Bed bugs initially start to spread as people travel from one location to another. The bed bugs can hide in clothing, luggage, purses and furniture, and if a person moves any of these items from one place to another the bed bugs can spread between locations.
Bed bugs also lay eggs in the areas where they hide, so an individual can spread bed bug eggs without knowing it. In fact, because bed bugs are so small most people do not realize that they are transporting bed bugs from different locations. For example, a person who has been in a home or hotel with bed bugs may not notice that a few small bugs are in her purse or luggage.
Spotting a bed bug infestation can be tricky, as the bugs are relatively small and can go unnoticed due to their ability to hide in small spaces. Signs that bed bugs may have spread from one location to another include spots on mattresses or furniture that are fecal matter of bed bugs, finding the exoskeletons of bed bugs after molting, or a sweet, musty odor in the infested area. Small bite marks may also appear on an individual that has been bitten.