Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Socks?
Bed bugs are like annoying tiny vampires that can crawl out in the middle of the night when your room is dark, waiting for the perfect time to sip your blood. You can even encounter them in movie theatres, thanks to their dim surroundings.
Their goal is your blood and nothing else, making it important for you to take the necessary precautions. But, if they can suck your blood by biting through your bare skin, can they also bite under clothing including your socks?
So, Can Bed Bugs Bite Through Your Socks?
It is not common for bed bugs to bite under socks and they also won’t bite through them. Socks have elastic that makes it harder for bed bugs to get underneath. In general, bed bugs gravitate towards open skin patches instead of trying to get under clothes. As long as there are exposed skin patches, you can almost always find a bed bugs bite there.
But, with no exposed skin patches, bed bugs are left with no choice but to be resourceful. This is when they wander somewhat randomly until they locate something that they could get underneath. In this case, perhaps, you can get bites even under your socks. This, however, will more likely happen if your socks are loose with no strong elastic on the top portion.
Meanwhile, if your feet spend time below the table where the light shines directly on it, this can also be a cause of worry. There are instances when your feet lay still for several minutes, such as when you are too engrossed on your favourite TV show.
Bed bugs may not be able to bite through your socks yet they can be successful in their attempt if your socks are made of light materials such as sheer or mesh.
How Do Bed Bugs Bite Through Clothes?
One of the first things you have to remember when it comes to bed bugs is their inability to jump or fly. They cannot leap from one person to another on their clothes. Having said this though, you can still find them on clothing. But, bed bugs are often present in clothing in the laundry or in your room, not really the clothes you are wearing at the moment. Bed bugs don’t like to travel on live hosts. Instead, they hide in piles of clothing or in crevices.
The most common way bed bugs get onto your clothes is if you leave them discarded on the floor or on a bed located in a room with a bed bug infestation. As expected, beds are not only the hiding places for bed bugs as they can also be found in pieces of furniture and get on your clothes.
You can definitely get rid of bed bugs on your clothes by just washing them. You could drown these insects in moving hot water. Heat treatments can also take care of these bugs. You can put infested clothes in a dryer on high heat for a minimum of 30 minutes. Just take note that while you can remove bed bugs from your clothes through washing, drying your clothes will kill bed bugs but will not remove them.
The only concern here is that you have to make sure that you don’t spread the infestation around while washing the laundry. Unknowingly carrying bed bugs or even their eggs with the dirty clothes to your laundry room will just allow them to spread to other rooms you may pass along the way. There is also a chance that they will build their new residence in your laundry room, the final destination, and continue infesting piles of laundry, spreading further around the house.
Never assume that bed bugs will only get onto your clothes if there is an existing colony. These insects can also sneak into your luggage during your travels. This means that if you are not extra careful, your clothes can serve as their ticket into your beloved home.
How Long Do Bed Bugs Stay on Clothes?
If you are not currently using your clothes, for example, they are folded away, placed on a hanger, or lying around in disarray, bed bugs can turn these into a habitat provided that they are not more than 5 feet away from you.
They can stay there unless you kick them out. However, even if you do get rid of the bugs but their eggs are left on your clothes, you will still have a bed bug problem once the eggs hatch.
What to Apply on Your Skin to Repel and Stop Bed Bugs from Biting You
Once you have confirmed that your house has been infested with these bugs, the best thing to do is take some active steps to exterminate them. Just take note, though, that pest control is not easy and it might even take some time before you accomplish it. It is recommended to keep yourself protected from their bites before your house is declared free from any signs of bed bugs.
Preventing bites from bed bugs can be done through lathering your skin with bed bug repellant before you go to bed. These insects often attack legs, arms, shoulders, and neck but it is rare for them to attack the armpit and back of the knee. Make sure that you apply the repellent on probable areas and not so probable areas to stay safe. You can try the following bed bug repellents.
1. Store-bought bed bug repellents
Herbal repellents are great options if you don’t want to use chemicals on your skin. However, some also prefer the ready and simple to use features of store-purchased chemical repellents. These repellents are ideal in severe cases of infestations where you might not have enough time to prepare your own repellents.
2. Essential Oils
You can also use essential oils on your skin to repel bed bugs. You can apply lavender or clove essential oil diluted with olive oil or coconut oil on your skin focusing on your leg, neck, and hands. Even though it is unknown if essential oil will give you 100% protection from bites, this can help repel them.
3. Vinegar of Four Thieves
Also known as Marseilles vinegar, the vinegar of four thieves is found to be a potent repellant of bed bugs. This vinegar concoction contains spices and herbs used during the Medieval Ages to keep people protected from contracting the dreaded disease called Black Death. You can buy this from large department stores or traditional supplement shops both offline and online.
Steps for Killing Bed Bugs in Your Laundry
- Use hot water to wash your clothes to kill both eggs and adult bed bugs.
- Dry your clothes in the dryer within 20 minutes.
- You can use laundry bags that can dissolve in the wash so that bed bugs won’t drop when you transfer your clothes.
- Wash sensitive items by hand in warm water and let them soak for a few hours.
- Inform your dry cleaners if your clothes are exposed to these bugs.