9 Strange Places to Get Bed Bugs


Bed bugs are on the rise and on the move. The pests are true survivors who not only adapt their lifestyle to fit their location but also adapt genetically to withstand pesticides and other harsh circumstances. The tiny bed bug is a marvel of evolution and survival.

As bed bugs spread rapidly across the world in both metropolitan and rural locations, you might be surprised to learn where they are popping up. Here is a list of the strangest places people have gotten bed bugs:

  1. Public library: A library is a place where you can lounge with a good book or magazine. The safe, quiet confines are a book lover’s paradise. However, libraries are now being overrun by bed bugs. Reading in bed is a common practice, but it is also a great place for bed bugs to enter the bindings of books and hide. As the book lays on the bedside table at night, the bed bugs make themselves at home within the pages. When the book is returned to the library, the bed bugs quickly take over. They can be found in the upholstery, books, bookshelves, walls, baseboards, etc. When you checkout a book you might very well be bringing home hitchhikers who will rapidly take over.

  2. Jail Cells: Inmates are often allowed to remain in their own clothing until arraignment. In some cases, bed bugs have traveled in on their clothing and taken up residence on the cell cot where they can enjoy a constant supply of blood during the night when the inmates are asleep. Bed bugs can also spread when the clothing of the inmates is taken and stored with others. Most large jails bag the items in large ziplocks, but others put them in baskets or holding bins, allowing the bed bugs to move from outfit to outfit. When the prisoners are released, and their personal items are returned, they accidentally get bed bugs too.

  3. Courtrooms: In a bizarre scenario, a courthouse was evacuated after bed bugs were seen “pouring” out of a lawyer’s suit. Where the bed bugs came from is uncertain however courtrooms regularly house inmates who can be exposed to bed bugs as described. The upholstered seats in the courtroom are a perfect place for the blood-sucking pests to hide and nest.

  4. Nursing Homes: Residents bring their personal belongings with them to the nursing home which occasionally are infested with bed bugs. Nurses and staff can also bring the bugs into the establishment where they rapidly form a colony and enjoy dining off all the elderly residents during the night hour. In a recent survey conducted by the PMA and University of Kentucky, 24 percent of exterminators stated they had treated for bed bugs in a nursing home within the past year.

  5. Hospitals: Hospitals are a revolving door of patients, visitors, and staff. Bed bugs can rapidly infest a room and dine on patients during the night. The previously mentioned survey also revealed that 12 percent of the extermination companies had treated hospitals.

  6. Movie Theaters: Movie theaters have been associated with lice outbreaks. People go to the theater to watch a movie, lean back in the upholstered chairs, and infest the headrests with lice that spread to other moviegoers. The process is more or less the same with bed bugs. The bed bugs ride in on the person’s clothing and sets up shop on the movie theatre seats, coming out during the movie for a bite or hitching a ride on other movie goers back to their homes. The AMC Empire 25 in Times Square has had to treat the entire movie theater twice for widespread bed bugs.

  7. Buses: Buses, especially ones with upholstered seats, have been known to hide bed bugs. A news video of a bus in Philadelphia was recently released that shows the seat crawling with the bugs. Other forms of public transits have also revealed a spike in bed bug infestations including subways, trains, and taxis. In London, the subway system is preparing for a spike in bed bugs because in the summer months bed bugs are the most active and often start to breed.

  8. Churches: You are not even safe from bed bugs in the house of God. Some churches have congregations that number in the thousands and the soft seats of the pews can easily become infested with the bed bugs. Many insurance companies have started to address the growing bed bug problem in churches by offering policies with clauses to cover potential damages.

  9. Daycares: Daycares have become a common location for bed bug infestations. Both the staff and children can bring the pests into the facility on their clothing and spread them to the cribs and small beds intended for napping. Bed bugs are opportunists. Although they prefer to emerge at night under the cover of darkness, if they sense a change in a human’s respiration, they will be attracted and risk feeding during the day too. The incidences of bed bugs in the daycare center have become so commonplace that the United States EPA has released guidelines to address the problem.
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