Can Bed Bugs Live in Carpet | Infestation Risks and Prevention Tips

Written by Thomas Matthews

Bed bugs mainly infest beds and mattresses. Most of the time, you’ll see bed bugs in your bed but as these bugs love traveling around, they can also infest other things in your house.

Can bed bugs live in carpet? Bed bugs can live in the carpet, but the type of carpet can drastically increase or decrease the severity of the infestation. Having bed bugs inside your carpet often means that you also have them in your mattress and clothes as well.

This is because bed bugs often use carpet to travel around your house before they attach to another bed or piece of clothing. In some cases, bed bugs will choose to live in your carpet, especially if you don’t have a bed in a particular room.

An infested bed can be thrown out but remember that you can still have bed bugs in your carpet and this is the exact reason why they’re there – because you don’t have a bed in that room!

Before you get scared of bed bugs, let us reassure you that it’s not a major reason to worry about. Whether you have bed bugs in your carpet, bed, or clothes, you’re not the first one to experience this.

The bed bug infestation can be quite severe but once you learn the fundamentals in this article, you won’t have to worry about it so much. With that in your mind, let’s learn more about bed bug infestation in the carpet.

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Carpet?

Why Have Bed Bugs Infested Your Carpet.

The usual culprit, in this case, is that you already have bed bugs in your bed. In 99% of cases, this is true. Bed bugs will always attack the target that seems the most comfortable to them, which is, of course, your bed.

In the bed or your mattress, there is a lot of space to hide and lay eggs. They can hide in your mattress, under the mattress, walk around it, and lay eggs. As you can see, this is a lot of space for bed bugs. Thousands upon thousands of bed bugs will quickly multiply and your bed will be a perfect home for these little bastards.

Now, as bed bugs multiply, they will start to search for more places to lay their eggs. Of course, they will first look for any beds in your home.

To get to other rooms, they’ll need to travel either across the walls or across the floor, where your carpet is. Depending on the size of your apartment or house, bed bugs might decide to live in your carpet or under it.

This depends on the factors we’ll mention in just a second. And there you have it, you probably have the bed bugs infestation in both your bed and your carpet… and possibly your wardrobe, so check it out.

Beware that bed bugs will always infest your bed first and then move to the next target. So, if you have bed bugs in your carpet, in most cases, you’ve already had bed bugs in your bed.

How Did Bed Bugs Get in Your Carpet?

How Did Bed Bugs Get in Your Carpet

This breeds another question – how did they get in your carpet? We partially answered in the previous section. The number one reason is that you’ve already had bed bugs in your bed, so they just moved to another place to live.

However, the issue may arise when you try to get rid of the infested bed or mattress. Dragging your mattress along the floor will cause a certain number of bed bugs to transfer onto the carpet and remain there, while your bed is outside.

This small number of bed bugs is still dangerous. You got rid of, let’s say 90% of bed bugs in your home but the 10% that is left of them can still mate and lay their eggs.

The same can apply to your clothes. If your clothes have a bed bug infestation, don’t throw it around wherever you deem appropriate in your house. If you’re one of those sloppy people who throw their clothes around, we have bad news for you – you’ll get infested pretty quickly.

As you can see, when your bed is infested with bed bugs, they can also infest your carpet pretty easily if you’re not careful. In many cases, this is how they infest your carpet, by you not being careful with the other infested places in your house.

Can Bed Bugs Live Under Carpet?

Can Bed Bugs Live Under Carpet

Let’s get some common misconceptions out of the way. One misconception is that bed bugs are mainly nocturnal animals, which isn’t the case. They will feed whenever they feel hungry, even if it means that you’re awake and you can feel them on your skin.

Hunger is their main motivation, as it is with every animal and insect. The second misconception is that bed bugs always live in your bed. Nah, that’s not true. Indeed, the bed is usually the most comfortable place for them to live but when it’s not, they will live wherever they like.

This is why every room, apartment, and even office is prone to bed bug infestations. Yes, you’ve read that well, bed bugs can infest offices!

Does that tell you something? It tells you that bed bugs can adapt to every condition. Well, except for the heat, they despise that. Other than that, bed bugs are very smart and can outsmart you easily if you aren’t experienced. It’s perfectly “fine” for bed bugs to live in your carpet and it’s nothing strange.

If you’re wondering why did they choose the carpet instead of your bed, you’ll have to ask them in person because there might be something on your bed that makes them love it less than your carpet.

When it comes to living under the carpet, some circumstances are more suitable than others.

The first condition is that your carpet doesn’t scale from wall to wall. If it’s in the middle of your room or is not bound to any wall, bed bugs can get under. It’s not that the opposite case will prevent them but it’s easier for them if your carpet isn’t in contact with any wall.

Remember that bed bugs are very tiny and since their body is flat, they can fit everywhere. If a thickness of a credit card can fit in, that place can fit in a whole lot of bed bugs, that’s a general rule.

If your carpet is worn away in some places, this is also a good chance for bed bugs to get inside. Holes and tears are excellent entrances that will allow them to hide and lay their eggs as they wish.

Can Bed Bugs Live in a Carpet Cleaner?

