Bed Bugs in Kitchen, Why? Plus, What To Do

Why are bed bugs in my kitchen? You may see a bed bug in your kitchen for many reasons. Bed bugs have a knack for finding their way into places we least expect them, including a kitchen. But what are the likeliest reasons why?

Read on to learn more about why bed bugs could be in your kitchen and what to do.

7 Reasons Why You Might Find Bed Bugs in Kitchen

Each of these reasons is speculation. You will need to take these ideas and do some investigative work to determine why the bed bug ended up in your kitchen.

In some cases, you’ll never figure it out, but it may cause enough for you to be more careful when coming home. Changing out of your clothing as soon as you get home is an excellent first step.

There are Bed Bugs In Your Bed

The bug may be in your kitchen because it fell off your pajamas. Some people are not allergic to bed bug bites, so they don’t know their bed is infested.

If you have an infestation in your bedroom, the bugs could end up in other parts of your house, including the kitchen. We help people with bed bug situations daily who didn’t even realize they had them until they saw a bed bug in a random place, like the kitchen.

What Should You Do?

You’ll need to do a thorough bed bug inspection of your entire bed, bed frame, and couch. Look for evidence like bed bug poop, live bugs, or shed skins.

It’s Actually Not a Bed Bug

If you find a bug in your kitchen and suspect it’s a bed bug, it’s essential to identify it correctly before taking action. While bed bugs are a common household pest, many other bugs can be mistaken for them.

Some other bugs that might be mistaken for bed bugs include:

Carpet beetles:

We find these small, oval-shaped insects in carpets, box springs, and wooden furniture. However, you can also find them in kitchen cabinets and storage areas. People mistake them for bed bugs due to their similar shape and size, but they don’t bite and don’t feed on blood.

Flour Beetle

If you have bugs in your flour, then you may also find them wandering around your kitchen. Sometimes our clients text us a photo of a bug and oftentimes its one of the flour bugs. Since they are reddish brown, people think that they are a bed bug, but their body shape and size is totally different.


Cockroaches are common kitchen pests and can be mistaken for bed bugs because they are similar in size and color. However, cockroaches have wings and long antennae, while bed bugs have more oval-shaped bodies and no wings.


Fleas are usually associated with pets, but they can survive in the home off of a pet too. They are tiny insects that can jump long distances. Some clients mistake bed bugs for fleas because they are similar in size and can cause itchy bites.

Spider beetles:

You’ll find these small, reddish-brown beetles crawling across your bed, in stored food products, or just about anywhere in the home. Because of the spider beetle’s round red bodies, they might be the number one bug that our client mistakes for a bed bug.

What Should You Do?

If you find a bug in your kitchen and suspect it’s a bed bug, the best course of action is to capture it and get it identified by a pest control professional. They can determine the type of bug and recommend the appropriate treatment if necessary.

bed bugs in kitchen

A Neighboring Apartment Has An Infestation

Bed bugs are known for their great ability to travel long distances, go without blood, and quickly move from one apartment to another. For instance, especially if there is an infestation in a neighboring unit.

Bed bugs don’t fly, but they can crawl quickly and easily. They’ll make their way through small cracks and crevices, such as those found in walls, floors, and ceilings.

In multi-unit buildings, bed bugs can quickly move from one apartment to another through shared walls, electrical outlets, vents, and radiators. They can also hitch a ride on shoes, clothing, furniture, and other personal belongings moved between apartments.

Perhaps your neighbor’s bedroom is on the other side of your kitchen wall. If this neighbor has an infestation that they are self-treating, they may cause the bed bugs to move.

It’s beneficial to place sticky traps around your kitchen and behind appliances. We wrote an entire article on how to use glue traps for bed bugs, that you may want to check out.

We recently did a bed bug inspection for two different clients who found a bed bug in their kitchen. In both cases, there was an infestation in a neighboring apartment.

Even if your apartment is clean and clutter-free, it’s still possible for bed bugs to find their way in if there is an infestation in a neighboring unit. Bed bugs are attracted to blood, warmth, and carbon dioxide. So if a neighbor repels them, they might be tempted to yours.

