“Wear long-sleeved clothes, and you’ll be safe from bed bug bites (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus).” Maybe, maybe not. But bed bug bites are painful and will cause anemia. So, you’re wondering, can bed bugs bite through clothing?
The short answer is, NO, bed bugs lack teeth to gnaw through clothing or fabric. The bugs only have a sharp and long ‘proboscis’ allowing them to access your blood vessels.
Can Bed Bugs Bite through Clothing? Pajamas, Socks, Fabric?
As we’ve noted above, bed bugs won’t bite through pajamas, just like in other clothes and fabrics. Bed bugs lack teeth to help them gnaw pajamas, plastic, or different material.
Notably, bed bugs have a sharp and long ‘proboscis’ that they’ll use to suck blood from your blood vessels on the human skin. In fact, the bed bug’s proboscis is almost double its body size.
However, the bed bug’s feeding mechanism is only triggered when the skin lands on the human skin. Thus, the bugs can’t poke the proboscis through fabrics, pajamas, and clothes to reach your bare skin.
Researchers report that bed bugs only suck blood using a skin-type membrane, and hence clothes or fabrics and pajamas won’t trigger these feeding actions. Therefore, if you have pajamas on, bed bugs won’t bit through them.
So, any bed bugs bites you find after a night’s sleep, despite having worn your pajamas, must have been because the fabrics had rolled up to leave your skin bare for the bed bugs to feed.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Leggings or Socks?
Luckily, most leggings and socks are too tight for bed bugs to bite underneath them – and the bugs won’t definitely bite through them.
Most leggings have nylon and elastic materials that’ll tightly hug your legs and hence prevent bed bug bites. Therefore, any bed bugs bite you’ll notice on your legs will only occur at any bare skin that the bugs will find.
So, when you’re wearing leggings for protection, also ensure you control bed bugs in other ways like sprays or steaming lures.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Tights?
Many people, especially women, love putting on tights when going to sleep. I note that socks are an excellent solution to averting any bed bug infestation.
This is because tights will form a tight bond with your body – therefore, the bugs won’t crawl under the fabric. Therefore, bed bugs won’t bite the whole part of your lower body when you’re wearing tights.
However, do not consider wearing tight as the sole and reliable way of preventing bed bugs from biting your skin. Sadly, the bed bugs will turn to any tiny bit of your bare skin that’s available and launch bloodsucking attacks on you.
Therefore, you’d better control the bed bugs using sprays, traps, or tea tree oil instead of just wearing tights as the only protection. – these are also odorless, non-staining, and most are safe for humans and pets.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Blankets?
Bed bugs won’t also bite through blankets and comforters as you’re sleeping or merely covering yourself. However, just like with other clothes and fabrics, bed bugs will readily bite your skin when they claw under the blankets.
Bed bugs have a tiny and flattened body that allows them to hide in blankets, clothing, crevices, comforters easily. The warm and dark conditions in these materials will easily attract bed bugs.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Vinyl?
Thus, after undertaking bed bug treatment, you’ll need to place the blankets in new plastic bags. Also, ensure that the bags have no holes. However, don’t use spray insecticides with the blankets to leave a foul odor and stains.
Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Sheets?
The bugs won’t care whether you have comforters or bedsheets; they’ll crawl under to get to your bare skin. So, don’t think that bed bugs did bite through the blankets and sheet – they claw to bite any exposed skin on your body.
You can easily control the bed bugs in the blankets and comforters using high heat and a dryer. Luckily, the high temperatures will kill bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs.
Bed Bugs Crawl underneath Your Clothing to Bite
Most people recommend we put on lengthy clothes to cover even the legs and arms – to reduce the amount of exposed skin. Well, the neck and face are a favorite feeding spot for bed bugs and their babies.
Bed bugs won’t bite through your clothes but will crawl under your fabric or clothes and bite the skin. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and shorts won’t deter bed bugs from biting you or your family members.
Also, bites from bed bugs may not appear or hurt immediately after the bug suck blood from you. Thus, the bite you might see under your clothes may have been caused by another bed bug hours earlier – but now when your skin was bare.
How Bed Bugs Hitchhike your Clothes
First, bed bugs can’t jump or fly. Thus, it’s unlikely that the block suckers will jump from one human being to your fabric or clothing. But it’s possible to find the bugs hanging around the clothes on the bed, laundry, or room floor.
The bugs will mainly hide on piles of clothes, cracks, and crevices, including bed sheet crevices and headboards. So, don’t leave clothes on the bed, old or send-hand furniture, or floor of a room that’s bed bug-infested.
So, besides hiding in second-hand furniture or mattresses, bed bugs will also hide in your bed and bedding. Notably, steam, dryer, and hot water will help kill the bed bugs.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs Bites
1. Bed Bug Mattress Encasement
Luckily, bed bug mattress encasement will readily cover your box spring or mattress and thus destroy one of the bug’s breeding grounds. The bugs won’t reach the mattress and can’t hide from insecticides, steam, or heat treatment.
But who comes you’re using encasement but still get bed bugs bites. Well, definitely, mattresses only hold a small percent of the blood-suckers. Therefore, you’ll need to combine this method with other techniques to subdue it to the colony.
Related: How to Kill Bed Bug Eggs?
Laundry Tips – Sorting, Washing & Drying, Storing
However, just washing the clothes with just water won’t assist get rid of the bed bugs. Washing the infected clothes will remove some bed bugs, while drying will eventually kill the remaining bloodsuckers.
In addition to laundering the clothes, you’ll need to disinfect them and their storage bags or suitcases to guarantee that the bed bugs won’t find a haven in them. The bed bugs will find it challenging to hide in the steam treated areas.
1. Sort Your Laundry
First, sort the clothes to check which ones have signs of bed bug infestation. You’ll thus place the different piles in different plastic bags. Keenly follow the highest possible washing and drying temperatures.
Further, keep the wet-clean from the dry-clean clothes. However, some dry-clean fabrics can also be put in the dryer.
But ensure that you seal your plastic bags before you start moving the laundry – so the bugs won’t spread to the Laundromat or other house locations.
2. Wash and Dry your Laundry
Check the fabric’s or clothes allowable hottest temperature and go ahead to wash and dry. This will remove and kill the bed bugs from your cotton, linen or velvet, canvas, jersey, lace, or lycra.
All the dry-clean clothes will be placed inside the dryer with medium-high temperature settings for about half an hour. Also, you can take your cleaned clothes to your cleaner for pressing.
3. Fold and Disinfect the Clothes
Next, you’ll now need to fold your cleaned and dried clothes – only place the clothes inside a new plastic bag if you’re doing your laundry in a laundry facility.
Further, don’t use a folding table as you can get bed bugs in these locations. Ensure the clothes remain in the plastic bags until you arrive at your house.
Further, if your house is bed bug treated, you can now take out the plastic bags’ clothes.
3. Bed Bugs Love Dark and Warm Corners
Bed bugs prefer to hide in dark and warm corners for hours after having a full blood-meal from human beings.
Thus, these bloodsuckers won’t really live in clothes that humans are wearing. However, they can hide in clothes that are dropped in corners since they’ll not be disturbed.