You might have heard the age-old phrase, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” It seems funny until you do have bed bugs and you’re wondering where to sleep if you have bed bugs!
Bed bugs are a common pest that can be found in many places, including homes and hotels. Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects that feed on their hosts’ blood and usually inhabit mattresses and bedding but can also inhabit other pieces of furniture as well.
They’re about as long as an apple seed but are very thin. Adult bedbugs can live for 12 to 18 months without feeding. Bed bugs typically feed at night when people sleep, but they will also bite during the day if given the opportunity.
If you have bed bugs, know that there is hope for your situation! You don’t have to live in fear of these little critters because there are ways to rid your home and bed of them. Keep reading to learn how to sleep with bed bugs, bed bug habits, and get rid of bed bugs so that you can sleep peacefully in your home once again!
How To Sleep With Bed Bugs
Bed bugs do indeed feed on humans at night! Their bites are distinct and easy to identify.
With their first bite, they inject an anesthetic so that you don’t wake up when they bite you. The second bite contains an anticoagulant to prevent bleeding. The third bite is when they actually feed. Most often, people do not realize they have been bitten until the next morning when they wake up feeling itchy.
Bed bugs are nasty nuisances, but it actually is possible to sleep on a mattress that has bed bugs while you’re working with an exterminator to get rid of the infestation. This might not sound like the best option, but for many, it’s the only one available.
Some people may think that if you have bed bugs in your bedding, it’s time to pick the whole mattress up and throw it out the window. Unfortunately, that is not an option for several people. Mattresses are not cheap, and tossing your current one out because of bed bugs may not be an option for you.
You can do several things to prevent bed bugs from biting you during your sleep. Four steps to follow are steam cleaning, using a mattress cover, covering your body, and using bug repellent or essential oils to keep them from biting you.
1. Steam Clean Your Mattress and Bedding.
Steam cleaners are some of the best life-saving tools you can have when riding your bed of pests! Although bed bugs may seem invincible, we can assure you that they certainly are not!
Bed bugs are not able to survive temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam cleaners are perfect for this job because they have a powerful heating element that can reach temperatures over 200 degrees Fahrenheit while at the same time emitting hot steam that can reach temperatures up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a sure way to kill bed bugs and regain your peace of mind when sleeping in your bed.
Before steam cleaning your mattress, take all of your bedding off. This includes pillows, pillowcases, comforters, blankets, fitted sheets, flat sheets, and duvet covers. Next, take your mattress’s steam cleaner and steam every nook and cranny. Take special care to steam the sides as well as your headboard (especially if it’s covered in fabric), bed frame, and box springs.
You can steam clean your mattress once every few days while the infestation is ongoing. The chances are that one time is not going to be enough. These critters are attracted to people because of the carbon dioxide we emit when we breathe. This means they’ll most likely keep coming back into your room until all eggs and bugs are dead.
Wash your bedding in hot water and dry on high heat if possible before putting it back on your bed. If you can, it is also recommended to wipe your bed frame with a cloth soaked in white vinegar, as bed bugs can’t stand the smell!
2. Use A Bed Bug Mattress Cover.
We all know how uncomfortable it is to sleep with bed bugs and how it can cause serious health problems. That’s why having a mattress cover is important.
We suggest you use the SafeRest Bed Bug Mattress Cover!
Although it is not likely that there will be any live bed bugs in your mattress after you steam clean, it’s still a good idea to use a mattress cover to keep any bugs that may be alive from biting you as you sleep.
Protective mattress covers come in all sizes and have zippers to ensure that nothing gets in (or out) once it’s on the mattress.
Mattress covers will NOT kill bed bugs! They will simply prevent them from biting you when you’re asleep. Remember, bed bugs can wait around for months for a meal, so they’ll have no problem hanging out under the mattress cover! This is why you should continue to steam clean until all bed bugs are gone.
It’s also important to put your mattress cover back on after steam cleaning your bed three or four times per week.
As a side note, there are many mattress covers on the market that claim to protect you from bed bugs, but not all of them are good! Be sure to do your research before you buy one.
3. Wear Long Sleeves And Pants To Bed
Bugs cannot bite you through your pajamas. Although it’s not preferable for many people to sleep with clothing covering them from head to toe, unfortunately, this will be your reality until your infestation is gone.
Wear pajamas to bed that cover your arms and your legs, preferably all the way down to your ankles. Wearing socks to bed as well can keep bed bugs from biting your feet and toes. Bed bugs don’t bite in areas that are covered in hair, so you probably don’t need to wear a hat to bed!
