Can you get Bed Bugs on a Train?

bed bugs on trains

In this article we will answer the question: Can you get Bed Bugs on a Train?
Bed bugs, those persistent pests that can invade our sleeping spaces, are not limited to homes and hotels. They can also make their unwelcome presence known on public transportation, including the railway. In this article, we delve into the world of bed bugs on trains, exploring the potential risks, the factors contributing to their presence, and essential tips to prevent infestations.

Whether you are a frequent railway traveler or simply curious about the topic, join us as we talk about trains and bed bugs, sharing with you the knowledge to protect yourself during your journeys.


Can you get Bed Bugs on a Train?

Yes, it is possible to encounter bed bugs on a train. They possess exceptional hitchhiking abilities and can effortlessly hitch a ride on baggage, attire, or personal possessions.Trains, with their shared seating areas and close proximity of passengers, can provide opportunities for these pests to spread.

They are not limited to any specific mode of transportation and can be found in various public spaces, including trains, buses, airplanes, and hotels.


What are the Chances of getting Bed Bugs from a Train?

The chances of getting bed bugs from a train can vary depending on several factors. While it is possible to encounter them on a train, it does not mean that every train or train ride is infested. The likelihood of encountering bed bugs on a train depends on various factors, including:


  • Prevalence of bed bugs: If there have been reports or complaints about them on the specific train or carriage route, the chances may be higher. However, it is not always easy to know the exact prevalence of these bloodsuckers in public transportation.
  • Infested passengers or belongings: If a passenger or their belongings (such as luggage or clothing) on the train are infested with these parasitic insects, there is a chance of encountering them. They can hitch a ride on personal items and inadvertently be brought onto the carriage.
  • Maintenance and cleanliness: Carriages that are well-maintained, regularly cleaned, and have proper pest control measures in place are less likely to have pest infestations. However, the level of cleanliness and maintenance can vary between different railway systems.
  • Personal preventive measures: Taking precautions can help reduce the chances of encountering these critters. These include avoiding contact with infested-looking seating areas, keeping personal belongings elevated and away from shared spaces, and being vigilant for any signs of these invasive pests.


The risk of getting bed bugs from a train is generally low.


What do Train Companies do to prevent Bed Bugs?

Train companies typically have protocols and procedures in place to prevent and manage bed bug infestations. These measures may vary between different companies and regions, but some common practices include:

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance: Train cars are typically cleaned and inspected regularly to maintain cleanliness and identify any signs of bed bug activity. This may involve vacuuming, steam cleaning, and thorough inspections of seating areas, upholstery, and other potential hiding spots.
  • Prompt response to reports: Train companies take reports of bed bug sightings seriously. If a passenger or staff member reports a suspected infestation, the company will investigate the issue, conduct inspections, and take appropriate actions to address the situation.
  • Collaboration with pest control professionals: Train companies may collaborate with professional pest control services to conduct routine inspections and implement preventive measures. Pest control experts can help identify and treat infestations using appropriate methods and treatments.
  • Education and training: Company staff, including cleaning crews and customer service representatives, may receive training and education on identifying signs of bed bugs, proper handling of infestations, and preventive measures to minimize the spread of these insects.
  • Collaboration with other transportation providers: Companies may share information and collaborate with other transportation providers. Such as bus or airplane companies, to share best practices, raise awareness, and coordinate efforts to prevent the spread of bed bugs.


How to prevent getting Bed Bugs after a Train Trip?

To reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home after a train trip, here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Inspect your belongings: Before leaving the train, carefully inspect your luggage, bags, and personal belongings. In order to find any signs of bed bugs or their fecal stains. Pay close attention to seams, pockets, and folds where these unwanted guests might hide.
  • Keep luggage elevated: Avoid placing your luggage on the floor or on upholstered seats during the train journey. Instead, use luggage racks or keep your bags on a hard surface away from potential hiding spots.
  • Use sealed bags or containers: Consider packing your clothes and belongings in sealed plastic bags or containers to create a barrier against potential bed bugs. This will help prevent them from infesting your belongings during the journey.
  • Wash and dry clothes on high heat: Once you arrive home, promptly wash your clothing, bedding, and any fabric items that were taken on the train trip. Use the hottest water temperature suitable for the fabric and tumble dry them on high heat. The high temperatures will help kill any potential bugs.
  • Inspect and vacuum luggage: After returning home, inspect your luggage thoroughly for any signs of these invasive pests. If possible, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to vacuum the luggage. Vacuum it both inside and out to remove any insects or eggs that may have hitched a ride.
  • Store luggage properly: When not in use, store your luggage in a clean and dry area, preferably in a sealed bag or container. In order to prevent any potential bed bugs from infesting it.


