Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing?

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Bed bugs will often bite people around the ankles, neck, or face with less clothing coverage. So can bed bugs bite through clothing? When they bite a human, they pierce the clothing with their sharp mouthparts and inject anticoagulant saliva. Their saliva keeps the blood flowing so that the bed bugs can drink it. 

They are notorious for being able to crawl through the tiniest of places, which is how they often spread between apartments and houses. They can also travel in clothing, so it’s important to take precautions against them. Be sure to check for signs of bed bugs and take precautions if necessary.

Can bedbugs stay on your clothes all day?

Cimex Lecturalius

Bed bugs cannot fly or jump and thus rely on other methods to move around. One of the most common ways they spread is by hitching a ride on clothing.

If they are left in a pile on the floor, they will crawl onto any piece of clothing that comes into contact with them. They can stay all day on your clothing as they are very much in contact with your skin.

Can bed bugs bite through clothing? 

Bed bugs are a type of insect that feeds on the blood of humans. They have a sucking mouthpart that probes the skin for a feeding spot. This mouthpart is strong enough to pierce through clothing and other materials.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing?

Bed bugs cannot bite through the thick fabric, so they will not be able to get to your skin if you are wearing those types of clothes.

However, bed bugs can latch onto your clothing and enter your home. It is important to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you by checking your clothing for any signs of insects before coming inside.

Can bedbugs bite your face?

Bedbugs are known to bite in various areas, and the face is one of them. This is because the face is where blood vessels are close to the surface, making it an easy target for these pests.

Bedbugs will usually bite the upper body, as they prefer to feed on blood near the skin’s surface. However, if the face is exposed and there are no other available targets, bedbugs may also bite it.

What Species of Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

There are two different species of insects found in the United States—Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus.

The most common type of bed bug is the Cimex lectularius, which can be found in temperate climates. These bed bugs usually feed on human blood, but they have also been known to feed on other animals, such as bats, birds, and rodents.

This type of bed bug has difficulty biting through clothing and skin in general. This is because their mandibles are not as strong as human jaws, and they tend to break the skin surface when they attempt to pierce it. 

Bedbugs found in tropical climates vary in their ability to bite through clothing. The common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, cannot penetrate most fabrics. However, the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus, can bite through clothing if it is thin enough.

How do Bed Bugs Get Under Clothes?

Bed bugs are attracted to a variety of things, but the three main ones are warmth, carbon dioxide, and the natural smell of a person. They can crawl under clothes to get closer to their target, but they are not able to bite through clothing.

They use their markers to find blood vessels near the skin’s surface. Once they locate a good spot, they will pierce the skin and feed. Bed bugs can bite through clothing if they are hungry and find an exposed skin area.

However, they generally prefer to bite people while sleeping when they are less likely to be wearing clothing. If bed bugs get under clothes, it is usually because the person was lying on the clothes or had them draped over their body.

How Can I Stop Bed Bugs Biting Through My Clothes?

There will always be a way for them to bite you, no matter what you do.

They can bite through clothing, so wearing tight clothing will not stop them from biting

Bed bugs are notorious for biting people while they sleep. It is critical to cover and shield as much of your body as possible with clothing to stop the bites. Additionally, no matter where the bed bugs bite on your body, you will always see red marks.

The best way to protect yourself from bed bug bites is to take preventative measures. 

Mattress Encasements

Mattress encasements are one of the most effective methods of controlling bed bugs. They work by trapping the bed bugs inside and preventing them from getting out. This makes it difficult for them to infest other areas of your home.

Though mattress encasements effectively prevent bed bugs from biting through the fabric, they may not be as successful against other types of infestations. 

Bed Bug Traps

Bed bug traps are a type of trap that is designed to catch bed bugs. They can be placed around the room and effectively trap bed bugs from getting too close to you or your belongings. 

The types of bed bug traps are: dry and wet. The dry one is made with a few simple household items, while the wet one requires water. Both traps must be disposed of after use, as the bed bugs will not be able to escape and will eventually die.

Bed Bug Lures 

Bed bug lures are devices that are used to attract bed bugs. They work by emitting a scent that mimics human scents. This attracts the bed bugs and causes them to congregate in one area, making them more easily killed. 

The lures use carbon dioxide as a scent, which effectively attracts bed bugs. They can detect bed bugs in an area or help get rid of them. 

They all work by emitting a scent or heat that bed bugs find irresistible. Most lures need to be replaced every few months.

Sprays and Home Remedies

There are a variety of sprays and home remedies that can be used to get rid of bed bugs. However, it is important to note that these methods must be reapplied regularly to be effective. Bed bugs are resilient and can quickly return if the treatment is not maintained.

bed bug traveling through clothes

Though bed bugs can be killed with regular spraying, they are experts at hiding and can survive in the cracks and crevices of furniture, walls, and even ceilings. Bed bugs are found in the electrical conduits of buildings. 

For example, 

  • You can kill bed bugs by spraying them with an insecticide or steam cleaner. 
  • This includes keeping all bedding and clothes in a sealed plastic bag when not in use.
  • If clothing or bedding has been exposed to bedbugs, it should be washed in hot water and detergent.
  • Keep furniture away from walls and regularly check for bed bugs.

Do Bed Bugs Stay Under Your Clothes?

Bed bugs do not reside inside their hosts, nor do they live on them. They typically stay close to where their host sleeps and will only bite if they are hungry.

This means you are not likely to get bit if the bed bug can not reach your skin. It is still possible for them to bite through clothing if they are determined enough.

They prefer to bite their host when they least suspect it and are usually near the host’s body. Bed bugs live in cracks and other places where they will not be disturbed.

They can only persist for a short duration without feeding, so you won’t have to worry about them biting you all night long.

How long do bedbug bites last?

Bedbug bites can be very itchy and cause a lot of inflammation. However, not everyone reacts to bedbug bites in the same way. Some people may not experience any itchiness or inflammation at all.

Bed bug bites typically last a week but can persist longer in some individuals. Redness, bumps, and itching on your arms and body are common symptoms, which can be relieved by applying over-the-counter or prescription steroid creams and taking oral antihistamines.

What can I put on my body to stop bedbugs from biting me?

People can do a few different things to stop this pest from biting them. You can use vaporub, which will help to keep them away. 

  • Another is to use essential oils as a repellent. This will help to keep them from biting your skin.
  • One is spraying a vinegar/water mixture onto the bite, which is said to help soothe the itch and reduce swelling. 
  • Another option is using coconut oil as a repellent; it effectively keeps bedbugs away.

How Do You Prevent Bed Bugs from Biting You?

It is important to take preventative steps to prevent them from biting you. This includes storing your luggage off the floor and away from bedding, washing clothes on high heat after traveling, and checking hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs before unpacking.

It is very important to do a home inspection for bed bugs and their eggs before they become an issue. Bed bugs are known to be difficult to get rid of, so it is best to address the problem as soon as possible.


Bed bugs can be picked up anywhere that clothing is left unattended. It is important to take precautions against bed bugs by inspecting all of your clothing before bringing it inside and using a hot wash cycle if you do find any evidence of bed bugs.

In conclusion, bed bugs are not likely to travel on the clothes you are currently wearing and will instead enter a bag or other luggage. So, clothing will not protect you from bed bug bites.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.