Where to Sleep if You Have Bed Bugs? [Explained and Answered]

Where to Sleep if You Have Bed Bugs? Maybe you’ve just discovered that you have bed bugs. Perhaps you only found one crawling across your pillow, but now what? Can you still sleep in that bed?

You may not like to hear the answer, but it is better to sleep in the bed where you saw the bed bug. The reason is that if you move and sleep in another room, the bugs in your bed will eventually begin to follow you.

Bed bugs have to feed on blood every 4-7 days. However, they can also go for extended periods without blood. So once the bugs in your bed get hungry enough, they move to whatever room you are now sleeping in.

Help! Where Can I Sleep if I Found Bed Bugs – A Few Options

  • Stay in bed but encase both the mattress and box spring. Get a treatment company there ASAP.
  • Move to the couch, but now you have a risk of transporting bugs to the sofa. Check out our guide on bed bugs in leather sofas, to learn more.
  • Move to another room, which also risks the bugs following you.
  • Stay in a hotel; the bugs may wander around your home and explore new rooms in search of food. You also risk bringing bed bugs to the hotel.

If you decide not to sleep in your bed for 1 or 2 nights until you can get a pest company, it’s probably not that big of a deal. We will give you some actionable tips on safely sleeping in another bed. As well as minimize any bugs crawling into a new room.

How to Sleep Knowing You Have Bed Bugs

If you are wondering how to sleep peacefully with bed bugs, we are here to help with some actionable ideas. So, you just found out you have bed bugs; now what? The first step is not to panic. If you only found one bug, it could be a fluke. Maybe that one hitchhiked into your home in somebody’s clothing.

Check for more signs of bed bugs before you start to freak out. Signs of bed bugs are bed bug poop, bed bug shed skins, and bed bug eggs. Check out what bed bug eggs look like here.

Here are a few things you can do yourself if you have to sleep in your bed knowing there are bed bugs. Look up some bed bug specialists in your area, and call around for quotes, but in the meantime, you can do these few steps.

Where to Sleep if You Have Bed Bugs

Tips for How to Sleep With Bed Bugs (In Your Bed)

#1 Vacuum

Vacuum the entire mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard, floors, moldings, and room. If the vacuum has a bag, dispose of it immediately; if not, dump what you collected, and clean the dust chamber with 91% alcohol.

Next, place the entire vacuum in a bag or air-tight bin for now until you can get a treatment company to your home. Learn tips and tricks for vacuuming bed bugs with a bagless vacuum here.

#2 Encase Both the Mattress and Box Spring

Using an encasement on the mattress and box spring will help seal any bed bugs or eggs. Doing this will reduce the number of bed bugs biting you. It is not a complete solution for getting rid of bed bugs.

However, it will help reduce the number of bed bugs that bite. It will also minimize many hiding spots and make it easier to visualize fecal matter.

#3 Steam Clean

There are few things more stressful than trying to sleep in bed with bed bugs. The itching and irritation can be unbearable, and the thought of those little creatures crawling around you all night is enough to make anyone lose sleep.

If you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, one of the best ways to get rid of them is to use a bed bug steamer. A bed bug steamer uses high-temperature steam to kill bed bugs on contact. It’s a safe, effective way to get rid of bed bugs and is eco-friendly and nontoxic.

When using a steamer to kill bed bugs, follow the instructions carefully and move slowly over the surface of your bed to ensure all the bed bugs are eradicated. However, a bed bug steamer is just one method you must combine with all the others to help reduce the number of bed bugs.

#4 Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great way to keep bed bugs from biting you. While many essential oils can work, some of the most effective include lavender, cedar, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Add a few drops of oil to your favorite unscented lotion.

The oil’s strong scent may mask your scent and make it difficult for bed bugs to find you. Not only that, but the oils will repel the bed bugs from wanting to bite you.

Keep in mind that repelling bed bugs is not recommended as a solution. We are only suggesting it as a short-term way to sleep in your bed with the bed bugs.

Additionally, essential oils, like lavender, can have calming effects that can help you sleep despite bed bugs.

#5 Wear Full Clothes to Bed

Wearing long pants, socks, and a long shirt will make it hard for the bed bugs to find a place to bite you. Bed bugs are not known to bite through clothing, which will help stop them from biting you.

You can also tuck your pant legs into socks to create an extra barrier. If you are worried about bed bugs, you can spray your clothing with a bed bug repellent like the essential oils mentioned above.

As an illustration, one of our past clients was traumatized by her bed bug situation in a Brooklyn, NY, apartment. She would take the following measures every night:

  • Wearing long pants tucked into socks.
  • She also wore gloves and had her husband wrap duct tape around her wrists. Doing this ensured that they could not bite her on the hands.
  • A long sleeve turtle neck shirt tucked into the pants.
  • Lastly, a hat that covered her face like a mask.

After 3 “all clear” K9 and visual inspections by our Doctor Sniffs bed bug dogs and human bed bug specialist, she could finally sleep without a full suit of armor.

#6 All Bedding and Pajamas Into the Dryer Every Day

Place all Bedding and Pajamas into the dryer first thing in the morning. By doing this, you will kill any bed bugs that may be hiding out in your bed sheets or pajamas. Remember that washing clothes does not kill bed bugs; the high heat dryer kills them.

It’s about trying to diminish the number of bed bugs and not get bit as much. Therefore before you get a professional treatment company, you can at least reduce the number of bed bugs that will bite.

Where to Sleep if You Have Bed Bugs

Tips for How to Safely Sleep in Another Room if You Found Bed Bugs in One Room

If you happen to find bed bugs in one room, many people decide to sleep on the couch or in another room. However, most bed bug specialists will say moving to another room is not a good idea.

