Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothing?

Bed bug infestation is a nightmare for many people. It is incredibly difficult to get rid of them, and they take over your life. They hide in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on their host’s blood. 

Some people can even feel bed bugs crawling on their bodies.

Can bed bugs bite through clothing?

In most cases, bed bugs cannot bite through clothing or fabric. They will find open skin rather than attack through fabric.

Here are some facts related to bed bugs “biting”:

  • Bed bugs are nocturnal and usually bite when the host is unconscious
  • They often bite their victims’ faces, necks, arms, hands, and feet
  • Bed bugs feed on the host for 3-10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed

Let’s find out more about bed bugs and whether they can bite through clothing and what you can do to minimize your risk.

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

Bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide released by humans, so they often bite people while they sleep.

Technically, bed bugs don’t bite. They have a beak-like mouth called the proboscis which they use to inject saliva into their host’s skin and draw blood out, something like a straw. 

Bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide released by humans.

A bed bug’s mouth is near its front end and surrounded by four small appendages called “stylets” that help the insect pierce the skin and suck blood from its victim, Dracula-style.

Stylets are needle-like mouthparts that can pierce human skin so deeply that they may draw blood for up to 10 seconds before being removed.

The most common symptoms of bed bug bites are itchy skin and red bumps that appear where the bed bugs bite you. If you have these symptoms, you may have been bitten by a bed bug and need to take action to get rid of them as soon as possible. 

The spots may itch and be painful for up to several days after the bite. In some cases, bed bug bites can cause a person to have an asthma attack or an anaphylactic reaction.

They are known to bite humans, but they may also bite other animals, such as cats and dogs. 

Do Bed Bugs Bite Under Clothes?

Bed bugs may attempt to sneak under your clothing if there’s a path to open skin.

Bed bugs are tiny nuisance pests that feed on human blood and can be found mostly in homes. Unfortunately, these insects are not good news for anyone as their bites can be particularly dangerous for people with allergies or asthma.

Bed bugs may attempt to sneak under your clothing if there’s a path to open skin.

The truth is that bed bugs cannot bite through clothes, so they must come into contact with your skin. 

That being said, if the clothes have been in contact with bed bugs (dirty laundry is attractive to them!), the insects may find a way to bite through them. Bed bugs are not interested in clothes because they cannot bite through them and will not try to do so unless there is no other option available.

Thus, if you don’t want bed bugs biting you at night, you should ensure your clothes are clean and thick enough. Or even better: get rid of any bed bugs in your home!

What Type of Fabric Can Bed Bugs Bite Through?

Bed bugs can’t bite through most fabrics. However, they can bite through very thin cotton, wool, or silk garments depending on their elasticity or thickness. In addition, tights are not a great barrier against bed bugs as they may be able to bite through them. 

Bed bugs can’t bite through most fabrics.

Although the mouths of bed bugs can’t penetrate through most clothing, it depends on the fabric type and how tight it is. Bed bugs don’t have teeth but use their mouthparts to suck blood from their host. 

Therefore, they are more likely to bite through clothing when it’s tight-fitting like tights or made of a fabric like cotton. These fabrics are easier for them to penetrate than loose-fitting, thicker clothes.

Do Bed Bugs Bite Through Pajamas?

Bed bugs will not bite through most pajamas, but they will try to attack exposed skin like on the neck, feet, ankles, etc. They will also sneak under pajamas if there is a path to open skin.

Indeed, the fabric of the pajamas does not provide a true barrier to bed bug bites, but it gives significant protection.

Bed bugs hide in mattress seams and crevices but can also be found in clothing and other items. Look for the signs like red spots if you feel itching under your pajamas in the middle of the night.

When these pests feed on human blood, they inject an anticoagulant that prevents blood from clotting and leaves behind a red spot on the skin. 

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Mattress Encasements?

Mattress encasements are a great way to protect your mattress from spills and stains. But can bed bugs bite through mattress encasements?

Bed bugs can’t penetrate the fabric of the encasement. 

Regardless, it’s important to remember that they can still crawl inside the encasement and get into your bedding. That’s why it’s still important to wash your sheets every week and ensure you’re not bringing any bed bugs into your house on your clothes or luggage when you travel.

Do Bed Bugs Burrow Under Your Skin?

The most common misconception about bed bugs is that they burrow under your skin, get into your eyes, or go in your mouth when you sleep. However, bed bugs do not really do any of these things.

Instead, bed bugs bite people on their exposed body parts while sleeping. 

For example, some people who sleep in tight spaces near bed bugs may have bites on their arms or legs because the insects have crawled into their clothing or hair to feed. 


Bed bugs can’t bite through most clothing. Instead, they will search for open skin where they can find it.

Bed bugs boast an acute sense of smell which they use to find their way into clothes. Bed bugs hitch a ride on the clothes of the person wearing them, and can spread rapidly from location to location

If you’ve got bed bugs, you need to immediately deal with the infestation, because they are a nightmare. The best thing to do is contact a professional familiar with bed bug infestations, as this process will take over your life.

Good luck.