To learn about the best personal items to travel without getting bed bugs. You can check our Article on Travel Items to avoid Bed bugs.


How do you tell if Bed Bugs are on a Train?

To determine if they are present on a train, you can look for the following signs:


  • Live bed bugs: They are small, flat, and reddish-brown insects. They are visible to the naked eye. However, they can be challenging to spot due to their small size (about the size of an apple seed). Look for any crawling bed bugs on seats, upholstery, or other surfaces.
  • Fecal stains: They leave behind dark fecal stains on surfaces they infest. These stains may appear as small black or brown spots on seats, bedding, or walls. Look for these stains, particularly along seams, edges, or crevices.
  • Shed skins: As they go through their life cycle, they shed their exoskeletons. These discarded skins, known as exuviae, are pale and translucent. Look for these shells on seats, upholstery, or other surfaces where they may be present.
  • Blood stains: If they have recently fed on a passenger, there may be blood stains on sheets, upholstery, or bedding. These stains can appear as small red or rust-colored spots.
  • Musty odor: Some people describe the presence of bed bugs as having a sweet, musty odor. If you notice an unusual smell in a train compartment or seating area. It could be an indication of an infestation.


What to do if you find a Bed Bug on a Train?

If you discover a bed bug on a train, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • Capture and contain the bed bug: If possible, use a piece of paper, tissue, or a container to capture the bed bug without crushing it. Because this may help with identification and verification.
  • Notify train staff or management: Immediately inform a railway staff, conductor, or any available staff member about the presence of a bed bug. Provide them with the captured specimen if you were able to secure it. They will take appropriate measures to address the situation and may conduct further inspections.
  • Follow instructions and guidance: Cooperate with the railway staff and follow any instructions or guidance they provide. They may need to relocate you to a different seat or compartment, or they may implement additional cleaning and pest control measures.
  • Inspect your belongings: Conduct a thorough inspection of your belongings, including luggage, bags, and personal items. In order to ensure that you have not inadvertently brought any unwanted guests with you. Look for signs such as live bugs, fecal stains, shed skins, or blood stains.
  • Take precautions at home: When you arrive home, take precautions to minimize the risk of bringing any potential bed bugs with you. Wash and dry your clothes and bedding on high heat. Inspect and vacuum your luggage, and consider storing your luggage in sealed bags or containers. Until you can properly clean and inspect them.


Are there more Bed Bugs or Planes or in Trains?

In terms of numbers, it is challenging to make a direct comparison between planes, and trains concerning bed bugs. They can be found in many public transports, with bugs amount based on factors like location, hygiene practices, and pest control efforts. However, as there is usually more human traffic on trains during the day, it would seem that there are more bed bugs in trains than planes.

If you want to find in detail how to avoid bed bugs in an airplane you could have a look at our article dedicated on Bed bugs and Planes.


Should I sue the Train Company if I got Bed Bugs there?

Deciding whether to sue a train company for encountering bed bugs depends on factors like the extent of the infestation and resulting damages. It’s important to gather evidence, assess negligence, and consider the damages incurred. You should consult a legal professional to understand your rights and options.



In this article we answered the question: Can you get Bed Bugs on a Train?
While encountering them on trains is a possibility. Understanding the risks and taking preventive measures can greatly reduce the chances of bringing these unwanted hitchhiker’s home.

By staying vigilant, promptly reporting any sightings to train staff, and practicing good hygiene and inspection habits. In order to enjoy your railway travels with peace of mind. Remember, knowledge and proactive measures are key in keeping these tiny pests at bay and ensuring a comfortable and bed bug-free journey.