What Should You Do?

Contact your landlord or management company if you suspect your neighbor has an infestation. You will want to insist they inspect the entire building for bed bugs. Also, ask them if there have ever been any cases of bed bugs in the building.

You Picked One Up in An Uber, Lyft, or Other Rideshare

Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and can easily travel from one location to another by attaching themselves to clothing, bags, and other personal belongings. You might have introduced it into your kitchen if you sat in an Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare with bed bugs.

A bed bug could have hitched a ride on your clothing or bag and ended up in your kitchen. If the rideshare car had bed bugs, one could have crawled into your seam and ended up in your kitchen.

*There may be Amazon affiliate links in this post. The small commission we earn will help keep this blog running.*

It’s also important to take steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home in the first place. Some easy things you can do are to put all clothing and bags into a high-heat dryer or bed bug heat box before entering your home.

ThermalStrike Ranger Bed Bug Heater | 100% to Reach Lethal Temperature | Used by Professionals and Homeowners | Effective Against Moths, Carpet Beetles and Lice.
  • [Lethal Heating System] ThermalStrike uses a patented six-sided heating system that surrounds and destroys bed bugs, carpet beetles, moths, and other insects – including eggs, larvae, and adults. Heat in excess of 120 degrees penetrates deep into cracks and small openings.
  • [Commercial Grade Construction] A fully sealed inner liner constructed of hospital grade heating pad material traps the bugs inside the unit. Additional layers of insulation keeps the heat inside the Ranger to minimize electrical power draw while seven thermostats continually monitor and control the heating system.
  • [Easy to Load and Operate] Place luggage directly into the unit or load the Ranger like a laundry hamper. Heat comes from all sides and eliminates cold spots, so there is no moving air, motors, or moving parts which can break down. Items being treated can touch the interior walls.
  • [Ongoing Support] ThermalStrike Ranger has a one-year warranty, ongoing customer service, and quality materials and workmanship
  • [Everything You Need] Includes a built-in timer (two, four, and eight hour cycles) which turns the unit off and a thermometer which clips onto the front of the unit and shows the current and maximum temperature reached during a heat treatment. Based on a national average, a four-hour heating cycle costs less than 16 cents.

What Should You Do?

Inspect the rest of your house, and look for any early signs of bed bugs. Then put all of the clothing that you wore in the rideshare vehicle into the high-heat dryer.

You Had A Guest Over Who Has A Bed Bug Issue

Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and can easily travel from one location to another by attaching themselves to clothing, bags, and other personal belongings. If you had a guest over who has a bed bug issue, it’s possible that a bed bug could have hitched a ride on their clothing or bag and ended up in your kitchen.

You may want to talk with them if you found the bed bug right after your guest left. Even if they didn’t drop it off, they might want to know about the bed bug in your kitchen to take appropriate action since they were exposed.

What Should You Do?

Inspect the rest of your house, and look for any early signs of bed bugs. If you are still worried, contact a professional pest control company or K9 bed bug-sniffing dog. They are trained to know what signs to look for and can inspect your home with an experienced eye.

It’s a Hitchhiker That Came in on Your Clothes

You may be a traveling nurse or home health aide, and one of your client’s homes has a bed bug issue. A bed bug could have hitched a ride on your clothing or bag and ended up in your kitchen.

What Should You Do?

In the future, you must remove your clothing and isolate it right after coming home. If you can’t put it in the washer and dryer immediately, you should buy an air-tight snap bin.

One Came in From the Grocery Store

People with bed bugs go shopping at grocery stores, and one could have come home with you in a grocery bag or on your clothing. We had an unusual bed bug case where one of our clients found a live adult bed bug inside their cake box.

Yes, believe me, we were as shocked as you are right now. It was a cake purchased from the grocery section of a supermarket. The bed bug was crawling between the two plastic lids.

What Should You Do?

Take all precautions when shopping to ensure that no bed bugs are coming home with you. Inspect the rest of your house, and look for any signs of bed bugs. More importantly, we suggest you check any items coming into the house for signs of bed bugs.

Steps to Take if You Find a Bed Bug in the Kitchen

These are just a few steps to take if you find bed bugs in the kitchen.

