Updated: July 1, 2021

Facing a bed bug infestation can challenge you in so many ways.

Attempting to live your normal life while dealing with the injuries and expenses from bed bugs can cause you to break.

Trying to resolve an infestation can even feel hopeless at times…

But luckily:

There are remedies to effectively deal with bed bugs.

After waking up with bites, you might wonder if bed bugs got through your clothes.

Leading to the question….

What can get bugs bite through?

Can they bite through your clothes?

The short answer is:

NO. Bed bugs cannot bite through fabric.

But that doesn’t mean clothes protect you from bites.

These insects can crawl through the tiniest of places, which is why they can spread to you from your neighbors.

There are items that bed bugs CAN bite through. Here we’ll explore what bed bugs can get through and what can repel them from biting you.

On that note… Let’s dive in.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

The fact is, there is a lot of contradictory or false information regarding bed bugs and your clothes.

To better understand this question.

Let’s look at the biology of the bed bug mouth.

Insects that feed on blood (Cimicidae), have sucking mouth parts (almost like a beak) that probes the skin for a feeding spot.

The mouth consists of the labium, which makes up the beak.

It is built to pierce the skin, but NOT strong enough to get through something like fabric.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Pajamas?

Just like your everyday clothes, it’s unlikely bed bugs can get through your pajamas.

Think of the bed bug mouth as closer to that of a mosquito

(making up about half their body)

The mouth accesses the blood vessels just underneath your skin but cannot poke through clothing like your pajamas.

The bed bug feeding response works in the following ways:

  • They only drink through a skin-like membrane
  • They are able to find you for feeding as they can detect carbon dioxide from human respiration.
  • They prefer their hosts unconscious (ideally when they’re asleep)

Therefore bed bugs can’t bite your pajamas….

But that doesn’t mean you’re protected.

Unless your pajamas are extra tight…

They could get rumpled if you move in your sleep. This could leave more areas of your skin exposed.

This could allow bed bugs to crawl under your pajamas to feed.

Can Bed Bugs Stay on Your Clothes All Day?

Unlike mosquitos and fleas, bed bugs will not fly or jump.

Unless you come into physical contact, these insects will not leap from the person next to you.

The most common way bed bugs will get on your clothes is if they’re left in a pile on the floor.

Therefore if you suspect an infestation…..

You should make sure to wash your clothes appropriately.

(On high heat)

Keep in mind that you don’t need to have an existing infestation for bed bugs to get on your clothes, as they can spread to you through:

  • Your Luggage
  • Used Furniture
  • Handbags
  • On your Body (in rare cases)

To sum up:

It’s unlikely bed bugs will live on your clothes unless you left them on the ground for an extended period of time.

Bed bugs much prefer damp and dark areas where they can hide for long periods of time without being disturbed.

(Especially after feeding)

And clothes don’t fit that description.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Socks?

It’s not very common for bed bugs to bite through your socks.

At the same time…

Socks are typically tight.

So it would be difficult for bed bugs to go under them as well and make it to your bare feet.

If you do have looser socks or holes in your socks with exposed skin, bed bugs are more likely to get through.

Though the elastic in socks makes it difficult for bed bugs, if you leave no exposed patches of skin, bed bugs are forced to get resourceful.

Bed bugs will wander around your body until they find skin…

Making it more likely that they can get underneath your clothes.

Other insects such as fleas, are much more likely to go after your legs or feet.

Bed bugs, more often than not, will stay around your upper body when looking to feed.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through a Mattress Cover?

The answer here is…

It depends.

If you’ve been dealing with a bed bug problem for some time, you have likely heard of bed bug mattress encasements.

Mattress covers offer the following benefits:

  • For existing infestations, they trap bed bugs inside your mattress. Without being able to feed, these bugs will likely die in a matter of weeks.
  • They prevent bed bugs on the outside from hiding within your mattress. Such as folds, corners, or within the box spring.
  • Covers protect the mattress from being stained with blood or fecal spots.

These covers are designed specifically to mitigate a bed bug infestation.

So with the right cover…

bed bugs cannot get through it.

Of course, we can’t speak to every type of mattress cover.

If you’re using a cover with loose threading or holes, then bed bugs can certainly bite through it.

Proper bed bug mattress covers have a tight seal, so that even the tiniest of creatures can’t get in and out.

It’s important to note that mattress covers cannot fully prevent or eradicate an infestation, these are merely one of many home remedies that can cause an infestation to spread less quickly.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Your Face?

Out of all of the areas on your body bed bugs could bite, the face is simply the worst.

If you get multiple bites on your face, it can be extremely embarrassing, and can temporarily alter your physical appearance.

The face is one of the few places you can’t cover up long term..

So it’s especially bad when these bites create permanent damage through something like Keloid Scars.


The stigma attached to infestations is real.

So the last thing you want is to show that you’re suffering from an infestation through bites on your face.

It’s more likely bed bugs will bite your neck, shoulders, and back…

But if your face is exposed, it is definitely at risk.