If you have bed bugs in one room, chances are higher than they are already in another room. The best, most comprehensive, complete way to eliminate bed bugs is to treat the whole apartment or house.

Therefore if you can’t bear the thought of sleeping in the bed once you’ve discovered the bed bugs, you will have to move to another room. Thinking about bed bugs causes psychological trauma for many people.

So if you are one of those people who have severe bed bug anxiety, then you may need to sleep in another room. Another good reason to move to another room is if you are severely allergic to bed bug bites.

70% of humans get a skin reaction to bed bugs. More importantly, of that 70%, there is a wide range of skin manifestations.

We don’t mean any of these tips as a permanent solution. They are all just things you can do in the meantime before a treatment company arrives.

Tip #1

Wash and dry all clothing that you use in another room.

Tip #2

Isolate the bed that has the bed bugs. You can move it away from the wall and place bed bug interceptor cups on the bed legs.

Tip #3

Place double-sided sticky tape alongside the door frame of the bed bug room.

Tip #4

Do not take items out of this room.

Tip #5

Vacuum, encase the mattress and steam the bed frame.

Can Bed Bugs Follow You to Another Room?

Yes, bed bugs can follow you to another room. However, the timeline is varied; the first night you sleep in another room, they probably won’t follow you.

If you are wondering, “why do bed bugs follow me?” it’s because they are hungry after a blood meal. How fast bed bugs spread from room to room depends on your habits.

Bed bugs will not just up and march into another room; they may be wandering around for weeks before they find you in another room. However, more likely is that you will accidentally drop off a hitchhiker in another room.

Can Bed Bugs Follow You to Another House?

Bed bugs will not crawl out of your house and follow you to another place. On the other hand, you may accidentally bring a bed bug to another home on your clothing or belongings. The safest way to sleep in another house is to heat all of your belongings; use a heater for bed bugs.

These heaters are portable chambers that will heat your clothing, books, and other belongings to the temperature of 120°F. The bed bug heaters are much more reliable than a clothing dryer.

How to Keep Bed Bugs off You While Sleeping?

You can sleep with full clothes on and rub some lotion with essential oils on your skin. Essential oils like cedar, lavender, and peppermint might deter the bed bugs, but they won’t kill them.

Doing this will make it more difficult for them to feed on you. However, if you are sleeping in a bed with bed bugs, more than likely, they will find a place to bite you.

Do Bed Bugs Crawl on You While You Sleep?

Studies have shown that in most cases, a bed bug will crawl along with a blanket or fabric and feed on there. They prefer to stay on the material and stretch their proboscis to insert the feeding tube. However, this is not to say that they will never crawl on you to feed; it’s just more likely they will not.

Can I Sleep in My Bed After Bed Bug Treatment?

The best thing to do is ask the company who did the treatment. If you get a heat treatment, cryonite, or Aprehend treatment, you can sleep in your bed after treatment. However, if you got a chemical treatment, it’s best to ask the company how long you need to wait before sleeping in the bed. Usually, you want the chemical to dry before sleeping in the bed again.

Sometimes with Aprehend, they advise you to wait a few hours before going back into the apartment or house. It would help to let the Aprehend fungus dry; otherwise, you may accidentally remove it from the treated area. 

Are Bed Bugs Scared of Light?

Bed bugs are not scared of the light. However, they are nocturnal creatures and are active during the nighttime. Bed bugs are attracted to blood, and keeping the lights on will not deter bed bugs from coming out to feed on you. So keeping a brightly lit room is not a suitable method of bed bug control.

Do Bed Bugs Bite When You’re Awake?

Yes, bed bugs can bite when you are awake or asleep. The main thing bed bugs are after is blood; they come out to bite when they are getting hungry.

Can You Feel a Bed Bug Bite When You’re Awake?

Bed bugs use an anesthetic numbing agent before they insert the feeding tube. Doing this allows them to feed on you unnoticed. Often people feel the bed bug on them because it walks across their skin or hairs.

Some people are susceptible to a bed bug bite. Additionally, they may feel a slightly sting when the bug is feeding on their skin. Although more often than not, you do not feel a bed bug biting you even when you are awake.

Will Changing My Mattress Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

No, changing your mattress will not get rid of bed bugs. Getting a new mattress will not solve the problem, and the bed bugs will end up invading the new mattress. If you have a mattress infested with bed bugs, you need to treat it properly.

Some people choose to get rid of their mattress and bed frame because the thought of sleeping on the bed is psychologically traumatizing. The choice is up to you if you want to change your mattress. Just be aware that you’ll probably need to change your frame and headboard too.

Bed bugs can hide around your bed, so the best course of action is to treat your bed, and then if you choose, you can dispose of it. It would help if you appropriately wrapped any furniture you decide to throw out so you don’t infest the entire neighborhood.

The best way to eradicate bed bugs is to contact a professional pest control company. They can adequately assess the situation and determine the best course of action. Trying to get rid of bed bugs on your own is often ineffective and can even worsen the problem.

Final Thoughts for “Where to Sleep if You Have Bed Bugs?”

So, you have bed bugs. What do you do now? Where do you sleep if you find bed bugs? The good news is that, while they are a nuisance, bed bugs are not dangerous and do not transmit disease. The bad news is that they can be challenging to get rid of.

If all of this sounds like too much work or you’re just not feeling brave enough to share your sleeping space with bed bugs, there are other options. Try sleeping in a guest room or on the couch but just know that they may eventually follow you into the other rooms.