Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

Do bed bugs have mouthparts big enough to even bite through your clothing? It’s difficult to judge whether the hole in that storage bin before or after you found you had a bed bug infestation, but knowing more about bed bugs can help you see the difference. You can also see if you are dealing with bed bug bites or other insect bites. At the end of the day, the most important factor is preventing bed bugs and other household pests from entering in the first place. 

Can bed bugs bite through clothes?

Bed bugs’ mouth parts are too tiny to bite through the fabric of your clothing and still pierce your bare skin. Unless you are wearing the thinnest set of pajamas in the world, a bed bug’s jaws and mouthparts aren’t large or strong enough to bite through the fabric to your bare skin. 

However, these factors don’t lessen the intensity of a bed bug problem. You must be doing more than just killing bed bugs; you have to destroy nests and eggs. 

While bed bugs can’t bite through your clothing, they can undoubtedly crawl under it. So be sure to clean dirty clothes and don’t just leave them in the laundry room for days. 

Some people think that bed bugs bite through socks. But they will not be biting through your socks unless they are as thin as a skin-like membrane. The elasticity in socks makes them great protectors for your feet against bed bugs. 

List of bugs that bite through clothing

List of bugs that bite through clothing“True bugs,” or insects belonging to the Hemiptera order of insects, are the types of bugs to bite through clothes. A true bug is defined as having long mouthparts intended for sucking; therefore, a mosquito is a true bug, but a bee or spider is not. 

Most true bugs can easily bite through your clothes, so it doesn’t matter if you have skin exposed or not; these bugs will bite you! 

There are a variety of arachnids that can bite through clothing, and a long-sleeved shirt doesn’t deter some wasp and bee stings. You have to act first to prevent bites to avoid any allergic reactions you may have from a bug bite. 

Can bed bugs get under your clothes?

Bed bugs are nocturnal and only come out at night to feed. However, when they do finally come out of hiding, you are their go-to source for dinner. They will wander around your body until they find exposed skin to feed on, including getting inside your shirt or pajama bottoms through the arm and feet holes, respectively. 

They will do everything they can to get a blood meal out of you, so you can wake up and find bed bugs in your clothing, especially if you’re dealing with an ongoing bed bug infestation. 

What types of diseases do bed bugs carry? 

According to the CDC, bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases to humans. However, you still want to kill bed bugs and call a pest control technician to assess the situation and recommend an action plan. 

Bed bug bites can cause excessive itchiness, leading to secondary infection if you chronically itch the same area repeatedly. Live bed bugs in your clothing will also bite you, but they are still not known to carry any diseases between humans. 

How to treat bed bug bites

Your first purchase will be anti-itch cream and an anti- inflammatory, maybe an antihistamine every few hours to speed up the healing process. 

You can take a Tylenol to help ease the discomfort, but there is no magic, quick-healing pill you can take to cure a bed bug bite. However, you can reduce the symptoms and do what you can to speed up the healing process, such as rest and drink lots of water. 

Some people swear by warm water compresses, while others say that ice packs will help reduce swelling and minimize itching. Unfortunately, there’s no proof of this, but whatever works for you is essential.

What are some signs of a bed bug infestation? 

Having blood stains on your sheets, pajamas, and pillow indicates something is amiss, but it’s not often that people think of bed bugs as the main culprit behind the blood. 

These little vampires are small, complex, and love to hide, so you won’t regularly find them out in the open. Instead, they love to hide around mattresses, between covers and sheets, around your bed frame, mattress cover, box spring, and even in your curtains! 

bed bug infestationArm yourself with a vacuum and clean these areas regularly to prevent bed bugs from spreading. When you are finished, immediately empty the vacuum bag and bring it out to the garbage. You don’t want to leave any chance of them getting loose in your home. 

What type of clothing material deters bed bugs?