These insects tend to stay around the upper body of a human, since there is usually more skin exposure there.

(It’s also easier for them to locate blood vessels for an easier feed)

If you do experience bites on your face:

Make sure to wash your face with soap/water to prevent infection. Then use medication such as calamine lotion or anti-itch cream.

This will relieve skin irritation and prevent scratching.

(This is important as scratching is the main cause of scarring)

Can Bed Bugs Bite Inside Your Mouth?

This is an easy one to answer.

Bed bugs will NOT go into your mouth.


They wander in there by accident.

If It did, it would be unlikely to survive there for long.

Either the bed bug will get scared by the movement of the tongue, or the air flowing through as your breath.

Or…. it would get swallowed and die inside your stomach.

A pest control technician of 10 years (The Grumpy Pest Man), has had instances where his customers woke up with and swore they had bed bugs in their mouths.

Although if true…

These instances would be quite rare.

Bed bugs are smart insects and there is no good reason for them to crawl inside your mouth.

(Other than completely by accident).

Do Bed Bugs Bite in Hairy Areas?

This is a question where people have gone back and forth over the years.

On one side, people believe that parasites attacking hairy areas, acts like a detection system for the skin.

Researches at Sheffield University in the UK asked themselves this very question.

Leading to a very interesting experiment.

Researchers placed bed bugs on 29 volunteers.

Half of which had shaved arms and the other half had arm hair.

The findings were quite conclusive, reporting that bed bugs preferred the hairless arms because it’s easier for them to locate blood vessels and feed.

Bed bugs take 5 to 10 minutes to feed, so it’s important they have direct access to the skin.

Some other interesting findings by Sheffield University include….

A study in 2017 found that bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry.

They concluded that in the absence of a human host…

Bed bugs were twice as likely to aggregate on bags containing soiled clothes rather than clean clothes.

A research experiment In 2019 found that bed bugs evolved more than 100 million years ago. This means that these insects were found from the same time period as dinosaurs.

This is a true testament to the ability for these creatures to survive.

Even though humans eradicated bed bugs in the 1950s, they have since made a comeback

With infestations being even worse than ever.

So How Do You Keep Bed Bugs from Biting You?

Bed bugs can get into your clothing, furniture, or luggage, as they simply enjoy following you wherever you go.

These creatures are small (hiding in cracks/crevices) during the day, making It easier for you to bring these insects into your home.

There are some preventative steps you can take:

(especially if you travel frequently)

To stop bed bugs from invading your home.

  1. Store your luggage properly. Don’t leave your luggage on the floor in the bedroom, instead put your suitcase away in a garage or in the basement.
  2. Immediately transfer clothes from your luggage to the laundry (wash and dry on high heat).
  3. Vacuum regularly (especially after traveling)
  4. Do a quick home inspection. Look for bed bugs or their eggs. Remember even one bed bug can cause a severe infestation.

Avoiding Bed Bugs While Traveling

You’re at your most vulnerable to bed bugs when staying in temporary residences.

Such as:

hotels, motels, or Airbnb’s…

Fortunately, there are ways to decrease the possibility of allowing bed bugs to travel with you.

Inspect Your Hotel

Look for signs of bed bugs upon arrival.

Make sure to check the hotel bed (mattress, sheets, bed frame), furniture, closets, and luggage stands.

Check Your Luggage

It’s not always about storing your luggage in the proper place when you get home, but rather inspecting your luggage periodically during travel.

Be Alert

Since bed bugs cannot fly or jump, they will likely infest you from some sort of physical contact.

Either from your clothes or from leaving your bags by other people.

Were you Bitten By Bed Bugs?

If you still unfortunately fell victim to a bed bug infestation.

You do have options!

You may be eligible to receive compensation for you injuries and financial losses.

Get in touch with us today to get connected with an attorney.

You will receive a no cost, no obligation, consultation with a licensed professional who can discuss next steps and determine whether you have a case.

Bed Bug Lawyer Logo

Date Published: 2020-06-04

Written By Robert Brown

I'm a seasoned pest control veteran. I focus my time on writing educational content about the industry and helping people learn about indoor insects. When I'm not thinking about bed bugs I am spending time with my daughters or walking the dog.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Willie Paul


  2. Debbie

    I have tried everything. I live in a old house where there is cracks every where. Was told a couple of months ago and we were told that we have to take care of it ourselves. I am miserable every day cause I’m allergic to them. Now they are bitting my face and scalp. Leaving scars and my hair is falling out. We have no money due to losing job over Covid 19. My daughter says we should not pay rent until they resolve it and get a lawyer. What are my options?

    1. Kathy

      Due to COVID our company has closed but we will occasionally do request sewing of Bed Bug Pajamas.

    What's Your Case Worth?
    Get a Free Case Review

    By submitting this request, I confirm I have read and agree to the Consent to Receive Email, Phone, Text Messages, and Privacy Policy. Information sent is not privileged or confidential.
    (855) 733-9217

    Leave a Reply