4. Use Essential Oils to Repel Bed Bugs.
Did you know that you can rub natural essential oils on your body to repel bed bugs from biting you? Peppermint oil can go on your palms, neck, ankles, and feet to keep bed bugs from attacking any areas of your body that are not covered up by clothing when you’re asleep.
You can also use cinnamon oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, neem oil, lavender or tea tree oil to ward off bed bug bites, as they dislike the taste and smell of all of these. Similar to vinegar, bed bugs avoid the smell at all costs.
Essential oils are not a fix for your bed bug problem, but they could help you wake up without itchy welts while your home is being treated for pests!
Will Bed Bugs Bite You If You Sleep With The Lights On?
Yes, bed bugs will still bite if you sleep with the lights on.
If you’ve heard before that bed bugs won’t bite you if you sleep with all the lights in your bedroom on, we’re here to tell you it’s a myth. Unfortunately, running up your electricity bill will do nothing to prevent bed bugs from feeding on you as you sleep.
The amount of light in a room has no bearing on the activity level of bed bugs. Instead, bed bugs adjust their activities to the host’s routine to increase their feeding time.
Bed bugs in someone’s home who works the third shift, for example, will be active during the day and inactive at night, but bed bugs in someone’s home who works the first shift will be active during the day and inactive at night.
So pull out that steam cleaner and mattress cover, and turn those lights off!
Should I Sleep In Another Room If I Have Bed Bugs?
No, you shouldn’t sleep in another room if you have bed bugs. As tempting as it may be to crawl into a clean bed in another room of your house, it’s not a good idea. You will only succeed in infecting another room since bed bugs will follow you.
You could potentially spread the infestation throughout your home and into your other pieces of furniture (yes, they’ll enjoy living on your couch too!), so it’s best to do what you can to rid your mattress of the infestation and continue sleeping on your bed. It may take some time, but regular steam cleaning and the use of a tight zippered mattress cover can help you to kick your bed bug problem.
Do Bed Bugs Follow You To Other Rooms?
Yes, bed bugs can and will follow you to other rooms. They’re excellent at grabbing a ride on your clothes, shoes, or purse! It is not recommended to sleep in another area of your home, because your mattress is infested. It’s also not recommended to take any items from a bug-infested bedroom to another room of your house.
Bed bugs are sneaky little creatures, and they will follow you from your bedroom, to your living room, to your spare bedroom, to the couch in your office. Read our guide on where do bed bugs come from!
Can You Sleep In Your Bed After Bed Bug Treatment?
Yes, you can sleep in your bed after a successful bed bug treatment. However, it may take some time to know that the treatment was successful. It may be a while before your infestation is completely gone. It is extremely rare for a person to get rid of bed bugs all on their own; most of the time, professional help is needed.
Because bed bugs can live for months without eating, they often will stay in hiding after treatment, so you need to keep your eyes peeled.
An exterminator can examine your home and bedroom for signs of bed bugs and determine what the best method of action will be to get rid of them. Pest control techniques vary depending on the insect. However, you can expect your exterminator to thoroughly evaluate your situation before choosing cleaning methods, whether to use chemicals, how many times they’ll need to treat your home, etc.
Don’t forget, a mattress cover should be placed on your mattress before you put sheets and pillows back on it — even after pest treatment! This is because even after an exterminator comes, the bed bugs may not all be dead. There may have been eggs that were not yet hatched at the time of treatment, or bugs that were hiding. Your exterminator knows this, however, and will work with you to create a follow-up plan for further treatment.
Your Bed Bug Problem Can Be Solved
Knowing where to sleep if you have bed bugs can be hard. Bed bug infestations are challenging to rid your home of – but not impossible. Read our guide on how to get rid of bed bugs!
It’s best to let the professionals do their jobs and handle any pesticide sprays or chemical solutions. However, there are several things you can do to prevent the spread of the bed bug infestation in your home.
Do your best to steam clean your mattress multiple times each week, use a mattress cover, wear clothing that covers your limbs, and if possible, use peppermint oil to ward off unwanted bites in the night! Keep an eye out for signs of bed bug activity and report it back to your exterminator so that they can follow up with you for further treatment.
Although dealing with bed bugs may seem hopeless at first, your problem can be solved with instruction, time, and patience.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on where to sleep if you have bed bugs!