There isn’t material like cotton versus wool that might deter bed bugs. All varieties of clothing will make it difficult for a bed bug to bite your bare skin. They will go for any random exposed patches of skin, but they prefer your upper body. Bed bugs will do their best to crawl inside your clothing to get to your skin, and it doesn’t matter the material you’re wearing. 

How to get rid of bed bugs with home remedies 

Some increasingly popular items are diatomaceous earth, essential oils, and heat treatments for treating clothes that may be infested with eggs. 

  • You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth as a barrier around your home and even around your bed. The bed bugs will be isolated to one area, making it that much easier to deal with an existing colony. 
  • oil diffuser against bed bugsCitronella is the most popular choice since it reaches such a broad audience of pests. However, it doesn’t just repel bed bugs. It can stop bed bugs in their tracks, preventing a bed bug bite or two or twelve. Try using an oil diffuser in your room at night with any of the most recommended scents against pests. 
  • Tea tree, lavender, and cinnamon are all great scents that deter adult bed bugs from entering your home, and it repels any that may be in your home already. 

If you suspect you have bed bugs or bed bug eggs in your clothes, wash your clothes in warm water for an extended period, and dry them in high heat. 

Frequently asked questions

Do bed bugs stay on your clothes all day?

The clothes you are currently wearing? No. The pile of clothes on the floor or in the laundry basket? Yes. They can’t manage to cling to your clothing unnoticed throughout the day on clothes you are currently wearing; bed bugs may legs eggs on clothing, so it’s essential to keep up on those things. 

Can bed bugs bite your face?

Yes, but they don’t often choose that part of you to bite; they go for your upper abdomen and your arms first to suck blood from you. 

If you’re wearing a lot of clothing for some reason, they may go for your neck, but it’s more likely they would bite above your ankles or on your calves if they can make it that far up your leg. They will do what they can to weasel their way into your clothing if you are heavily dressed! Winter can be a double-edged sword that way. 

On the one hand, you’ll wear long pajamas to sleep comfortably during the winter, but bed bugs will find their way inside your clothing to feast, and they may get stuck in there. 

Can bed bugs bite through plastic?

In short, no, bed bugs can’t bite or chew through plastic. Just like how their mouth parts are too small to bite through clothing through to your skin, thy can’t make holes in the plastic. Technically, they don’t even have teeth. 

Can bed bugs bite through clothing like leggings?

Like with socks, t-shirts, and pajama bottoms, bed bugs’ mouth parts are too small to pierce through most clothes and still reach your skin, so no, bed bugs cannot bite through leggings. So the chances are good that even if you are dealing with a massive bed bug, it still wouldn’t be able to break skin through clothes. 

If you’re the type of sleeper that needs light clothing to sleep comfortably, fear not! Any form of clothing will deter bed bugs from getting through your skin. 

Can bed bugs bite your private areas?

Absolutely, especially if you sleep in the nude. Any area of exposed skin is free game to a bed bug. Bed bugs aren’t picky, and they prefer bare skin with easy access. Since that region isn’t exactly open access like, say, your arm, you don’t often find bed bug bites down there. For some reason, bed bugs generally prefer your upper body anyway

Can bed bugs bite inside your nose and ears?

There’s no reason they can’t other than access, but it doesn’t make much sense for them to bite you there. You have much easier areas of skin access that bed bugs will go for to seek a blood meal. Also, they usually bite multiple times in one night, so if they aren’t happy with one area of your body, they’ll just keeping hunting until they hit a sweet spot. 

Do bet bugs bite every night?

With a true bed bug infestation, you are likely to be bit every night until every bed bug has been removed and you have stopped bed bugs from reproducing. The bed bug problem is too new in most situations, so it’s slow growth. Bed bugs only feed once every one to two weeks, so you won’t get a new bite every night.

To sum it up:

The best way to stop bed bug infestations in your home is to prevent bed bugs from ever arriving in the first place. If you’re dealing with an existing infestation, it’s best to call in professional pest control. There are a few natural remedies that you can do to both treat and prevent a bed bug infestation, but the main idea is to clean consistently to stay ahead of the problem. 

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