Bed bugs are tiny pests that are a nuisance in most homes and especially in the bedrooms once they infest. They can spread rapidly fast, and you may think they have wings, but not really. They move by crawling from one area to another to slowly spread to other rooms in the house. Bed bugs feed on human blood. Hence, they are attracted to people as their prey. Mostly they will infest the bed and seats where you spend the most part of your day or night. The question most people ask is, how long does it take for bed bugs to spread? You will also most likely not understand how and where they came from to be in your house as their initial infestation is very hard to notice.

Movement of infested items

Bed bugs can get into the house when moving furniture and boxes from infested locations. They can also be transported through personal items such as clothes, rucksacks, and handbags from public places. Acquiring used items from the streets or your neighbors infested with bed bugs is also another avenue for bringing them into your house. They will attach and hold on firmly to these items until you get home. Then they start moving to hidden places in the house, including bed frames, mattress bidding, curtain edges, picture frames, among other places. This usually happens at night when you can’t see them, but they can see well in the dark. These are the most common ways in which we assist bed bugs to spread from far ends fast and easily to our homes.

Overnight stay at public places

When you book and reside in your favorite hotel, you don’t consider that the room might have that single bed bug from a previous visitor. Hundreds of people occupy a hotel room in a month, increasing the chances of spreading bed bugs to other occupants. Other similar places likely to spread bed bugs include hospitals and schools. Hence, without your knowledge, you will end up carrying one in your suitcase, clothes or books back to your house. If lucky, you might spot one lining on the zipper or hiding on the folds of your clothes.

Breeding rate

Once they are in your house, bedbugs will take their time to reproduce and multiply over the next several weeks. A single female bed bug can lay tens of eggs in a month at different areas in your house if she happened to have been fertilized. Therefore, depending on how many bed bugs got into your house in the first place, the number of new beg bugs can rise to hundreds in a month or two. Since when they feed they leave no marks on the skin and then hide during the day, they may continue to spread unnoticed for several months. As soon as they are well-fed, they go into hiding to mate and reproduce.

Bed bugs also have a favorable reproductive cycle and a longer life cycle of up to one year. Hence, facilitating them to multiply highly and spread in the house. It only takes a stab on the abdomen of a female beg bug by a male one to fertilize the eggs. Consequently, she can start to lay up to five eggs at a time in the coming days, which will hatch within ten days. In her lifetime, a single female bug can lay up to three hundred eggs. The young nymphs can survive for several weeks with one feeding and hidden in cracks, bed frames, and other places. Hence if you were to eliminate them, you would need to apply pesticides continuously for weeks so as not to miss out on a newly hatched nymph.

How fast can they move?

Bed bugs are experts when it comes to crawling on the floor, walls, furniture, and clothes. They are capable of crawling at high speeds with their six legs. They can travel a distance of three to four feet in a minute across most surfaces. This allows them to quickly move on the floor and between furniture from one room to another. When spotted, they will seek new hiding places very fast and identify new breeding spots before you can locate them again.

Additionally, they have good eyesight to crawl in the dark and will move back into hiding pretty fast when you turn on the lights. This ability to move fast also allows them to escape pesticides from one room to the next especially in an apartment. Hence, instead of being eliminated, you will be surprised by how fast they will continue to spread if you don’t maintain a consistent application of the pesticide.

Adaptation and resilience

Bed bugs are opportunistic pests and can sense anticipated moves to unearth them. They will explore new places the moment you begin to disturb their hiding dens. They will hide in the darkest places in the day and in the most secure areas where pesticides cannot easily reach them. They can also do without food for several weeks to let you think they are gone. Hence, they will stay put until they detect the pesticide has reduced its effectiveness and then move to new breeding grounds.

They are also very sensitive and sense their prey by following body heat and breathe. Their saliva has a soothing chemical to make you insensitive to a pierce and then feed sufficiently to last them for weeks. Since they won’t need to feed again soon, they will spend all their time moving to uncongested places and breeding all over again. This form of adaption allows them to play hide and seek without being caught.


Bed bugs may not irritate your skin to suspect your house is infested with pests. They also don’t invade your home because of unhygienic conditions but because they feed on human blood and are looking for food. They are common in apartments than in ordinary stand-alone houses because of lower sunlight. A single infestation is enough to start a breeding ground. Thereafter, the bed bugs will multiply and infest your entire house in a matter of weeks. Knowing the behavior of bed bugs and how they spread can easily assist you in detecting and eliminating them early enough and easily using the appropriate methods. Learn more about bedbugs and how to get rid of them on your own.