Can Bed Bugs Live in a Carpet Cleaner

Yes, bed bugs can live in a carpet cleaner. When you have bed bugs in your carpet, many recommend that you use your carpet cleaner to get rid of them. While this is an excellent method and will work, it will work temporarily if you don’t empty it right away. If you empty your carpet cleaner, bed bugs will be forever gone from your house.

Why is it important to empty your carpet cleaner? Because vacuuming alone isn’t enough to kill bed bugs. It isn’t even going to harm them, as they can still reside in your carpet cleaner and use it as a hideout.

When they’re hungry, they can get out, get some blood, and return inside. It’s just theory but in real life, they NEVER get back inside. Why would they, when they have all those wonderful carpets, beds, and clothes?

Bed bugs can live in a carpet cleaner and survive inside ONLY if they can feed. If we’re talking about long-term life, then no. They need to have easy access to their host, which is why they will return to your bed after you’ve vacuumed them and emptied your cleaner.

This short life isn’t that short, just to warn you. In normal circumstances which include standard room temperature, they can survive half a year without food. Also, if you plan on renting a carpet cleaner, you should know that there might already be bed bugs inside. Many people rent carpet cleaners purely for this reason. That’s why you need to be careful.

Can Bed Bug Eggs Live in a Carpet?

Yes, bed bugs and eggs can live in a carpet. The only requirement is that the surface is coarse, as bed bug eggs can’t stick to plastic, metal or glass. When it comes to the carpet, which is usually coarse, it’s almost a perfect place. Additionally, bed bugs will secrete a sticky substance that will make sure that eggs are held firmly.

The best place for bed bugs to lay their eggs is either wood or fabric. In simpler terms, this means your bed frame, your mattress, clothes, and carpet.

Before you move on to the next section, let’s talk a bit more about this. As parents, bed bugs are very neglectful. The male bed bugs are involved only in impregnating the mother and after that, they’re gone. The disgusting thing is that it can be his mother! To make things worse, female bed bugs aren’t better. They lay their eggs and they continue with their lives, with no intention to care for them.

As such, bed bugs will not be so picky when it comes to laying eggs, meaning that they can slap them wherever they live. Is this good news? Well, not exactly. This means that your carpet is an excellent target.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Carpet?

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Carpet

Now that you’ve learned all there is to learn about bed bug infestation in carpets, it’s time to get rid of them.

Thankfully, we have a whole different article on how to get rid of bed bugs in carpets and we talk about this topic in-depth.

In this article, you’ll learn how to get rid of bed bugs in carpets using different ways. This article can save you some cash if you read it thoroughly, we promise!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting into Carpet?

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting into Carpet

As we always say, it’s better to prevent than to cure. In this case, it’s much better because you’ll save yourself some struggle, stress, and money.

Preventing bed bugs from getting into the carpet is easy and it includes the methods you’re probably using already.

Here are the most efficient methods:

Vacuum Often

My grandma always used to teach me to vacuum my home often and I’m thankful for that. Vacuuming isn’t going to tire you to death and on top of that, it’s a very efficient method for preventing huge infestations.

The reason for this is that vacuum succeeds in cleaning all sorts of dirt in your carpet, including bugs, spiders, mosquitos, or whatever there is.

Depending on the size of your carpets, it will not take you more than half an hour to vacuum everything up. You can even vacuum your bed covers, just to make sure that no bed bug will emerge.

Inspect Your Furniture When Buying It

You may be buying the new furniture from your local retailer but hey, they’re also people and they make mistakes. What if that piece of furniture has bed bugs in it?

Your retailer might not know about it because it depends on the conditions in which the furniture has been kept. This is the retailer’s fault but it’s also your fault if the infestation in your house happens.


Because you didn’t check the furniture before bringing it into your home. Furniture isn’t cheap as a burger in your local burger shop, so take your time and look around.

Try to focus on verified retailers and don’t buy used furniture ever. Buying used furniture from people you don’t know can be a cardinal mistake, so don’t do that.

Seal the Cracks and Holes

If your bed or carpet is old and you don’t have the cash to buy a new one, you might want to check it for cracks and holes. I bet your old bed has some holes in it, without even looking at it.

You can seal those holes in numerous ways but the best way is to call the professionals to do it for you. There are a lot of professionals that manufacture and fix the furniture and they can do it for you for an affordable price.

To summarize, bed bugs can live in carpets, especially if you have a bed bugs infestation in your bed. Carpets are great for laying eggs, making them a great habitat for bed bugs.

Since they have quick and easy access to their prey (you), the carpet and your bed are enough for bed bugs to survive in the long run.

But, if you take drastic measures to prevent this from happening, you can decrease the chances of infestation quite a lot.

Always inspect furniture before bringing it to your home, be sure to vacuum often, and keep your house as clean as possible.

List of Sources

Cimex lectularius Linnaeus (Bed Bugs), University of Florida/IFAS Featured Creatures Web site

EPA. (May 2010). Controlling Bed Bugs. Pesticides: Controlling Pests. (26 April 2017)

Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64.

Ghauri MSK. 1973. Hemiptera (bugs), pp. 373-393. In K.G.V. Smith [ed], Insects and Other Arthropods of Medical Importance. British Museum, London, England.

Thomas Matthews
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