Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing? Or They Can’t?

It’s a known fact that bed bugs can hitchhike on to clothes and luggage and spread from one home to another.

When you visit in a bed bug infested home, then there are chances that bed bugs will latch onto you and travel with you to your home.

But can bed bugs bite through clothing when they’re latched onto your clothes?

Let’s find it out.

Bed Bugs Can’t Bite Through Clothing And Fabric

No, bed bugs can’t bite through clothing and fabric. Their mouth parts are not strong enough to penetrate the fabric and reach your skin.

Can Bed Bugs Bite through clothing

However, they can crawl onto your exposed skin and can insert their blood sucking mouth into your veins to draw out blood.

Most of the bed bug bites occur while you’re sleeping. Why?

The smell of your sweat and the carbon dioxide that you exhale while sleeping attract bed bugs to your body.

That’s the reason bed bugs don’t hide beyond 6-8 feet from your bed inside your bedroom.

Apart from being on your bed, bed bugs can also hide in the nearby furniture, carpets, rugs, dressers, and even in the gaps of electrical switches.

There’s no doubt that bed bugs like beds. It’s because by being on the bed, bed bugs are closest to their host.

So, what to do if you think if you’ve been to a home that has bed bugs and you suspect that you might have brought bed bugs home?

It’s simple. Wash your clothes in warm water. Do not keep your clothes in your bed, wardrobe, closet, or anywhere else in your home.

Put them straight into the washing machine.

And to prevent bed bugs from biting you while you’re asleep is to use things that repel bed bugs.. 

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. 

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Mattress Covers?

No, bed bugs can’t bite through mattress covers for the same reasons that bed bugs can’t bite through clothing.

If there are bed bugs only in your mattress, then the mattress cover will act as a barrier between the mattress and your skin.

That’ will prevent bed bugs from biting you.

But if there’s a tiny hole on the mattress cover, or the mattress cover is slightly torn, then bed bugs can crawl out of that hole to bite you.

That’s why if you know for sure that there’s a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s always a wise decision to use bed bug proof mattress encasements for preventing bed bug bits.

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. 

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