Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

by | May 24, 2023 | 0 comments

Bed bugs are notorious for their bites which can leave itchy, red welts on your skin. This raises a common question: Can bed bugs bite through clothes? As you seek to better understand these tiny pests, this article provides valuable insights into their habits, including their ability to navigate through infested personal belongings and their surprising behavior. By learning how bed bugs behave, it’s easier to identify when you need the help of a bed bug exterminator in Houston and understand the cost associated with their services.

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Before we delve into whether bed bugs can bite through clothes, it’s crucial to know the signs of a bed bug infestation. These tiny pests are excellent at hiding in cracks, crevices, and bedding, making them difficult to detect. Look out for the following signs:

  1. Small blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.
  2. Dark spots (bed bug excrement) on your mattress or furniture.
  3. An unpleasant, sweet, musty odor in the infested area.
  4. Shed bed bug skins or eggshells.
  5. Red, itchy bite marks on your body.

Bed Bug Bites Versus Hives

Sometimes, it can be challenging to differentiate bed bug bites from other skin conditions like hives. Understanding the differences can help you identify the source of your discomfort. Here are some key distinctions:

  1. Bed bug bites:
    • Appear in clusters or a line pattern.
    • Often located on exposed areas of the body.
    • Can cause intense itching and irritation.
    • May have a small, red centre surrounded by a swollen area.
  2. Hives:
    • Typically appear as red welts or raised, itchy bumps.
    • Can vary in size and shape.
    • May be triggered by allergies, stress, or other factors.
    • Can disappear and reappear in different locations.

How to Tell the Difference Between No See Um Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites

In addition to hives, there’s another type of insect bite that can be confused with bed bug bites—no see um bites. No see ums, or biting midges, are tiny insects that can leave itchy, red marks on your skin. Here’s how you can distinguish between no see um bites and bed bug bites:

  1. No see um bites:
    • Often leave small, red dots or welts.
    • Tend to be extremely itchy.
    • Can cause a burning sensation.
    • Frequently occur in outdoor or swampy areas.
  2. Bed bug bites:
    • Are typically larger and more pronounced than no see um bites.
    • Often appear in clusters or a line pattern.
    • Commonly found on areas of the body that are exposed during sleep.

What Do Bed Bug and No See Um Bites Look Like?

Bed bug bites and no see um bites can have distinct appearances. Knowing how they look can help you determine the type of insect responsible for the bites:

  1. Bed bug bites:
    • Small, red, and raised.
    • May have a darker red spot in the center.
    • Often accompanied by itching and irritation.
  2. No see um bites:
    • Tiny red dots or welts.
    • Can be surrounded by a larger reddened area.
    • May cause intense itching and discomfort.

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

Now, let’s address the question at hand: Can bed bugs bite through clothes? The short answer is that bed bugs are not typically able to bite through most types of clothing. Bed bugs have a preference for exposed skin, as it is easier for them to access blood vessels.

However, it’s important to note that bed bugs are skilled at finding ways to reach their desired meal. They can crawl under loose-fitting clothing or get trapped in folds and creases, ultimately reaching the skin beneath. Therefore, while clothes may provide some level of protection, it is not a foolproof barrier against bed bug bites.

How to Prevent Unwanted Bug Bites

To minimize the risk of bed bug bites and other unwanted bug bites, here are some preventive measures you can take:

  1. Inspect hotel rooms and accommodations before settling in.
  2. Use protective mattress covers and encasements.
  3. Avoid placing luggage on the bed or floor.
  4. Regularly wash and dry bedding on high heat.
  5. Vacuum and clean your living space regularly.
  6. Seal cracks and crevices in walls and furniture.
  7. Minimize clutter in your home.
  8. Use insect repellents when outdoors.

Kick Out Bed Bugs

If you suspect or confirm a bed bug infestation, it’s crucial to take immediate action to eliminate these pests. Here are some steps you can take to kick out bed bugs:

  1. Thoroughly clean and vacuum-infested areas.
  2. Launder-infested bedding and clothing on high heat.
  3. Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams and crevices.
  4. Consider applying pesticides or seeking professional help.
  5. Follow up with regular inspections and maintenance to prevent re-infestation.

Houston Bed Bug Exterminator Can Control Your Bed Bug Problem

bed bug exterminator

When it comes to dealing with a severe bed bug infestation, seeking professional assistance is often the best course of action. A Houston bed bug exterminator has the expertise and tools to effectively eliminate bed bugs from your home or business. Their services may include thorough inspections, targeted treatments, and follow-up measures to ensure long-lasting results.


Knowing if bed bugs can bite through clothes is just one aspect of managing an infestation. It’s also essential to understand how to deal with an infestation in your personal items and belongings. Post-treatment, you need to know how to clean and what to avoid doing in the period after bed bug treatment. It’s crucial to recognize the difference between bed bug bites and hives, and how to handle situations where friends with bed bugs may have contaminated your spaces.


Does wearing clothes prevent bed bug bites?

Wearing clothes can provide some protection against bed bug bites. However, bed bugs can still bite through clothing, especially if it is thin or tight-fitting. It is best to take additional preventive measures to avoid bed bug infestations.

What can I put on my body to prevent bed bug bites?

To prevent bed bug bites, you can apply insect repellents that are specifically designed for bed bugs. Additionally, you can wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to cover exposed areas of your body. It is also important to inspect and clean your sleeping environment regularly.

How do you tell if bedbugs are in your clothes?

To check if bed bugs are in your clothes, look for the following signs:

  • Small blood stains or dark spots on the fabric.
  • Tiny eggs or eggshells.
  • Live bed bugs or their exoskeletons.
  • Rusty or dark stains from bed bug excrement.

Can bed bugs be transmitted through clothing?

Yes, bed bugs can be transmitted through clothing. While they are not known to attach themselves permanently to clothing, they can hitch a ride on your clothes and transfer to other locations. It is important to be cautious when handling infested clothing to prevent spreading the bed bugs further.


Duane Cepeda is a highly skilled and experienced bed bug exterminator with a passion for creating pest-free living spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of bed bug behavior, Duane is dedicated to providing effective and tailored solutions to help clients rid their homes of these persistent pests. Trusted by many, Duane Cepeda is committed to delivering top-notch pest control services that ensure peace of mind and a good night’s sleep for his customers.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *