Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes And Linen?

Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?

Can bed bugs bite through clothes? This article deals with this question that must have come to your mind.  Bed bugs are different from cloth moths.  Cloth moths are the ones that will attack your clothes.  You don’t have to worry about your clothes when it comes to bed bugs.


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Why Is It Not Possible For Bed Bugs To Attack Clothes?

Now that we have established that bed bugs cannot attack clothes, we should know the reasons for that.

The mouth of the bed bug is elongated and straw-like.  This makes it impossible for them to ingest anything other than solids.  The bed bug has probes in its mouth.  It uses this to feel for sensitive spots where they can pierce and search for blood.  Hence, bed bugs usually search for hosts in humans, house pets, and other mammals.

The sucking reflex of the bed bug is triggered only when it is exposed to open skin.  Hence linen and clothes will not be able to trigger the sucking reflex in a bed bug.

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Can You Find Bed Bugs In Your Cupboard?

Yes.  There is a possibility that bed bugs might be present in your cupboard and you might spot them.  It is likely this is because the bugs might have hidden in the seams of your clothes in order to move from one place to another. 

The cupboard provides a dark and calm environment for the bed bugs, which they enjoy.  The female bugs might also choose to enter the cupboard area to lay eggs and keep them safe.  In all likelihood, they will leave in the time to come due to the lack of host availability.

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Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Mattresses?

Bed bugs don’t have the ability to bite through the tough fabric on mattresses.  They can, however, hide in the seams or on the mattress covers.  The mattress forms the best hiding place for bed bugs as they have easy availability to the host, ample space to lay eggs, and also a dark and warm environment. 

If the mattress has developed holes due to usage, the bed bugs might enter inside it.  It is not possible for a bed bug to eat its way into a mattress though.

Is It Possible For Bugs To Attack Fine Materials Like Silks?

The answer to this question is again, No.  Even fine muslins and silk cannot be penetrated by bed bugs, simply because the bugs do not have the means to penetrate them.  So it is safe to say that you have nothing to worry about in terms of clothing if you undergo a bed bug infestation.

How Can Bed Bugs Enter A Cupboard

As bed bugs cannot jump or fly, there can be only limited possibilities of how they find their way to the cupboards:

  •  The bed bugs might wander into the cupboard and like the dark and undisturbed environment, however, it is unlikely they will stay there long.
  • The bed bugs might have hidden in the seams of clothes and entered the cupboard if you place unwashed clothes back in the cupboard.
  • Washed clothes may be placed on surfaces or furniture that is already infested, leading to the bugs entering the cupboard.

 How To Prevent Bed Bugs From Entering A Cupboard?

 Follow these few tips to prevent bed bugs from entering your cupboard if you are already suffering an infestation:

  • Sort your laundry before washing and keep any clothes with traces of infestation (dark red spots, black spots, bed bugs themselves) separately.
  • The separated clothes must be washed at the highest temperature they can tolerate and then subjected to drying again at high temperatures.
  • Use an anti-bed bug detergent if possible.
  • You may also send the clothes to be ironed by professionals to be doubly sure.
  • Place the treated clothes in the cupboard immediately without letting them come in contact with infected surfaces.
  • Use a plastic encasement on your mattress if it is old and has holes in it.  This will prevent the bed bugs from entering it.
  • Spraying your clothes and the outside of your cupboard with a pungent oil eg, tea tree oil, camphor solution, turpentine oil, etc, may keep bed bugs away.

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