Contact Your Landlord or Property Management Company

If you are renting, it’s essential to inform your landlord or property management company immediately about bed bugs in the kitchen. They may want to take action and inspect the neighboring apartments.

Contact a Professional Pest Control Company or K9 Bed Bug-Sniffing Dog

A professional pest control company or K9 bed bug-sniffing dog can help inspect your home for bed bugs. They are trained to know what signs to look for and can inspect your home with a trained nose and professional eye.

Clean, Vacuum, and Launder

Thoroughly clean all surfaces in the kitchen with a vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner: vacuum corners, cracks, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas.

Dispose of the vacuum bag outside your home in a sealed plastic bag. Launder all clothes, bedding, and towels that may have come into contact with the bed bug at high heat.

Purchase Bed Bug Interceptors

Bed bug interceptors are small traps you can place under furniture legs or around bed posts and couches. They will keep bed bugs from entering or leaving your bed and sofa. If another bug roams around your kitchen, these interceptor cups will help catch it before it goes onto your furniture.

Bed Bug Trap — 12 Pack | TruGuard X Bed Bug Interceptors (White) | Eco Friendly Bed Bug Traps for Bed Legs | Reliable Insect Detector, Interceptor, and Monitor for Pest Control and Treatment
  • ☑ DEPENDABLE, PASSIVE BED BUG PROTECTION — End your bed bug infestation before it spreads using the ShieldFlex TruGuard bed bug monitoring and detection system. The TruGuard bedbug interceptor for beds is an essential component of your bed bug treatment kit. Simply place a trap under each of your bed posts and furniture legs and let ShieldFlex do the work.
  • ☑ CUSTOM DESIGNED TO STOP BED BUGS DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS — The ShieldFlex TruGuard bed bug leg trap is specifically engineered to catch bed bugs where they are known to travel. ShieldFlex leverages known behavioral traits of bed bugs to prevent access to your beds and furniture. Bed bugs easily climb in the traps but cannot climb out. In addition, the TruGuard allows for bed bug early detection, letting you avoid delayed identification of potential infestations.
  • ☑ EXTRA THICK BASE PLATE TO AVOID CRACKING — Poorly constructed, generic products are prone to cracking under the weight of large beds and heavy furniture. But, the ShieldFlex TruGuard bedbug interceptor is constructed with a reinforced polypropylene base plate for added durability and strength. As a result, these custom-designed bedbug traps for bed legs are a critical piece of any complete bed bug removal strategy and will help you rest easy and keep your family safe.
  • ☑ PACK OF 12 FITS THREE BEDS OR PIECES OF FURNITURE — Each box includes twelve bed bug interceptor traps that can be used to guard and protect three beds or other pieces of furniture. These traps can be used under beds, couches, chairs, love seats, and other furniture. For maximum effect, place one trap under each leg of any bed or furniture where protection is desired. In addition to homes and residences, TruGuard traps can also be used in hotels, dormitories, hospitals, hostels, and more.
  • ☑ MONEY BACK GUARANTEE — We are confident the TruGuard bedbug prevention system will help you sleep easy and rest assured that your family and your home are protected against unwanted pests. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your order, we will refund your purchase in full—no questions asked!

Change Your Clothing Upon Arriving at Home

If you sit down in any public place, you must change your clothing as soon as you get home. Place the clothes in a plastic bag and then into the washer immediately. Isolating them will help prevent any bed bugs from rehoming themselves with you.

Educate Yourself About Bed Bugs

Educating yourself about bed bugs and developing good habits for protection against them is essential. Understanding their behavior and how they spread is a great way to help you prevent an infestation.

Final Thoughts for Bed Bugs in Kitchen

In conclusion, finding bed bugs in your kitchen can be alarming, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With these steps and prevention tips, you can quickly become aware of any potential signs or issues and take measures to combat them. Our list will help you figure out some reasons why a bed bug may have shown up in your kitchen.

More Bed Bug Education Below

bed bugs in carpet
dust mites vs bed bugs
Can Bed Bugs Go Through A Plastic Mattress Cover?