Are you scared to sleep on your bed because your bed has bed bugs? I bet you’re. Anyone will be scared to sleep on a bed infested with bed bugs.
But does that mean you should be awake all night or move out of your home to sleep somewhere else?
No, it doesn’t.
This post will eliminate the fear that’s plaguing you.
In this guide, you’ll find out a surprising yet correct answer to your question – where to sleep if you have bed bugs.
You’ll also find out five actionable tips for sleeping on the bed despite the bed having bed bugs.
This guide will also reveal the preventive measures that you need to take to prevent bed bug bites.
Ok, let’s dive in.
Can You Sleep On The Same Bed That Has Bed Bugs
In all honesty, unless the bed bug infestation is severe, you can sleep on the bed that has bed bugs.
You need to take specific steps so that bed bugs don’t bite you while you’re sleeping.
But there’s a catch. The steps you’re about to find out will not get rid of bed bugs from your home.
These steps are to prevent bed bug bites and ensure a pleasant night’s sleep.
But to get rid of bed bugs, you’d need to do your due diligence.
So, let’s check out how to sleep with bed bugs.
How To Sleep With Bed Bugs
To sleep with bed bugs on your bed, you’d need to vacuum, clean, or steam clean your bed mattress, bed frame, headboards, and box springs. You’d also need to use a mattress encasement to prevent any bed bugs hiding in the mattress from biting you.
Let’s check out the five steps to prepare your bed before sleeping on it with bed bugs.
Step#1 – Steam Clean, Your Bed Mattress, To Kill Any hiding Bed Bugs
Let’s face it, bed bugs are sneaky bugs, and they can be hard to detect. In your bed, bed bugs will hide in the thinnest of gaps, cracks, and even in the edges of the bed mattress.
These bed bugs will show up when you’re deep in sleep to bite you and to have your blood meals.
And the best way to stop that from happening is steam cleaning. In all honesty, a steam cleaner is the best yet most underrated bed bug killer you can ever have.
Because steam cleaners produce heat, and heat kills bed bugs. Heat is such an effective killer that it kills adult bed bugs, bed bug nymphs and destroys bed bugs’ eggs!
No wonder that seasoned bed bug exterminators use heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs in a home.
So, the first thing to do before you sleep on a bed with bed bugs is to steam clean your bed with a steam cleaner for the mattress.
Before that, take the bed sheets and bed comforters off the bed. And the pillows too.
Then slowly steam clean the entire mattress and ensure that you cover every inch of the mattress, including the side seams.
Do steam clean the bed frame, headboards (if any), and the box springs too.
Steam cleaning will ensure that all the bed bugs, the baby bed bugs (which bite more than the adult ones), and the bed bugs’ eggs are eliminated.
Once you’re through, then put back the bed accessories. It’d be best if the bed accessories were fresh, washed, and clean.
Vacuum cleaning is also an option, but it isn’t as effective as steam cleaning. And on top of that, vacuum-cleaning won’t destroy the bed bug eggs.
Also, if you vacuum clean your bed mattress, then it’d be a daily task. That can turn tedious.
In contrast, if you use a steam cleaner, you can do it once every 3-4 days.
It’s because the carbon dioxide that you exhale attracts bed bugs and other biting tiny bugs like mosquitoes and mites. If these bugs are in your home, they’ll be drawn to you while you’re asleep.
And bed bugs are generally 6 to 8 feet away from the place from where they get their blood meals. It wouldn’t take them long to re-infest your bed despite cleaning the bed.
So, until you don’t get rid of bed bugs from your home, it’ll be best to either steam clean or vacuum clean your bed before sleep.
Pro Tip: Wipe the bed frame with a cloth soaked in white vinegar. White vinegar repels bed bugs. But white vinegar has a pungent smell. Use it only if you can bear the smell.
Step#2 – Cover The Bed Mattress With A Mattress Encasement
Mattress encasements are a lifesaver when it comes to stopping bed bugs from biting you.
It’s because a mattress encasement denies the bed bugs access to your skin. Also, mattress encasements will trap the bed bugs hidden in your mattress.
But the chances of any alive bed bugs in your mattress after using the steam cleaner are pretty low.
Mattress encasements are easy to put on the mattress. They come with zippers, and they’re available based on the size of the mattress.
You’ll get a mattress encasement for your mattress even if your bed is king size.
But there’s a spoiler.
Mattress encasements don’t choke the bed bugs. If there are bed bugs underneath the mattress encasement, they’ll remain alive.
And bed bugs can go without blood meals for months.
But the best part is the bed bugs that are elsewhere in your home won’t be able to infest your bed because the mattress encasement is shielding your bed.
Step#3 – Put Things On Your Body That Repels Bed Bugs
There are many things that you can use on your skin that repels bed bugs. These things prevent bed bugs from biting you.
Vicks vaporub and certain essential oils are potent bed bug repellers.
To know more, you can read our post about what to put on your body to prevent bed bug bites.
Step#4 – Wear Clothes That Covers Almost All Your Body To Prevent Bed Bug Bites
It’s a proven fact. Bed bugs can’t bite through clothing.
We all want to sleep comfortably, and during the summer months, many people wear lesser clothes while sleeping.
But when you’re living with bed bugs, you don’t have that liberty.
It’s because bed bugs will bite you. Bed bugs can bite you anywhere on your body that they can get access to, except in hairy places.
So, ensure that you wear pajamas that cover your legs to your ankle and a light full sleeve top or t-shirt.
You can rub peppermint essential oil on your palms, ankles, and neck so that it repels and prevents bed bugs from biting you in these areas. That’s one of the ways to take bed bugs off your body, if there’s any.
