Can Bed Bugs Travel on Clothes You’re Wearing?

Can bedbugs travel on your clothes? Yes! These pests are great hitchhikers. They can cling to clothing fibers or grab onto skin as you pass by. They’ll then search for a place to feed or hide. They’re most active at night when they come out to hunt for food. So, make sure to check yourself after spending time in an area with bedbugs. Left untreated, their population can grow quickly. You can find them in apartment buildings, hotels, offices, and other residential spaces.


How Bed Bugs Travel

Easily spread, bed bugs can easily be transferred from place to place. They often hide on clothing, suitcases, or other items. People can also carry them directly. This article covers the numerous methods of transferring bed bugs.

One example is clothes worn by people:


By Crawling

Bed bugs can travel from one room to another, or even from one building to another. They can crawl across an entire room and climb walls, vents, wires, and plumbing. They may also crawl on clothing and luggage when people are traveling from infested areas. To reduce the risk of introducing bed bugs into clean environments, travelers should inspect their belongings for any signs of them before leaving.

Bed bugs may also be transported over long distances on clothing or items such as luggage and jackets. This is especially true if items were stored close to an infested area or mattress before packing. Bed bug eggs are very tiny and can easily go unnoticed. It is thus important to check all luggage and clothing thoroughly before bringing them into other parts of your residence or home to prevent any possible transfer of the insects.


By Hitching a Ride on Clothing

Bed bugs can easily travel with you on clothing. They’re small and flat, so they can hide in the seams of clothes. You may not see the bug, but you can spot little reddish-brown fecal matter left behind.

When traveling, be aware of bed bugs. Check hotel rooms for signs of infestations. Keep your clothing in plastic bags while out and about.

Bed bugs can also spread through

  • planes
  • buses
  • backpacks
  • and suitcases.

Even if you don’t see any bugs, inspect your belongings when you return. Just in case!


How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Traveling on Your Clothes


Bed bugs can travel on clothing – yikes! Taking precautions is a must. Washing and drying clothes on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric is one way to reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home. Additionally, using an encasement for mattresses and furniture can stop bed bugs from hitching a ride on your clothing.

Let’s look at more tips to keep bed bugs away:


Check for Bed Bugs in Your Home

Don’t let bedbugs be your travel souvenir! Keep them away by checking your own home, vacuuming regularly and washing your clothes before packing. Inspect furniture and fabrics for blood spots, black specks, or adult insects. Vacuum bags should be emptied outside after use, just in case.

Hot water (120F) and non-toxic detergent should be used to wash all materials, including rugs and blankets, before packing. Stay proactive and you won’t bring these pests home!


Wash and Dry Your Clothes on High Heat

To stop bed bugs invading, it is important to take preventive measures. Washing clothes in hot water and drying them on high heat is one of the best ways to keep bed bugs away. Use water of at least 120°F when washing. Let your garments dry in high heat for 30 minutes to kill bed bug eggs and other life forms.

Furthermore, avoid wearing recently bought clothes until they are washed and dried. Take dry-cleaned items out of plastic bags when you get home. This reduces the chances of bringing bed bugs in.


Put Your Clothes in an Airtight Container

Before you travel, make sure you don’t bring bed bugs home with you. To protect your clothes, store them in an airtight container. It keeps the bugs out and stops bad odors from forming.

The best storage container has a tough, clear plastic bin with snaps or a tight-sealing lid. Check each item for signs of infestation before sealing up.

If you’ve already traveled and suspect bed bugs in your luggage or clothing, store those items in an area accessible for treatment. Check and treat all other items in the hotel room or home first to prevent spreading any possible infestations:

  • Check all items for signs of infestation.
  • Store infested items in an area accessible for treatment.
  • Treat all other items in the hotel room or home first.



To wrap it up, bed bugs can hitch a ride on clothes if they come across an infested zone. It’s wise to be watchful and inspect your items of clothing and personal items before contact. Also, preventative measures like regular vacuuming and washing fabric items at high temperature should be taken. If you think your clothes have been in contact with bed bugs, seal them in a plastic bag and launder them right away at high temperature.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can bed bugs travel on clothes you're wearing?

Yes, bed bugs can travel on clothes you're wearing. Bed bugs are able to attach to clothing and travel between locations. If you think you may have come into contact with bed bugs, it is important to thoroughly inspect and wash your clothing.

How can I prevent bed bugs from transferring to my clothes?

To prevent bed bugs from transferring to your clothes, you should inspect your clothing and any items you may be bringing from outside frequently. Additionally, washing clothes at high temperatures and drying them on a high heat setting can also help reduce the risk of bed bugs transferring to your clothing.

What should I do if I think my clothing has been exposed to bed bugs?

If you think your clothing has been exposed to bed bugs, you should inspect the clothing and any items you may have brought from outside thoroughly. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, you should wash your clothing in hot water and dry them on a high heat setting.