shelters

  • Hospitals and nursing homes

  • Dormitories

  • Buses and trains

You also can bring bedbugs into your home in a secondhand mattress or other piece of used furniture.

Bringing home just a few bedbugs can quickly turn into an infestation because:

  • A female bedbug lays between 200 and 500 eggs during its lifetime.

  • The bedbug’s lifespan ranges from 6 to 24 months.

  • A bedbug can survive for 12 months or longer without feeding.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Joint statement on bed bug control in the United States from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010

Fallen, RS, Gooderham, M. “bed bugs: an update on recognition and management.” Skin Therapy Lett. 2011; 16:5-7.

Steen CJ, Carbonaro PA, Schwartz RA. “Arthropods in dermatology.” J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 50:819-42.