Step#5 – Use Bed Bug Interceptors To Prevent Bed Bugs From Reaching You
Professional bed bug exterminators keep bed bug interceptors in different places in a home to detect bed bugs left alive after treatment.
You can use bed bug interceptors like a pro as well.
Interceptors tell you that bed bugs are present in your home after treatment and act as a trap too.
Once the bed bugs land in the interceptor, they can’t get out of it.
The best way to use the interceptor is to keep it under each of the four legs of your bed.
It’s because the bed’s legs are in contact with the ground. And if the bed bugs want to crawl up to you, their only option is the legs.
So, the bed bug interceptors will trap all the bed bugs that are trying to reach you from elsewhere in your home when you’re in a deep sleep.
Can You Sleep With Bed Bugs With The Lights On?
There’s a common belief that bed bugs won’t bite you if you sleep with lights on.
The fact that bed bugs don’t bite you during the day also indirectly supports this belief.
Bed bugs are nocturnal pests. They’re active during the night, and during the daytime, they’ll hide in the thinnest of cracks in your home.
Their feeding activity takes place at night unless they’ve been starving for months.
And the belief that bed bugs won’t bite you if you sleep with the lights on is wrong. Bed bugs don’t care if the lights are on or off. If they’re hungry, they’ll bite.
All they care about is a stationary human being deep in sleep exhaling carbon dioxide so that they can track her and bite her.
So, follow the five steps that you learned in the previous section even if you decide to sleep with the lights on.
Bed bugs will bite you even if you sleep with the lights turned on.
If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?
The answer is more yes and less no. Practically speaking, whether all rooms have bed bugs if only one room in your home has bed bugs depends on the severity of the bed bug infestation.
If the bed bug infestation is severe, all rooms may have bed bugs.
But if the infestation is at the early stages, then other rooms might not have bed bugs.
There’s one more factor that plays a role in whether all rooms will have bed bugs.
And that depends on the number of people living in your home.
Because bed bugs always hide within a 6-8 feet distance from the place where the host sleeps.
So, if you’re living alone and mainly sleeping in one particular room, there are chances that bed bugs will not be in any other room.
It’s because there’s no point for bed bugs to starve in another room. They’ll crawl into your room if they’re in any other room where you don’t sleep.
If multiple people live in different rooms in a home, then bed bugs will indeed be in all the rooms.
Do Bed Bugs Follow You To Other Rooms?
Yes, bed bugs will follow you to other rooms.
As mentioned earlier, bed bugs tend to remain within 6-8 feet from their primary host. So, if you move to another room, they’ll track you and infest the room where you’ve moved.
That’s why it’s not a wise choice to change rooms if you’ve got bed bugs in one room. Doing that will spread the bed bugs in rooms and places of your home where there are no bed bugs.
It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s a fact.
Also, bed bugs are good hitchhikers. It means that they’re experts on latching onto things like clothing, fabric, luggage, and furniture to travel from one place to another.
It’s also not advisable to transfer stuff from a bedbug-infested room to another room.
Bed bugs can also hide in dresser drawers in an infested room.
It’ll be a wise decision if you don’t transfer fabric stored in the dresser drawers of a bedbug-infested room to another room.
So, should you sleep in another room if your bedroom has bed bugs? Please don’t.
What Kills Bed Bug Instantly?
Rubbing alcohol and bed bug insecticide sprays are instant bed bug killers. But we don’t recommend using them.
There are two reasons for it. First, it’s not safe for you to sleep on a bed sprayed with either of them.
And second, these don’t have residual toxicity. It means that you’d need to spray it directly on the bed bugs to kill them.
And it won’t kill other bed bugs that you missed out on.
So, is it a wise choice to use bug bombs, bed bug insecticide sprays, and rubbing alcohol on bed bugs? No, it isn’t.
Bug bombs don’t work against tiny biting bugs like bed bugs and fleas. Research shows that they make matters worse.
Instead, using a steam cleaner on your bed mattress, couch, carpets, and rugs, is a more effective bed bug killing process than any bed bug insecticide sprays.
To remove a bed bug infestation in your home is an expensive process, but it’s worth it. And most bed bug exterminators will use heat treatment if the infestation is severe or a mix of both pesticide treatment and heat treatment.
But if your finances are tight, you can check our post on how to get rid of bed bugs on a tight budget to know some effective yet cheap hacks to eliminate bed bugs.
Can You Sleep In Bed After Bed Bug Treatment
You can. But only the bed bug exterminator will tell you precisely after how many hours.
In most cases, exterminators advise that you sleep on the bed after 4-5 hours of bed bug treatment.
But always use a mattress encasement before you sleep in the bed after bed bug treatment.
Bed bugs are tough and challenging pests to kill. And some of them do come out of their hiding places hours later from the bed treatment.
That’s why every reliable bed bug exterminator will do follow-up checkups of your home to see if any bed bugs are alive.
Final Answer To Where To Sleep If You Have Bed Bugs
Sleep on the same bed with bed bugs but follow the 5-step process revealed in the section on how to sleep with bed bugs.
Those five steps are tips for sleeping with bed bugs that’ll ensure that bed bugs won’t bite you while you’re asleep.
Also, you’ve found out why it’s always the best idea not to shift rooms in your home if one room in your home has bed bugs.
To know about bed bug infestation from A to Z, check our ultimate guide on bed bug infestation in homes.
That guide will tell you how bed bug infestation begins and what preventive measures you can take to bedbug-proof your home long term.
We are Mark and Jim. We dabbled with bugs and pests for most of our lives. And we provide information and hacks that work in making your home pest free.