Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing?

Bed bug bites are hideous.

They’re painful, itchy, and the worst of all, they make you look like you’re suffering from chickenpox. 

The best time for bed bugs to bite you is when you’re stationary. 

Can Bed Bugs Bite through clothing

So, you get most of the bed bug bites either when you’re sleeping or while you’re reading a book on your couch or driving your car. 

But can bed bugs bite through clothing? The answer is NO.

But it doesn’t mean that you’re safe from bed bug bites when you’re wearing clothes. 

Bed bugs can easily crawl through the opening of your clothes, like from the gap around your ankles and wrists, and bite you. 

There’s no doubt that bed bugs like beds. It’s because by being on your bed they’re closest to their host.

But when bed bug infestation grows big, bed bugs will likely hide in places like your drawers, closets, and wardrobe where you keep your clothes.

Bed bugs can easily latch onto your clothes and wait to bite you till you wear them.  

That makes you prone to get bed bug bites when you’re wearing clothes straight out of bed bug-infested places. 

So, what can you do to remove bed bugs from your clothes and reduce the chances of bed bug bites?

There’s no elaborate process involved. 

All you’ve to do is to wash your clothes in high heat. And by high heat, we mean 140 deg F. 

It’s sufficient to kill bed bugs in your clothes without damaging the fabric. 

100 deg F kills adult bed bugs and nymphs, but it’s not enough to kill bed bug eggs. 

And bed bugs can lay eggs on your clothes too. So, to kill the bed bugs and their eggs, washing clothes at 140 deg F is necessary. 

Another way to prevent bed bugs from biting you is to put bed bug repellents on your body before you sleep. 

We’ve got a dedicated post on this topic, which you can check out here

Can Bed Bugs Bite Your Face?

bed bug bite on face

Yes, bed bugs can bite your face.

Bed bugs hide in mattresses and pillows, making your face prone to get bed bug bites. 

Can bed bugs bite inside your mouth, nose, and ears?

They may. But the chances are significantly less. 

The best way to avoid bed bug bites is to use mattress encasements. 

Mattress encasements the seal of the bed bugs hiding in the mattress. The bed bugs can break through the encasements to reach your skin to bite you. 

Here are the top mattress encasements that are time-tested to protect you from bed bug bites. We highly recommend them. 

  • SafeRest Premium Zippered Bed Bug Proof Mattress Encasement.
  • Linenspa Zippered Mattress Encasement.
  • Linenspa Water And Bed Bug Proof Mattress Encasement.
  • Protected-A-Bed Bug Proof Encasement

You can also use a bed bug-repelling pillow cover to protect your neck and face from bed bug bites.

Why Can’t Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

It’s because of the way their mouths are built. 

The blood-sucking mouth part, known as the labium, isn’t sturdy enough to break through the fabric and your skin together to reach the veins to drink your blood. 

Instead, bed bugs attack the bare skin. It’s easy on the labium to break through your skin and pierce the veins to suck your blood.

Bed bugs will feed on your blood while you’re sleeping. Before they bite you, they inject a bit of saliva inside you.

The saliva contains protein and non-protein molecules that trigger an immune response.

Because of this immune response, your skin gets rashes, red lumps, and itches because of bed bug bites.

These lumps from bed bug bites occur in a straight-ish line in chunks. 

Some people with high immunity don’t develop these symptoms. That’s why they think that bed bugs don’t bite them despite having a bed bug infestation at their homes. 

How Long Does Bed Bug Bite Last?

If you don’t apply any anti-itching lotion, then bed bugs bite last for 2 weeks at max.

For 2 weeks, you’ll have those itchy red bumps all over your body.

bed bug bite on leg

Some people are very allergic to bed bug bites. 

Bed bug bites can cause severe allergic reactions in them, like sneezing, sore throat, a problem in breathing, itchy eyes, and nose. 

If you’re that allergic to bed bug bites, then see a doctor asap. 

You can also use essential oils, like lavender, on the bitten area to get immediate relief from itchiness and soreness caused by bed bug bites. 

Do Bed Bug Bites Look Pimples?

No. Bed bug bites look like red lumps.

Bed bug bite marks don’t have a sharp tip that pimples have. 

bed bug bite don't look like pimples

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Plastic?

No, bed bugs can’t bite through the plastic. 

Bed bugs’ mouths are not strong enough to break through the plastic. 

So, can bed bugs bite through a plastic mattress cover?

Technically, they can’t.

But as plastic mattress covers are meant to protect the mattress from liquid spillovers, they don’t encase the whole mattress. 

So, it’s easy for the bed bugs to take a detour from the sides of the mattress, crawling on the top of it, and bite you. 

Plastic mattress covers don’t stop bed bugs from biting you. 

What Bugs Can Bite Through Clothes?

Mosquitoes can easily bite through clothes. Their labium is strong enough to pierce through a single layer of fabric and skin to suck blood. 

Fleas can’t bite through clothing either as their mouths aren’t strong enough to break through the fabric. 

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Socks And Pajamas?

When your socks are tight and not torn, then bed bugs can crawl into it or through the torn portion to reach your skin. 

So, bed bugs can’t bite through socks unless they’re loose and torn, giving enough space for the bed bugs to crawl in and bite.

Bed bugs can’t bite through pajamas either. 

But as we said earlier, bed bugs can crawl inside your pajamas and can bite you. 

If you have not treated your home for bed bugs, it’d be best to wear something like jogger pants with no flare in the ankles. 

That will stop the bed bugs from sneaking in and bite you. 

Can Bed Bugs Bite In Hairy Areas Of Your Body?

No, they can’t.

Bed bugs’ mouths can’t reach the skin through the hair. 

Bed bugs prefer a smooth hairless part of your body for their blood meal, which takes around 10 minutes to finish. 

Final Words

Bed bugs cannot bite through clothing. But they can get inside your clothes to bite you. 

To protect yourself from bed bug bites, it’d be best if you –

  • Mattress and pillow encasements.
  • Use bed bug repelling lotions and oils on your skin.
  • Wear tight clothes around your ankles, neck, and wrists to prevent bed bugs from crawling in.
  • Do not sleep in shorts and tank tops. They’ll expose your arms and legs to painful bed bug bites.

Bed bug bites and bed bugs in your clothes are severe signs of bed bug infestation

And given the speed bed bugs multiply and spread, the infestation can easily take a massive form unless you act fast. 

Bed bugs are challenging to get rid of with any DIY measures.

Because DIY ways aren’t effective in killing bed bugs, they don’t have the residual killing capacity to eliminate all the bed bugs from your home.

If you’re sick and tired of bed bug bites, then it’s high time that you should hire a bed bug exterminator.